Montville Town Council member Dana McFee has announced plans to seek the Republican nomination for the 139th District state Representative seat, now held by Kevin Ryan.
“During this time of economic crisis,” McFee wrote in a press release announcing his decision, “it’s obvious that change must occur in order to steer our State in the right direction. The towns of the 139th District are experiencing taxation without representation, high unemployment rates, and the loss of the middle class. We are overtaxed by the current governmental leadership without any consideration of the impact. This must be stopped.”
On Tuesday, McFee, a Republican, said that he believes his name recognition will be a factor in helping his candidacy.
This is his second term serving on the Montville Town Council. He has been consistently outspoken, even fiery at times, drawing attention, praise and anger from voters. During his previous term in office, he resigned from, and then rejoined the Republican party.
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McFee said that former Town Council Chairman and mayoral candidate Donna Jacobson will be his campaign manager; Dick Wilson will be his treasurer.
IN 2011, McFEE SAYS, he had had two goals when he ran for the council seat the first time.
One was to see the Montville Road bridge repaired, and the other was to get town-wide trash pick-up.
, and while town-wide trash pick-up has not happened,
McFee says he believes that one thing that distinguishes him from Ryan is that “I don’t march to anyone’s drum, and hopefully that’s what the people in this region are looking for.”
He said that part of his campaign will be to get involved with people from Bozrah and Norwich, which are part of the district.
“I have some connections, and expect to do a lot of campaigning. They’re good old blue-collar towns themselves,” McFee says. “They can identify with me more than Kevin Ryan.”
RYAN, A DEMOCRAT, has served in the General Assembly for 10 terms, according to his website. He has also served for eight years as the chairman of the Labor and Public Employees Committee.
Ryan’s stated top priority is health care, particularly for children.
The General Assembly is in session; in a message, Ryan apologized for not being able to answer the phone, and said, “I did hear about Mr. McFee wanting to run. We’ll see what it brings.”
According to his website, some recent achievements include his preventing a quarry from being located in downtown Bozrah, and keeping an ash landfill out of Franklin.
Ryan lives in Oakdale, and served on the Montville Board of Education, six years as its Chairman and one year as its Secretary before being elected to the House of Representatives.
Outside of town government, McFee has what he describes as a small home-improvement business. He also buys and renovates houses, then sells them.
Last summer, he had a hot-dog cart at Waterford Beach; he lost the bid to repeat as Mr. Hot Dog, and has put his cart up for sale on Craigslist.
McFee has also been crowned the best chili cook in Montville in the 2011 Knights of Columbus Chili Knights Cook-off (though he was knocked out of first place this year), and by the judges at the Montville Polish Club cook-off.
VOTERS' DESIRES will be McFee's top priority, he says.
“One of the things that has bothered me,” McFee says, “is the fact that the legislators don’t listen to the people.”
An example, he says, is the recent vote to end capital punishment in Connecticut.
“Polls all over the state were coming in at 60 to 65 percent in favor of the death penalty,” McFee said. “They’re not listening to the people.”
Another of his goals as state representative would be to get the state to give more money to the towns, particularly to the schools.
“Instead of 30 percent, if they raised it to 45 percent, it would take the burden off the taxpayers – would keep taxes down in the towns. That’s the bottom line.
“You think about all the entitlements and the money that’s wasted in the state of CT, you put your mind to it and you could find it. Even if it raised a small amount of taxes in income taxes, we would save it when it comes to town taxes. There are a lot of towns that could really use this money – it’s up here on the eastern side where they forgot.
“There’s the state of Connecticut, then there’s southeastern Connecticut. What did Malloy call us? He thinks we’re tourism-based now. He wants to relegate southeastern Connecticut – we’ll live in poverty while we’re showing everyone a good time.”
Come back to the Montville Patch at 9:30 this morning to cast your vote for Dana McFee or Kevin Ryan, in an unscientific Montville Morning Poll.