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EXCLUSIVE: Kurt Miller, Seeking to Unseat Comptroller Lembo, Pitches Voters on “More Communication”

April 17, 2018 By Staff
EXCLUSIVE: Kurt Miller, Seeking to Unseat Comptroller Lembo, Pitches Voters on “More Communication”

The first selectman of Seymour is running to be Connecticut's comptroller, a role Miller said is "the chief fiscal guardian of the state."

“The comptroller should be shining a light, both good and bad, on decisions made by the governor,” First Selectman Kurt Miller (R-Seymour) said on Monday. “[The comptroller is] the people’s representative for the finance process.”

Some voters in the state may not be entirely familiar with the role of comptroller, which falls below the gubernatorial ballot every four years and is more obscure in its title and scope than lieutenant governor, treasurer, or secretary of state.

Miller, though, described it as “the chief fiscal guardian of the state of Connecticut.” He’s seeking to replace incumbent Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-Conn.), who dropped a run for governor last year to run for reelection.

Miller had a GOP opponent in businessman and former congressional candidate Mark Greenberg, of Litchfield, but it appears Greenberg will instead run for the Fifth Congressional District seat a fourth time.

TOWNS AND CITIES

A major theme of Miller’s run, it appears, is improving communication with, and restoring power to, Connecticut’s towns and cities.

“Towns and cities [are] doing what they need to do … to run our communities properly,” Miller said. “The state now, in turn, punishes the towns and cities that are run properly.”

“I don’t necessarily have an issue, per se, with the state trying to help the cities,” Miller said, when asked about the state’s proposed bailout of Hartford. “They should be doing different things to help the cities out. They shouldn’t be doing those things at the expense of all the other towns in Connecticut.”

“Comptroller Lembo,” Miller added, “basically made no comment” on Hartford.

“It’s about priorities,” Miller said, citing the state’s decision to back bonding for a soccer stadium in Hartford and its deal to pay Hartford’s debts.

IMPROVED COMMUNICATION

“I think Comptroller Lembo is a good man,” Miller said, of his fall opponent. “This is not about him personally. I would just use a very different approach, the same approach I’ve used in Seymour.”

That, Miller said, is “more communciation” and “more information” to the public.

“The more informed [the public is], the more understanding they’re gonna be,” Miller added.

Miller also suggested he’ll improve communications between the comptroller’s office and the treasurer’s office, citing the looming problems of the state’s pension liabilities and its mounting debt.

“If these two offices don’t come together and start to work on this problem to create a solution, it’s only going to get worse,” Miller said.

“We need to stop budgeting in two-year cycles,” Miller added, instead “looking out five and 10 years and understanding the impact that decisions made today will have down the road.”

“The lack of planning is truly what is hurting the state of Connecticut,” Miller concluded.

Miller will likely be the GOP nominee to face Lembo in November.