Danbury Mayor Says No New Taxes, Talks COVID + Uncle Sam Statue
Every Tuesday, we get a chance to talk with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton about how Danbury is dealing with the issues that are affecting our nation.
Lots going on in the city of Danbury this week, and Mayor Mark says 'No New Taxes', gives us a COVID-19 update, and addresses the issue with people wanting to take down the Uncle Sam statue.
You just passed the budget in the city, and it looks like it's good news for taxpayers.
"Yup, no increase for our Danbury tax payers. The budget also includes a record investment in our education spending to make sure our students are getting a leg up on their competition. It's a tough budget, but it's a time with COVID-19 that 18 to 19 percent of people in the city are without a job right now, so not a good time to raise taxes. I just couldn't do it with a clear conscience understanding that families are under a lot of pressure".
The COVID-19 numbers are looking pretty good in Danbury right now.
"We continue to bounce along, normally our numbers for new cases are in the low single digits each day which means we are managing the problem. If you look on the national map, you'll see Connecticut is the only green state because we've been following all the guidelines and directives. We still have to be careful, you can't stop people from traveling, so we're just going to have to watch it, people can't let their guard down, that's the one thing I'm asking. Just wear your mask, wash your hands, do all the things you need to do".
With all that's going on in the country, and these mobs tearing down statues, I heard you're having an issue with people wanting to have the Uncle Sam statue removed.
"There were some people saying that Uncle Sam was racist, and wanted to have the statue taken down. We had to point out to them that Uncle Sam is actually a unifying figure used to pull people together, and is symbolic of what America is, but more importantly for us locally, it's symbolic of the Danbury Fair, and that's why we brought him back from Lake George and displayed him. It reminds many Danbury residents of a time in the city's history when we had the fair, and for decades, Uncle Sam was a meeting place for families before they walked into the fair".
One word of advice to the people who want to tear these statues down, most are young people, how about reading a history book first before you react and try and destroy some of these statues.
"Absolutely, once I explain to people why a statue like Uncle Sam is there, and share some of its history, their like oh, okay. They sort of get it instead of rushing head long into tearing something down. It's really time that we talk about building things up instead of tearing things down. Ultimately, you don't accomplish anything by taking a statue down, people are concerned about racism as we all are, it should be an on going discussion, and an action plan beyond that to make sure people are treated fairly. Tearing down a statue is not going to make a difference one way or another. It's not going to make a difference in the climate, or how decisions are made, and that's where we need to get at, it's certainly not going to change how we look at America".