GREENWICH, Conn. – The Daily Voice sent five questions to each of the candidates running for state office this fall. The following responses are from Stephanie Paulmeno, a Democratic challenger running for the State Representative seat in the 150th District, which includes the Greenwich coast.
Lile R. Gibbons, the 150th district’s current representative, is retiring.
Paulmeno, 64, is a registered nurse and the CEO of Global Health Systems Consultants, LLC, an Old Greenwich-based consulting firm addressing community health planning and facility-based program planning, development, evaluation and implementation. She currently is on the advisory board or board of directors of Greenwich Hospital, At-Home In Greenwich and Hospice of Greenwich Hospital.
She has lived in Greenwich for 30 years and raised her family there. Paulmeno is married to her husband, Roger, a decorated combat-disabled Vietnam veteran who has been the director of the White Plains Veteran’s Center for 30 years. Their three children all attended and graduated from Greenwich public schools.
Paulmeno also served twice on the Greenwich District Six Representative Town Meeting.
She is running against Republican candidate Stephen Walko.
1) What are the biggest issues facing your district?
The 150th District is unique in that it stretches from Byram to Old Greenwich and includes everything between the Post Road and the shoreline. It includes all but one of our Housing Authority buildings and low-income housing units, all but one of the Pathways group residences for people with mental illness, many of the supported housing units for people with other special needs and virtually all of the senior housing/affordable housing units. Affordable housing rental rates and the need for additional units is current and has future implications as the senior population burgeons the next decade.
2) Since you are running for an open seat, what would you do differently than the previous office-holder?
If elected to the position of state representative for the 150th District I would work to be the voice of the many divergent groups that comprise this district. This would mean having regularly scheduled meetings in various communities of town to hear the divergent points of view and the perceived problems of these different constituents and being responsive to the needs of all the people. I would be a visible, easily reachable and approachable legislator.
3) Is Connecticut going in the right or wrong direction?
After having entered office with a huge deficit, Gov. Malloy has courageously made some difficult and often unpopular decisions, but they are moving us in the right direction. He has funded more than $3 billion dollars of the $3.6 billion dollar deficit he inherited. He has fostered an education plan, transportation plan and an energy plan that are moving us in new directions, which, while not perfect are proactive; he is actively working, and succeeding, in bringing businesses and jobs back into Connecticut and he is supporting companies that retain jobs in Connecticut.
4) What would you do to involve your constituents in your decision-making process?
I would meet with special interest groups, such as parents and educators, health care workers and administrators and consumers and small business community members to hear their concerns and their solutions to issues impacting them. I would work regionally, as I have done for 30 years here in town, to bring groups of stakeholders together to explore issues and the feasibility of various solutions and work legislatively to sponsor and/or enact appropriate legislation.
5) Why should people vote for you?
I have more than 43 years of dedicated outcome-based executive/professional level community service to the people of the greater Greenwich community, from New York to Hartford. This is longer than my opponent has been alive.
My experience has spanned the areas of business, community health planning, public health and social services. I have a long and steady track record of recognizing needs/creating solutions through building effective collaborations of people that drew from different political factions and varying resource capacities and effectively inspiring significant positive group outcomes with limited means.
Through my committee and commission work at the state level, I already am known to all of our top elected and appointed state-level government officials and the heads of numerous state agencies, thus I have existing respected relationships and the quality of my work and commitment is a known quantity.