WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).
Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Pina Prinzivalli (R-Tewksbury).
#9) Last year, there was a controversial bill in which members of the state legislature voted to give themselves large raises (up to to 45% in some cases), and included judicial raises in the bill so that the voters couldn’t potentially override the bill in a ballot question. The salary increases for elected officials came at a time where taxes were increasing and certain services were being cut. As state representative, how would you vote on such a matter? (Mind you, members of the New Hampshire state legislature earn only $200 per year.) Additionally, if elected, do you intend on working a second job or will you focus fully on your legislator position?
The legislative pay raises were the driving issue that inspired me to launch my campaign last October, six months before any other candidate. And it’s why I’m running to put the “Taxpayers First.” I’m only candidate who has pledged to never vote myself a pay raise and in the event there’s an increase to the base salary, I will donate it to charity. I made this pledge on January 25, 2018. The one year anniversary of the infamous pay raise vote.
What many don’t realize about the pay raises is that an emergency preamble was attached to the bill so they’d get the money right away. The vote also came after they had already received a bump in base salary, thanks to an increase in the household median income, as stated in the Massachusetts constitution.
The pay raises, worth about $18,000,000 per year, came at a time when the legislature balked at the idea of giving us a tax free weekend for two straight years, saying that they didn’t have the money for it. But they were somehow able to find money for themselves. Mind you, a tax free weekend costs about $25,000,000 in “lost revenue.”
As a career professional, and a hardworking taxpayer just like you, it’s time we bring the taxpayer mentality to Beacon Hill. Enough of the career politicians and the special interests. YOU are the ones who deserve to keep more of your hard earned money. That’s why I worked to lower your tax burden, the only candidate to do so, by collecting over 800 signatures for the ballot question to reduce the sales tax back to 5% and establish a tax free weekend every year. Unfortunately those same career politicians and special interests, threw the signatures in the trash and did away with the ballot question as part of the “Grand Bargain” bill that was recently past.
It’s just another reason why we need someone who will put the “Taxpayers First.” And it’s something I will do as your full time representative.
#10) The late Representative Miceli fought hard on environmental issues. Even though the Olin Superfund site, the Maple Meadow Landfill, and the New England Transrail project were not in his district, he went to bat for the Wilmington residents to help in the detrimental impacts from these sites. Do you have a clear knowledge of the threats from these sites and even though not in your district, will you fight for the residents of Wilmington like Jim Miceli did?
The concern for cancer has been brought up by multiple Wilmington residents while door knocking. When it comes to the safety and well being of the residents in our community, all of us need to be onboard to lookout and protect one another, regardless of precinct. No matter the issue or location, I will take and answer any call and any email that comes my way from any Tewksbury or Wilmington resident. And as your next State Representative, I look forward to working with Representative Jim Lyons (Tewksbury Precincts 3 & 3A) and Representative Ken Gordon (Wilmington Precinct 3) to make sure all of the residents from both towns are getting the representation they deserve from Beacon Hill.
(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)
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