There are times in a politician's career that he has to make a stand. It might not be a popular stand in many ways but it is a stand he or she is forced to make.
Antonio Guerrera (D-Rocky Hill) is making a stand and so is Senator Paul Doyle (D-Rocky Hill) in vehemently opposing a privatized nursing home at which would house disabled and mentally incapacitated prisoners.The proposal comes directly from Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy.
Malloy's proposal circumvented the local Planning & Zoning Commission.
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"My loyalty is to the people of this town," Guerrera said. "I am not going to agree with the Governor on every issue and when I don't agree, I will go to battle with him on it. This isn't a Republican or Democrat issue, this is a public safety issue. I hope that we all can look at this in a reasonable manner and come to a conclusion where the residents of Rocky Hill get what they want."
Guerrera said right from the start, he and Doyle, as well as Mayor Anthony LaRosa were caught off guard.
"When we heard about the private bid we were surprised and upset," said Guerrera, who with about 100 Rocky Hill residents walked a petition into the Governor's office after a rally at the State Capitol on Wednesday. The petition had more than 4,000 signatures on it, all in opposition to the nursing home proposal. "I think we should be looking at the bigger picture. There should be another location not in a residential area run by the Dept. of Corrections."
Guerrera mentioned two places, Mansfield and Cheshire, where he could see putting these nursing homes. There is fencing and could be more easily moderated.
"We are going to do everything in our power to make sure this doesn't happen," Guerrera said. "We are still trying to get meetings with the Governor and his staff. We hope they will pick another location, where they can still get the money needed and not be affected.
"The town has filed a lawsuit and we're going to keep fighting until there is some type of resolution. We should be some world withing a week about how the judge will rule. Once he does, we will have to decide what direction we go from there. Like I said, we will keep fighting until we get an outcome we feel is appropriate for the citizens of Rocky Hill."