By SHERIDAN CYR
Richard Ireland Jr., Plainville resident of 27 years and member of various committees in town, has announced his candidacy as the Democratic candidate for the 22nd state legislature district.
“Being a resident in this district since 1991, I’ve seen things that could be done better,” said Ireland. “I want to help people and tackle their concerns, regardless of how big or small.”
Some of the issues Ireland mentioned specifically are Plainville’s hard water issue, and the ongoing TILCON project. He is concerned that there is potential damage to the environment if the quarry expands, and that storm water will drain in and water will decrease in quality.
“I have been active in many governmental commissions, and am a member of the Plainville Democratic Committee,” said Ireland. “I think I can use my experiences to help this district.”
In addition to the Democratic committee, he has been a member of the Linden Street Steering Committee, the Plainville Schools Steering Committee, Plainville recycling and solid waste committee, and the National Federation of the Blind.
Ireland recognizes the fear that locals have expressed to him about increasing taxes and worrying about services. He also pointed out that the state’s infrastructure is not getting as much funding as he feels it should.
“That means we’ll have to find ways to fund those projects,” he said, adding that he was in favor of adding tolls to Connecticut highways but was not exactly on board with the way it had been designed.
“Voters have shared concern about bringing in jobs, and keeping taxes low,” he said. “If elected, I will be talking with our local officials, bringing the voters’ concerns to public light locally and in Hartford.”
Ireland expressed concern about one nation-wide issue— gun control. He described a new concept called “ghost guns,” whereas people can purchase a box of gun parts, and assemble the gun on their own. The ghost guns have no registration requirement and no registration number on the gun itself. Stricter gun control is a concern for the candidate.
Another goal of Ireland is to introduce stricter anti-bullying legislation for schools. “It’s bad today,” he said. “Definitely worse than when I was in school.”
Though Ireland is in the early stages of his campaign, he feels confident.
“If elected, I will work tirelessly to help people solve their problems, no matter what,” he said.
For questions or comments about his candidacy, Ireland invites locals to email him at RichardIrelandJr@gmail.com.