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What Matters in East Haven? Taxes Trump Tacos


Perhaps the comment that made East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. a staple on "The Daily Show" have faded from the minds of voters. Maybe the conviction of two police officers last month on charges of civil rights violations were overshadowed by Maturo's record on lowering property taxes. Regardless of the reasons, Maturo was elected to his seventh term in office on Tuesday. 

Evan Lips covers East Haven for The New Haven Register, and he said the voters "go with their guy."

"They went with their gut," said Lips. "East Haven is a different animal, though, as we’ve clearly seen." Lips said Maturo has faced some "scathing criticism" of his leadership of the town, in the wake of an FBI investigation of racial profiling by members of the police department. Officers were arrested, and two went to trial; a recent guilty verdict will send two East Haven police officers to prison. 

Maturo managed to turn the race into a matter of finances, however. "Property taxes have gone down 70 percent for homeowners," Lips said. "Maybe that resonated."

Other than moving past the controversy, what's next for Maturo and East Haven? "Well, I think the biggest issue is obviously the way he handles the police department," said Lips.

The incumbent mayor beat his Democratic opponent Jack Stacey by an unofficial count of 3,963 to 3,376.

Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.

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