NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- With the hotly contested New Haven mayoral primary just five days away now, we're taking a closer look at the four candidates vying for the city top job.
News 8's Chief Political Correspondent Mark Davis sat down with Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina.
Forty-five year-old Carolina is a life long New Havener and has spent 20 years as an educator. He's spent the last three as principal of Hillhouse High School.
He received a three-day suspension in a grade tampering scandal at the school and says he expects to be vindicated by the state labor board, but probably not till after the primary.
He cites these major issues facing the next Mayor.
"We need a more efficient government here in New Haven. I think we need safer communities," Carolina said. "We need a more effective school district, and we need to, we need a thriving economy."
Like the other candidates in the race, Carolina says the city's financial crisis must be addressed right away and that city employees need to be part of the solution.
"Seventy to 80 percent of our public employees live outside the city and those tax dollars are leaving the city...they need to have skin in the game," Carolina said.
He is also advocating a possible solution that would require the okay from the State Capitol.
It's a solution the State Capitol has been reluctant to okay in the past.
Taxing the income of people that work in New Haven but don't live there.
"We need to explore the idea of a 'commuter tax,' explore that and attempt to make that happen," Carolina said.
Carolina says he decided to run because the city's young people and the senior population are the most vulnerable to the problems of crime and poverty, and that he understands both.
Carolina says having grown up in the city, in public housing, gives him a closer perspective on the lives of many New Haveners.
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