A year ago, First Selectman Tesoro campaigned on a platform of transparency and civility. Over the course of the last fourteen months, there has been anything but transparency and civility. Immediately she sought repeal of two ordinances, one that prevented pension double dipping and the second was conflicts of interest on the Police Commission. After the Democratically controlled Town Council repealed them, the First Selectman reappointed Dan Schopick as Town Attorney and Mary Markham as Recreation Director. They now collect their pensions and their salary from the town at the same time. The Democrats in this town lambasted me 6 years ago claiming that I was doing the same thing when I retired in January and was asked to continue to work until the end of the year. I did not collect both a pension and a salary from the town of Trumbull. The Democrats in the state ran a false TV ad for two weeks also stating the same erroneous claims.
The First Selectman and others like to blame the previous administration for the surge in apartment developments. Why then has the First Selectman publicly supported changes in the zoning regulations allowing as many as 20 residential units per acre? The Chairman of Planning and Zoning is a potential walking conflict of interest, refusing to divulge information when he should. When police officers attempted to voice concerns about the housing and its potential impacts on emergency services, the town attorney silenced them at a public hearing. As Mr. Schopick silenced the officers at the public meeting, he in essence is keeping from the public very serious issues concerning response time for our Emergency Medical Services. How is that transparency?
Mrs. Tesoro likes to tell people that she has brought civility back to Trumbull. For over 10 years I have been reading the nasty,hurtful comments that come daily about my family from her supporters when they were in the opposition party. The latest uncivility was at the last Town Council meeting. The Town Council Republicans objected to First Selectman Tesoro’s nomination to the Ethics Commission. The person that would be replaced was Bill Brown. He is a former Marine, a military JAG officer, a former assistant United States Attorney and an Independent with not a political bone in his body. I have known his family since 1982 and his wife’s family since 1982. He is an honorable man. The town is lucky to have someone with his credentials volunteering his time to help the town that he and his wife grew up in and now their kids are growing up in. After the meeting Democratic supporters of First Selectman Tesoro proceeded to scream and lambast Council members with crude and foul language when their candidate did not get nominated. One Town Council member told me that she was afraid to attend meetings from now on because of how she was bullied and accosted. Is this the kind of civility campaigned upon and promised?
Michael T. Herbst, vice chairman