Apparently Trumbull is for sale.
I’d be curious to know how many people who agreed to place a Trumbull Is Not For Sale sign on their front lawn during this last election are now regretting their decision to do so after the Trumbull Democrats voted last night to reinstate double dipping for former town employees. So much for transparency! What Trumbull got was a bait-and-switch.
Immediately upon being sworn into office, the Tesoro Administration moved systematically to undo the various protections put in place over the last eight years to eliminate patronage and the culture of corruption in town hall. We have seen this story before. Patronage under the Baldwin Administration is the reason Trumbull was embroiled in years of litigation over sub-par and over-budget sewers as well as a mismanaged high school renovation project . Apparently though, past is prologue as Trumbull Democrats voted at the February Town Council meeting to eliminate the ordinance which prohibits double-dipping; the same ordinance that was approved unanimously by the Town Council in November, including six of the current Democrat members. The reason is simple: Patronage. I guarantee an analysis of those retired former town employees who will ultimately be re-hired will show that they are not only supporters of Vicki Tesoro, but also financial donors.
In addition, throughout the process Tesoro’s hand-picked town attorney, Dan Schopick, has been present for all hearings on this issue. You may think having the town attorney present is a good thing, and normally it is, except for that fact that a repeal of the ordinance means a direct personal financial gain for Mr. Schopick. You see, Mr. Schopick currently collects a pension from the Town of Trumbull for his previous tenure as town attorney and without a repeal of the ordinance, cannot be re-hired as a town employee. Councilman Carl Massaro raised the issue at the January meeting that Mr. Schopick has a conflict of interest in the proposed repeal and should recuse himself from the discussion. But why let a little thing like ethics and rules get in the way? Mr. Schopick did not recuse himself at the January meeting, nor did he recuse himself from the subsequent sub-committee meeting on this same issue. Not until Mr. Massaro raised the issue again at last night’s Council meeting did Mr. Schopick reluctantly leave the room. However in all fairness, if I was Mr. Schopick, I would want to be in the room too if the fate of a lucrative town attorney position was about to be voted on.
I am a firm believer in watching what people do rather than listening to what they say. Suffice to say that when Trumbull Democrats were screaming that Trumbull Is Not For Sale, what they really meant is that they had a different buyer in mind.
Rick Costantini, District 4