Herbst takes oath of office for third term, asks for cooperation in moving town forward
Thirty-eight elected officials, many who are fresh faces in the local political scene, were sworn-in to serve their terms Tuesday night during a ceremony at Trumbull High School.
The ceremony culminated with the swearing-in of First Selectman Timothy Herbst for his third term.
It was a proud night for the Herbst family when the first selectman was administered the oath of office by his sister, Attorney Amanda Herbst. His family, including mother, Deborah Herbst, the vice chair of the Board of Education, and father, Michael Herbst, the Trumbull High athletic director, cheered from the front row.
Following what was sometimes a contentious political season, First Selectman Herbst asked officials Tuesday night to work together on specific goals during the next two years.
“My dad has often told me that there are four essential ingredients to being a successful coach: clarity, confirmation, communication and commitment,” Herbst said. “Coaches are required to build and work with teams. Tonight, by virtue of the trust bestowed upon us by the citizens of Trumbull, we have been tasked to be the team that guides our Town’s future for the next two years.”
Herbst said the election results, which were a stunning victory for the GOP slate, showed that voters believe in progress over politics.
“Here is the question I pose to the elected officials in both parties seated behind me tonight — will we govern together or will we govern separately,” Herbst asked fellow officials. “With the partisan rancor in Washington and the lack of compromise in Hartford, I believe we have a moral obligation to govern together.”
The First Selectman’s goals include working with the Board of Education to reorganize the district’s facilities department and to develop a capital program for older schools.
Herbst urged the Town Council to approve plans for a consolidated emergency communications dispatch center, already approved by the Board of Finance last month.
He also asked the Town Council to open the Town Charter and adopt a specific provision to require that the town fully-fund the pension plans at the full Actuarial Recommended Contribution (ARC) each year.
“There is no question that the Town of Trumbull should be a community with a AAA bond rating,” he said. “The pension fund is the Achilles heel that is holding us back.”
Herbst also discussed new appointments to the town Ethics Commission. He will be asking the Council to approve the appointments of William Brown, a former United States Attorney, Robert Miller, a former Bridgeport police officer and Pastor Joseph Piccirillo, who Herbst said has long and distinguished track record of service to the community.
Herbst said the Ethics Code is in need or reform. Earlier this year an ethics complaint involving school officials and town facilities manager Al Barbarotta was dismissed by the commission.
Finally, Herbst said he wants to be sure senior citizens have a facility they deserve and the library is brought into the 21st century.
“Here is my vision for Trumbull: A community center that integrates all of the components of a senior center with all of the components of a library — a facility that is centrally located and a facility that is multi-generational and that brings our town together,” Herbst said. “I am asking the Town Council to begin the feasibility assessment for such an endeavor.”
The ceremony included performances by the Trumbull High School Chamber Singers and Golden Eagle Band.
The elected officials sworn-in include the Town Clerk and Town Treasurer and those who will serve Town Council, Board of Education, Board of Finance, Planing and Zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals and as Constables. Swearing-in of candidates was handled by Probate Judge T.R. Rowe, state Sen. Anthony Musto, Judge Barbara Massaro, and Town Attorney Dennis Kokenos.
Former Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia was the master of ceremonies. Moccia said it was an honor to be part of ceremony and that he knows that Herbst’s motto is: “He who serves his community first, serves his party best.”
Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia also joined the ceremony to offer congratulations to all officials. He urged them to serve with civility, dignity and collaboration.
The ceremony will air on Trumbull Community Television Channel 17/99.