Trumbull council repeals 4-polls plan, registrars name new locations

TRUMBULL — A 16-month occasionally contentious process ended with a public hearing at which no one spoke and a unanimous vote after no discussion.

With a unanimous consent vote, the town council repealed Chapter 6, section 6-4 of the town’s Municipal Code. That was the section that detailed the polling places for the four districts. With the code rescinded, it is now up to the town’s registrars, Republican Tracy Vonick and Democrat Jean Rabinow, to set the polling locations. The council voted to adopt seven equal districts.

“Under state statute, it is within the purview of the registrars to determine where polling places are,” said town attorney Dan Schopick at last week’s meeting of the council’s Legislation and Administration Committee.

Vonick told the committee that he and Rabinow had agreed on the seven locations, which are as follows: District 1 — Daniels Farm School; District 2 — Booth Hill School; District 3 — Tashua School; District 4 — Jane Ryan School; District 5 — Middlebrook School; District 6 — Madison Middle School; and District 7 — Christian Heritage School.

The return to seven districts, which the council used for 28 years until changing to four districts in 2012, passed the council in August by a 13-7 vote. With the town charter’s minority representation provision, that means no party can hold more than a 14-7 majority.

That is important because some council actions — like overriding first selectman’s vetoes and appointing members to some committees — requires a two-thirds vote.

The move to decrease the size of a potential partisan split was one of the main reasons Democrats gave for supporting the seven-district council. Since the 2012 realignment, Republicans had held a 17-4 majority from 2015 to 2017. The party split swung the other way in 2017 and 2019, when Democrats built a supermajority. Currently, the council consists of 14 Democrats, 5 Republicans and unaffiliated members Tom Whitmoyer and Lisa Valenti, who both ran on the Democratic ticket despite not being members of the party.