Trumbull’s Tesoro takes oath, will seek major changes in new term
Trumbull has always been a welcoming town and in her second term First Selectman Vicki Tesoro, who was sworn in Tuesday night alongside other recently elected officials, said she intends to continue that tradition.
In fact, Tesoro hopes to begin by welcoming more members of the opposing party on the Town Council and Board of Education.
Tesoro said she will ask the Town Council to return to seven voting districts from the current four. This change, she said, would result in smaller districts, shorter lines at the polls...and fewer Democrats serving on the two boards.
“This is the hard part,” said Tesoro, a Democrat herself, during her inauguration remarks.
Over the past few elections, Democrats have steadily made inroads on town boards and commissions.
In 2013, when the change was made from seven districts down to four, Republicans held a 17-4 majority on the council.
This dwindled to 15-6 in 2015 before Democrats took a 11-10 edge in 2017, and gained even more seats in the recent election for a 16-5 split now.
Though it would be easy to take no action, Tesoro said she intended to ask the council to go back to the previous seven districts, and a maximum 14-7 party split. This would mean two members of her party that had just been sworn into their terms of office minutes before, would lose their seats.
“It’s a hard thing to ask, but it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
Similarly she said she plans to ask the council to open the Town Charter and return the Board of Education to a six-member panel, with members serving staggered four-year terms and no party holding a majority. Currently Democrats control the school board 5-2.
“This will promote compromise and bipartisanship,” she said.
Other goals Tesoro announced during the ceremony include asking the Planning and Zoning Commission to extend a the moratorium on multi-family housing developments for another year.
“These new developments, approved under a 2016 zoning change, are just coming online now,” she said. “We need time to assess their impact on the community.”
The number of high-density apartments was a major campaign issue raised by Tesoro challenger Michael Herbst.
The swearing-in Tuesday included musical selections from the Trumbull High Golden Eagle Marching Band and Chamber Choir, plus a solo piano and vocal performance of America the Beautiful by THS student Dylan Cranston.
Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, former Town Clerk Rose Lodice, Audrey Felson, Probate Judge T.R. Rowe, and former First Selectman Ray Baldwin in turn administered the oath of office to the newly elected officials. Taking her turn last, Tesoro had her husband Tom administer the oath.
“In a moment I’m going to ask you to raise your right hand, and for one of the few times, you’re going to do what I ask,” he said to chuckles from the audience. When Tom did so, Vicki Tesoro kept her hands at her side.
“Now I feel right at home,” Tom quipped.