TRUMBULL - Mark Block describes Trumbull as a town lacking strong leadership and that it needs someone like himself who can firmly steer the town to where it needs to be. \u201cIs it a town that\u2019s on autopilot? And if it is, we need somebody to take it off autopilot to hold on to the wheel and to start to steer it,\u201d Block said. Block, a former Republican town councilman said he sees a pattern of what he called a lack of a proactive response during the pandemic. This has resulted in the town being worse off than its surrounding neighbors, he said. For example, Trumbull could have opened Tashua Knolls for golfing during the pandemic, and taken a more forceful approach to vaccinations, he said. \u201cWhen vaccines became available, when people were able to move about again, there\u2019s no reason that Trumbull shouldn\u2019t have been opened,\u201d he said. \u201cAnd I don\u2019t want to hear about how wonderful Trumbull is in terms of the vaccination. I think that there were an awful lot of volunteers in town that were taking the role of government in terms of encouraging and making available information on where you could get a vaccine and when it was available, and how you could do it,\u201d He said his background as a former councilman and as a volunteer at a synagogue makes him the best person to replace current First Selectman Vicki Tesoro. In his campaign announcement he said he would concentrate on improving education, reexamining infrastructural needs and lowering taxes on residents. Tesoro in a written statement said she was concentrating on advocating for her constituents. \u201cI look forward to running against Mr. Block and having conversations and discussions with him about the important issues that matter to our residents and businesses. No matter what my opponent does or says, I will run this campaign the same as I did in 2015, 2017, and 2019. I will remain positive, issue oriented, and focused on the future of Trumbull. My opponent must remember right from the start that the facts matter and the truth matters,\u201d she said. Block\u2019s campaign manager, Joe Pifko, described Block as someone more willing to listen than to talk. Block\u2019s previous experience on the town council gives him the personal connections and experience that will prove to be crucial in getting his agenda across should he win election in November. \u201cHe has a calming effect. If you\u2019ve ever heard him talk he has a very calming voice. And he\u2019s respectful of people\u2019s opinions, and tries to get consensus,\u201d Pifko said. Pifko said that one time, when Block was a member of the town\u2019s Aquatics Committee and the members were deliberating if the town should construct a swimming pool, Block studied it and arrived at the conclusion that the pool could actually be a revenue stream for the town. But Block\u2019s stated willingness for cooperation led him to disagree with the town\u2019s government on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, which came to an abrupt end earlier this year when half of its members resigned in the wake of a social media backlash over comments made last summer by the chairman which compared the Blue Lives Matter flag to the Confederate flag. Block said the task force had been bungled from the start and even suggested opening the taskforce up to anyone in town who wants to be on it. \u201cI have a hard time understanding how you can use the word inclusion in the title of the task force. And yet you exclude people who have said that they want to serve. It doesn\u2019t make sense,\u201d he said. Tom Kelly, the chairman of the Democratic Party in Trumbull, said Tesoro\u2019s leadership speaks for itself. \u201cI\u2019m sure Mark Block has a lot of rhetoric. He\u2019s entitled to use whatever words that he wants. She\u2019s been an excellent communicator throughout this entire pandemic,\u201d Kelly said.