Tesoro, Democrats respond to seven district petition snub
Full text of Democratic statement on the denial of a ballot initiative on returning Trumbull to seven Town Council districts:
A grass roots, nonpartisan group of Trumbull residents formed the Citizens for 7 Districts, and put forth an Initiative to return Trumbull to seven equal voting districts. Consistent with the Town Charter, this Initiative was signed by over 10% of the number of registered voters in Trumbull. The Town Clerk validated 2,560 signatures, and the Initiative was forwarded to Town Council Chairman, Carl Massaro. Under Trumbull’s Charter, a special meeting of the Town Council must be called, or the Initiative must be put on the agenda of the next regular Town Council meeting by the Chairman of the Town Council. The Council can either pass the resolution without substantial alteration, or a town-wide vote must be scheduled.
Unfortunately, the Town Attorney has ruled that the Initiative cannot be considered by the Town Council because the Town Council derives its power to establish voting districts from State Statute. Trumbull Democrats disagree with this decision, and we believe that this is yet another effort by the Republican administration to suppress the vote. Voter turnout in Trumbull has decreased in every election since the Town Council returned Trumbull to 4 districts. Under the 4-District plan, Trumbull has 40% more voters in our districts than the average of all voting districts across all the towns in Fairfield County. Voting is more inconvenient, and lines are longer. Additionally, our Districts are not equal, with District 4 having more Town Council seats than the other three districts.
“Over 2,500 valid signatures of Trumbull voters signed this petition” stated Vicki Tesoro, Democratic-endorsed candidate for First Selectman. “The voters who signed this petition should not be disregarded or their will ignored by a legal opinion which we believe is inconsistent with our Charter. I urge the administration and Town Council Chairman Massaro to reconsider this decision, and give the people the right to decide at the polls on Election Day in November.”
Trumbull Democratic Committee Chairman Tom Kelly stated that he hoped the Citizens for 7 Districts will take their case to court. “We stand with the Citizens for 7 Districts. They worked very hard to go out and get a huge number of signatures. Those voters should not be disenfranchised. We saw this kind of thing go on in Stratford and Fairfield and the town attorney’s decision was overruled by the court in both cases. We believe the people of Trumbull will prevail.”
Tesoro also said. “I hope the voters of Trumbull will not forget that this administration wants to deny them the right to vote on this matter. Trumbull Democrats support the return to 7 equal voting districts and voters should remember that when they go to the polls in November.”
Trumbull Democrats support 7 equal voting districts in Trumbull, with equal representation from each district, strong minority representation, and reduced drive time and lines and the polls. We believe that our town is strongest when more people vote, not fewer.