Further information about all the Democratic candidates running for local office in 2017 can be found at trumbulldemocrats.org. Further information about all the Republican candidates running for local office in 2017 can be found at LavoieForTrumbull.org. Michael Redgate’s campaign page is onetrumbull.org.

The candidates for First Selectman and Board of Finance were asked the following questions:


  1. What will be the most difficult challenge Trumbull will face in the next two years, and how do you want to handle it?

  2. How will you balance the needs of the Town against the need to keep taxes steady?

  3. What services, if any, would you be willing to cut if the state reduces the money that it sends to Trumbull? If none, how should Trumbull make up the shortfall?


 

Vicki Tesoro (D)


www.tesorofortrumbull.com

What will be the most difficult challenge Trumbull will face in the next two years and how do you want to handle it?


The budget will be the biggest challenge. The outgoing administration is leaving a budget with a potential deficit of up to 2.8 million dollars.

There are three ways to handle this. Finding efficiencies and controlling spending are the two preferred methods. Raising taxes is an unpalatable option in that it will make us uncompetitive with surrounding communities and drive some of our residents out of Town. We will eliminate wasteful spending as a first step.


How will you balance the needs of the Town against the need to keep taxes steady?


Keeping taxes stable is critical. We don’t have to spend more, we have to spend smarter. It is all about priorities. Since 2011 the current administration has spent over 8 million dollars on lawyers and consultants. That is a staggering sum. While doing that, roads have been unpaved, taxes have increased, and overdue upgrades in our municipal facilities have been delayed. We will prioritize vital services over excessive fees to vendors.


What services, if any, would you be willing to cut if the state reduces the money it sends to Trumbull. If none, how should Trumbull make up the shortfall?


It appears the State has finally reached a budget but we are now faced with a potential 2.8 million dollar deficit left by the outgoing administration. Before we talk about cutting services we first need to cut wasteful spending. Attorney fees, consulting fees, high priced executive salaries, excessive take-home cars is where we will reduce first. If we are disciplined in our spending, we can preserve the services our citizens enjoy.


Paul Lavoie (R)


lavoieforfrumbull.com

What will be the most difficult challenge Trumbull will face in the next two years, and how do you want to handle it?


Protecting Trumbull from the State Budget crisis and making Trumbull economically self-sufficient. While the budget adopted by the Legislature on has a minimal impact, we are not out of the woods. We just went through a very emotional and unsettling period of not knowing how the state problems will impact us. We need fund our needs by our own means. This is accomplished by reducing the cost of government and increasing our commercial grand list.

How will you balance the needs of the Town against the need to keep taxes steady?


Taxes remain steady and predictable through robust business growth and reducing expenses of town services. We will need to pursue re-development opportunities to increase the business tax base which lowers the tax burden on residents. In 2009 the commercial tax base of Trumbull represented 13%, in 2017 it represents 22%. It means businesses now represent a greater share of the property tax base as compared to single family households.

What services, if any, would you be willing to cut if the state reduces the money that it sends to Trumbull? If none, how should Trumbull make up the shortfall?


With the budget passed by the House and Senate, we will be able to keep Trumbull moving forward. Regardless of whether the state reduces aid to Trumbull we need pursue more ways to reduce the cost of our services without sacrificing the quality of the service. As example we have reduced energy expenses in our schools by 800k per year and we upgraded 7 boiler rooms with performance contracting, avoiding 7.6M in additional bonding.


Michael Redgate (U)


onetrumbull.org

What will be the most difficult challenge Trumbull will face in the next two years, and how do you want to handle it?


The unstable Connecticut State economic and budget situation. Trumbull will need to reduce it’s budget so we are no longer reliant on State of CT funds. Luckily the new budget gives us time to create a longer term plan for that approach. The how is the same answer as Number 2.

How will you balance the needs of the Town against the need to keep taxes steady?


The bottom line is that every resident in Trumbull is stretched thin in their personal budgets. The town needs to act like it has a limited income, and depend only on what is in its control to collect. There appear to be a few larger ticket items that do not make sense and easily can be cut to create savings. There are cost reductions in energy efficiency, and in limiting Town vehicles and cell phones.

What services, if any, would you be willing to cut if the state reduces the money that it sends to Trumbull? If none, how should Trumbull make up the shortfall?


The only items that are safe are items that impact the ability to give our students an award winning education, and items that assist with public safety. Everything else is up for consideration. We need to review Town positions that become open and not fill until evaluated for value compared to past expense. Mixed in is the priority to grow the Grand List so we do not have to cut very deep at all.