Herbst: Charter Revision Commission doesn't need partisan zealots

First Selectman Timothy M. Herbst on Wednesday announced the nomination of five people to serve on the Charter Revision Commission.

Last week, the Town Council voted to impanel a commission to look at adding pension funding language to the charter. See story here.

The first selectman has nominated Town Clerk Suzanne Burr Monaco, former Board of Finance Chairman Kenneth Martin, Jr., Attorney Adam Maiocco, Attorney Daniel Portanova and Daniel Shamas, retired Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Bridgeport.

“These five qualified people will take politics out of the charter revision process and make recommendations for the benefit of the citizens and taxpayers of Trumbull. I am confident that they will act quickly within the next 90 days to submit their report to the Trumbull Town Council to be approved by the voters in November,” Herbst said. “As I said earlier this month before the Trumbull Town Council, when it comes to pension reform, this process is about math and not politics. I am confident that this group will work well together and make decisions based upon the entire town. The last thing the Town of Trumbull needs is a partisan zealot on the Charter Revision Commission that will approach every decision with a political agenda. What we need are good people that have stepped forward for all the right reasons.”

During discussion with the Town Council last week, some Democrats expressed a desire for a bipartisan commission.

Herbst indicated that the five candidates each bring the same standard to the commission:

• Of the five nominees, none are active members of either the Democratic or Republican Town Committees, with the goal of removing politics from the Charter Revision process;

• Of the five nominees, none served on the previous Charter Revision Commission and do not come with a pre-determined opinion or political bend on any issues;

Herbst said that each candidate brings a skill set that will assist the commission in its work. Two of the five nominees are attorneys, which will assist the commission in the drafting of proposed charter language, he said. One of the nominees is a retired assistant superintendent of schools, who understands state statute and the lines of differentiation between a municipality and boards of education. One of the nominees, as Town Clerk, is the keeper of all Town records and understands the roles of current boards and commissions relative to the Town Charter. Another nominee is a former Board of Finance Chairman who understands keenly the town’s problem with the pension fund having dealt with it during annual budget deliberations, Herbst said.

The First Selectman further indicated that to further remove politics from the process, he would support one of the two Democrats being elected Chairman of the Charter Revision Commission, although this decision would rest ultimately with the members appointed by the Trumbull Town Council.