Herbst to Musto: Clear out your office

Town Treasurer Anthony Musto has been told to vacate his Town Hall office so the space can be used as a conference room.
Town Treasurer Anthony Musto has been told to vacate his Town Hall office so the space can be used as a conference room.

With a political career that includes three terms in the state Senate and two stints as town treasurer, Anthony Musto is used to people trying to vote him out of office. Now, though, it appears his office is simply being taken from him. Literally.

Musto was informed by First Selectman Tim Herbst last week that his tiny Town Hall office is being taken over by the Economic and Community Development Department for use as a conference room. The town treasurer is primarily responsible for generating income by investing the town’s cash reserves. Musto defeated Republican John Ponzio to reclaim the position last year. He previously held the office from 2005 to 2009.

In his memo informing Musto of his eviction, Herbst cited Musto’s habit of working from home or from his Fairfield law office and said Musto would have access to a cubicle and his computer when he was in Town Hall.

“Your predecessor, Mr. Ponzio, made it a practice of coming to the Trumbull Town Hall at least three to four days per week,” Herbst wrote. “As you are aware, this has not been your practice.”

Herbst said space constraints in the building necessitated the move, again comparing Musto’s work habits with Ponzio’s.

“Based upon your lack of actual in-building attendance, we cannot justify your continued occupancy of an office that you do not use with the same frequency as your predecessor, especially in light of current space constraints in the Town Hall,” he wrote.

Musto scoffed at the idea of using his office, which has space for a desk and one chair, for conference space. Town Hall has several conference rooms that are routinely empty, plus the Council Chamber, which is rarely in use during the day. The planned move of the Probate Court out of Town Hall would free up even more space, he said.

In response to the memo, Musto wrote back that the town treasurer position requires an office for more than just a place to sit.

“I have multiple files, supplies, reminders, etc., to which I must have access, as well as a secure place from which to do work and meet with banks and other vendors,” he wrote. “I also have access to the finance department staff with whom I work.”

Despite his opposition to the planned move, Musto admitted there wasn’t much he could do to prevent it.

“By next week my stuff is probably going to be boxed up and in the basement,” he said.