To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Mr. Costantini’s letter regarding the significant salary increases recently approved by the Republicans on the Trumbull Town Council. Mr. Costantini criticized Democratic Minority Leader Vicki Tesoro for not recusing herself from the vote because she was considering being a candidate for First Selectman.

Mr. Costantini’s argument is painfully shallow. The fact is that there was absolutely no need for Vicki Tesoro to recuse herself because she voted AGAINST the huge salary increase for the First Selectman’s position. Additionally, she has already stated that if she is elected, she will refuse to accept the salary increase.

It is obvious that Mr. Costantini and the Republicans are trying to distract Trumbull voters from what happened here. The Republicans on the Town Council just voted to give the First Selectman a guaranteed 20.2% salary increase beginning this year. Trumbull Republicans don’t want Trumbull voters to hold them accountable for this largesse.

The fact of the matter is that the Republicans’ 20.2% salary increase is far more than the average annual salary increase that the citizens who will pay for this salary increase are getting; it is far more than the average annual appreciation in real estate values; and it's more than double the average cost of living increase that Trumbull senior citizens are getting in the Social Security checks. This is bad policy, and Trumbull Democrats, including Vicki, all voted against this 20.2% salary increase. Trumbull elected officials should not be getting better raises than the people that pay their salaries.

Tom Kelly
Chairman, Trumbull Democrats