Letter: Democrats start new year with adversarial position, tone
To the Editor:
Last week, I was disappointed to read the letter that was signed by the minority caucus in The Trumbull Times.
I was disappointed on several levels.
First, I was disappointed by the many distortions. I was most disappointed in the overtly partisan tone. By virtue of their rhetoric, they have chosen to begin the legislative session from an adversarial position, rather than offering a constructive or positive vision of where they will lead the Town.
In years past, the minority party, whether they be Republican or Democrat, offered a legislative agenda. You go into the process knowing that some initiatives might succeed, others might not, but the people that you serve deserve to see your priorities and what you hope to accomplish.
On Dec. 7, when we took the oath of office, I asked my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to offer a legislative agenda as well as an alternate budget, similar to what the minority party does at other levels of government. I did this because I wanted to see where we could find common ground.
To date, this has not been done.
On Nov. 23, I asked the Minority Leader to provide us with a date and time of when she could meet to discuss nominations for boards and commissions and to date I have not received any dates or times. A call from my administrative assistant went unreturned, only to have a condescending email sent in its place. We have also asked that prospective nominees fill out the necessary paperwork for purposes of nomination.
This has yet to be completed.
If this is how my colleagues define civility I dread to see how they define disagreement. Perhaps most disturbing was this statement from last week, when the minority party said, “it is our job to represent the 5,500 people who did not vote for the current administration.”
It is your job, my job, our job to represent all of the 36,000 people who live in the Town of Trumbull. I found this statement to be offensive.
It is very easy in an election campaign to hide behind rhetoric. You can run on a platform of “spending smarter,” but when elections are over, you need to tell people how you will accomplish your goals. During the campaign, my opponents said they would do the following: provide eight million additional dollars to public education, while at the same time cutting taxes, cutting the mil rate and reducing sewer use fees. Now, you have an obligation to tell the taxpayers how you will fund your plan for additional spending without raising taxes. I will propose a budget and a legislative agenda that continues to reduce the employee headcount and our debt burden, while at the same time fully funding our pension obligations and dedicating more money to education and public safety. This will be done while keeping the tax rate stable and predictable. I welcome a proposal from your caucus achieving the same.
Timothy M. Herbst
Town of Trumbull