Letter: First selectman demonstrates bipartisanship through actions - not words

To the Editor:

The recent letter "Moving forward ... together" from my Republican colleagues, Mark Block and Matt Caron was a positive harbinger of what Trumbull voters can expect from their elected officials. From a contentious and very personal general election, First Selectman Herbst and the Republican administration have extended many olive branches to our Democrat counterparts.

On Nov. 23rd, the First Selectman reached out to the Town Council Minority Leader to discuss nominations of candidates for Town boards. Unlike Trumbull Democrats, the first selectman demonstrates bipartisanship through actions and not words. He openly supported the election of Democrat Roger McGovern as Chairman of the Police Commission.

The First Selectman has also demonstrated by his appointments that he doesn't care if a person is a Democrat or a Republican, so long as they are able to do their job and help him manage the Town effectively. His appointments of John Marsilio as Director of Public Works and Jim Haselkamp as Director of Labor Relations prove a willingness to reach across the aisle if it means hiring the best and the brightest. Both men are registered Democrats and worked in the administrations of Democratic chief elected officials in other CT municipalities. This didn't matter to the first selectman and their job performance has saved Trumbull taxpayers millions of dollars, through consolidations and efficiencies.

First Selectman Herbst kept and will continue to keep his plan of fiscal responsibility through moderate and predictable taxes. Education continues to be a priority for the Herbst administration. The First Selectman has indicated that additional advanced placement courses at THS, better SAT preparation and reduction of pay to participate remain very high priorities on his list. While many try to tear our school system down for political benefit, the quality of our district and the improvement of our test scores in many areas proves that we are moving in the right direction. Economic development in Trumbull has been thriving. As General Electric is leaving Connecticut because of the destructive policies of Dan Malloy and majority Democrats in Hartford, our First Selectman and his team have grown our economy each year for the last six years, with new development in every corner of our community and 800 jobs added to Trumbull's economy.

It is unfortunate that partisan politics and the negativity from Trumbull Democrats have established a preview for the election that will occur in two years. Instead of working to establish sound government, the gauntlet thrown down by Town Treasurer Anthony Musto has set the bar low. True to form, Trumbull Democrats excel at telling you what they stand against, because they cannot tell you what they stand for — an indication of how Trumbull is moving in the right direction.

Trumbull voters deserve better than the pejorative tones from Trumbull Democrats. The election this past November proved that the Herbst administration record of fiscal restraint and sound economic development and the emphasis on education priorities deserved another 2 years of governance and this is further amplified by the fact that Republicans have retained super majorities on the Town Council and Board of Education, while also taking a 4-2 majority on the Board of Finance.

During the campaign, Mr. Herbst's opponent said she would work to change the tone of Trumbull's politics. It is my hope that she'll be true to her word and have a pep talk with her team. It is my hope the political rancor espoused by the other party take into consideration the wishes of Trumbull voters.

Jack Testani

Town Council Representative, District 1