Letter: Herbst thanks residents for confidence; opponent for service on Town Council

To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank the good people of Trumbull for their confidence and support this past Nov. 3. Trumbull politics have always been competitive and I want to take this opportunity to thank my opponent for her service to the Trumbull Town Council and also for running a strong campaign. As I said throughout the course of this campaign, elections are about the future. As I begin this new term with a renewed sense of focus and optimism towards implementing Trumbull 2025, I think we all learned something from this election. I know I certainly did. The people of Trumbull do not want our politics to resemble Washington or Hartford. They want all public servants to move the town forward and they want us to compromise on issues without compromising on our principles. They want disagreement that is rooted in issues rather than personalities. They want progress without prejudice. This will take a team effort and here is my commitment.

I will meet with all seven members of the Board of Education to emphasize that our kids and our schools are not Republican or Democrat. There needs to be unanimous consensus to find efficiencies in non-educated related areas so we can make the investment in the things that matter most.  I will have standing monthly meetings with the minority caucus on the Trumbull Town Council to discuss openly their legislative goals, priorities and concerns. Instead of talking at each other through social media, we will begin the process of talking to one another face to face. A tweet or a Facebook post should never replace looking someone in the eye and shaking their hand. As I have done in the past, I will ask Democrats for recommendations of candidates to serve on various boards and commissions. I will support the election of Democratic chairs to certain commissions next month to demonstrate this good faith effort. Bipartisanship needs to be tri-partisanship and I will continue my practice of recruiting unaffiliated voters to serve on town boards and commissions. This is my commitment.

I cannot do it alone and I am asking my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to demonstrate good faith. During the campaign, my opponent repeatedly stated that the town was not investing enough money in public education. This was said at the same time promises were made to reduce spending and taxes. This is where the rubber meets the road. As we approach budget deliberations, I am asking my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to develop an alternate budget that achieves the platform they ran on. If you believe there are ways to provide more funding for education while reducing the overall budget and our taxes, I welcome specific proposals from your team as to how this can be achieved. When we meet, I’ll be asking you to develop a legislative agenda and specific proposals. While we won’t always agree, we have to know the substance of an issue. We cannot oppose something based upon the party or individual that is proposing it. We need to know where we each stand so there is a baseline for dialogue. For much of the last two years, a lot was opposed with little offered as an alternative.  In this new term I am asking my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to offer realistic alternatives and priorities. Civility goes both ways. I’ve made my commitment to the Town of Trumbull and I am asking my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to do the same.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
Timothy M. Herbst,
Trumbull First Selectman