Letter: Town Council minority advocates for additional Trumbull Community Center studies

To the Editor:

The June 6 Town Council (TC) meeting began with the nearly unanimous appointments of citizens to various Boards and Commissions.

The TC also voted unanimously on a grant from the State Department of Revenue Services for the Neighborhood Assistance Act program. The grant allows tax exempt organizations that provide specialized programs and services, such as the Kennedy Center, to receive funding in the form of tax credits. There was also approval for a temporary construction easement to the State of Connecticut for Veteran’s Memorial Park on White Plains Road. The purpose of this easement is to allow for the construction of a portion of the Rails to Trails linear park that eventually will extend to Quarry Road.

The biggest item on the agenda pertained to the status of the new Senior Center/Community Center project. A consistent and recurring theme was that the public continues to feel as though they have not been heard throughout the process. The First Selectman talked at length, yet stopped short of honoring the suggestion that the public be comprehensively surveyed by an outside, independent organization.

We strongly advocate that any potential project with major financial implications be studied further.

We support the idea of exploring a center for the whole community and believe that the existing Senior Center’s interior could be improved in a variety of ways to make it more accessible and inviting if that’s what the majority of citizens choose. The town has a poor history of including the public in major capital improvement or expansion decisions and we fear history may be repeating itself. For example, the process followed thus far has alienated rather than rallied the community. As a result, we motioned to keep the name “study” in the renaming of the committee versus just a “building.” The motioned passed with bipartisan support.

A related item on the agenda was to choose between two qualified candidates to fill a remaining spot on the study and building committee. We appreciate that members of the Council were willing to overlook party affiliation in voting for Cindy Katske, a consistently dedicated community member. We congratulate Mr. David Preusch on his appointment to this committee.

Please stay tuned as we will continue to advocate for community involvement in the Trumbull Community Center project as much as possible. The Council typically meets on the first Monday of the month and allows for public comment at the beginning of the meeting. Please do not hesitate to contact us via at towncouncil@trumbull-ct.gov
Dawn Cantafio, D-1
Bill Mecca, D-1
Mary Beth Thornton, D-2
Thomas Whitmoyer, D-2
Lisa Valenti, D-3
Jason Marsh, D-4