To the Editor:

At their first meeting of 2016, the Town Council had an agenda item to approve the new alternate to the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance alternate steps in as a voting member whenever a regular member is absent. Trumbull Democrats nominated Vicki Tesoro for this position.

We could not have nominated a more qualified candidate.

Vicki served on the Town Council for the past four years, and knows the budget very well. She ran for first selectman in November, ran a very spirited and clean campaign, and 5,499 (almost 49%) voted for her.

We nominated Vicki Tesoro for Board of Finance alternate for two reasons: first, she wanted to continue to contribute in a volunteer capacity to the town she loves; and, secondly, we were encouraged to do so by First Selectman Herbst, who told us that he would support her nomination with the Republican Town Council caucus.

After we put her nomination forward and her name appeared on the agenda, the Town Council Republicans approved another candidate who, to the best of our knowledge, has no experience in Trumbull town government.

Based on the events that transpired last Monday evening, Trumbull Democrats believe that the Town Council Republicans intentionally tried to embarrass Vicki Tesoro. We believe that the Republicans' actions were shameful and mean spirited.

They certainly are not consistent with the claims that Republicans want to bring civility back into Trumbull politics. There is nothing civil or decent about trying to embarrass a wonderful person and devoted town volunteer like Vicki Tesoro.

Making matters worse, the candidate whom the Republicans approved represented himself to be unaffiliated. Town Council Republican majority leader Enrico Costantini wrote a letter to the editor of the Trumbull Times claiming that the Town Council's approval was "non-partisan" citing that the candidate was not affiliated with either party.

Why would Costantini say that the new Board of Finance alternate is unaffiliated and neglect to mention that he went to Town Hall right after the Town Council meeting and changed his party affiliation to Republican? Why didn't he mention in his letter that Trumbull Republicans nominated this man last year to run on their slate for the Board of Education before he ultimately dropped out of the race?

We believe Trumbull voters are smarter than Mr. Constantini gives them credit for, and can see right through his partisan bluster.

Trumbull Democrats stand in unison behind Vicki Tesoro. She is one of the nicest people in this town, and has been a community volunteer for over 20 years. Her efforts for TPAUD and the incredible Underage Drinking Forum held each year at Trumbull High School speak to her commitment to this community, and it goes far beyond politics.

Our Trumbull Democratic Party will move forward and continue to work hard to bring about positive change in Trumbull so this type of petty partisan politics that has unfortunately characterized the past six years can be replaced by putting the best interests of the town first, always.
Tom Kelly

Chair, Trumbull Democrats