Letter: Unintended consequences from new ordinance

To the Editor:

I see that there is a new ordinance that concerns town employees and officials providing paid additional services to the town. Shouldn’t we be encouraging as many people as possible to volunteer for public service as either elected or appointed officials? Shouldn’t we be encouraging our town employees to also live in Trumbull? Shouldn’t we be trying to buy as many goods and services from businesses owned and located in Trumbull as possible? The obvious to all of these questions should be – yes. Then why do we need this new ordinance, passed on Oct. 5, 2015 by the Town Council at the behest of First Selectman Tim Herbst, which is obviously working in the opposite direction?

One answer that makes some sense is to prevent conflicts of interest or even the appearance of corruption in decisions on town contracting. The Town Charter addresses this and requires full disclosure. If the lowest cost for a necessary contract for the town can be provided by a Trumbull business owned by someone with a spouse who serves Trumbull as a public official, is this administration really planning to force the town to pay more money for the contract and give the business to someone not connected to Trumbull?

Republicans are supposed to be in favor of lower costs, free enterprise and transparency. Why then is this administration doing this? Unfortunately, one answer seems to be to eliminate what they consider a conflict of interest with TYA and the women known as the Mamas. Our first selectman failed to eliminate the program last year and seems intent on finding another route. This is the latest attack on TYA and the arts in general in Trumbull. By forcing TYA to choose another, higher priced option for costumes the costs will have to be covered by raising ticket prices or raising the participation fees substantially. Less kids will be able to get involved and take advantage of this incredible learning experience. Less people will see the advantages of this amazing program. The implications of this new ordinance are more far reaching than on just this program and the ramifications will be felt far and wide here in Trumbull.

Please consider this and vote on Nov. 3rd.
 Jill Clark