To the Editor:

My name is Lainie McHugh. I am running for a seat on the Board of Finance in the special election on July 22.

People ask why I am running. The answer is quite simple. Trumbull is my home. I am a married, mother of two children enrolled in Trumbull public schools, and a licensed physical therapist with Rehabilitation Associates for 20 years. My husband grew up here and we knew Trumbull was the right place to raise our family. We want to see Trumbull grow while maintaining its small community feel. My family is committed to Trumbull and I believe in giving back to help make Trumbull even better.

The current administration touts a record of fiscal conservatism. Yet, this July you will be receiving a nearly 3% increase in taxes. Personal property taxes have soared 27% and fees have risen dramatically, including a proposed fee for resident stickers to use town parks.

Worse, sewer use rates have increased 34%. There is no accountability for cost overruns and repairs to current WPCA projects. Parents are saddled with Connecticut’s second highest pay to participate fees for athletics, music and the arts. Fees, fines and fiscal gimmicks have become hallmarks of the hidden cost to live in Trumbull.

If elected, I will:

• Demand transparency from the WPCA including the immediate release of financial records and any professional audit reports. We pay among the highest sewer use fees in the State. We should understand where the money is going.

• Call for an immediate forensic audit of the North Nichols project as was promised by the First Selectman, but never done. Forensic audits should be done on every major project just like those done on the Jog Hill Sewer and the THS building projects.

• Advocate for lower sewer use fees and work to foster improved relationships with surrounding communities to find regional solutions.

• Support increasing senior tax relief for those who need it most.

• Fight for appropriate education funding so Trumbull Public Schools can move forward.

• Correctly prioritize spending and search out efficiencies wherever possible.

I will not:

• Vote to raid the General Fund (our Town Savings Account) to artificially lower tax rates for political purposes.

• Vote to take money from the Police Special Agency fund to artificially lower taxes when that money should be placed in the Police or Town Pension Funds to help alleviate funding shortfalls.

• Vote to bond for greenhouses we do not need, repairs to barns for which we have no use, nor bond operational expenses in order to hide our true spending increases.

I am not afraid to answer tough questions and ask for an opportunity to debate the issues with my opponent. The public deserves transparency in government and the right to choose those that govern them. I ask for your support.

Vote McHugh on July 22.

Lainie McHugh