Former Town Council member and 2015 Democratic candidate for first selectman Vicki Tesoro will replace Tom Kelly on the Board of Finance. First Selectman Tim Hersbt, Tesoro and Kelly confirmed this the appointment this week. Kelly resigned his seat over time constraints brought on by an illness in his family.

Tesoro took to the Facebook page Keep Trumbull Real to thank Herbst for appointing her to fill the vacancy.

“I’m honored by this appointment and I will continue to passionately represent the interests of all of our town residents as I did when I served on the Town Council,” she wrote.

The appointment ends speculation that Herbst would use Kelly’s resignation to shift the balance of power on the finance board. Republicans had a 4-2 majority on the board before Kelly’s resignation. There are no Democrats among the three alternate members, meaning a delay in naming a replacement would have left Andrew Palo as the lone Democrat on the board. Democrats had said they were willing to call for a special election to fill the vacancy if Herbst delayed in naming a replacement. That now will not be necessary.

“It’s their seat and she is their choice to fill it,” Herbst said Monday. “There is no need to go through the expense of a special election to fill a vacancy on a board we control 4-2.”

Herbst said he was happy at the prospect of having his opponent from the 2015 election on the board.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to debate the issues,” he said.

Kelly also thanked Herbst, and expressed satisfaction at avoiding a special election.

“I'm quite sure that Vicki will put all of her focus and energy into the Board of Finance,” he wrote. “This is a win for Trumbull.”

In addition to holding elected office on the Town Council, where she was a member of the Finance Committee, Tesoro was involved in school budgeting for 20 years as a PTA liaison. She also has a masters degree in Taxation from Pace University and has spent much of her professional career preparing income tax returns.

Tesoro said she hoped to be able to offer an alternate opinion during the annual budget discussions on the board.

“I’m passionate about this town, and there is still a lot to be done,” she said. “It’s a great town, but we can always do better.