Tesoro wants charter changes

Vicki Tesoro
Vicki Tesoro

Paperwork and process is not a typical campaign focus, but Vicki Tesoro called such items an important part of strengthening the town in announcing a series of campaign promises ranging from charter revision to smartphone apps.

“For the last eight years, we’ve seen a steady decline in debate, in inclusiveness and in a commitment to proper processes,” Tesoro said. “Focusing on the rules may not sound exciting, but we’ve seen a repeated willingness to ignore the perspectives of those who disagree with the current administration.”

Tesoro gave two examples of what she called the public’s voice being silenced: The petition to return to seven equal voting districts that garnered over 2,000 signatures, and a November referendum on the combined community and senior center.

“The Charter calls for a referendum on town projects over $15 million,” Tesoro said. “No more taxpayer money should be spent on this project until the voices of the people have been heard.”

Tesoro recently called for a series of reforms, including revisions to the Town Charter that would return the Board of Education to a non-partisan board, and prohibitions on the Town Council voting on a matter on the same day it holds a public hearing.

If elected, Tesoro said she would seek charter revision to return the Board of Education to a six-member panel with staggered four-year terms and no party holding more than three seats.

Other charter revisions she said she supported include a requirement that all costs, including land acquisition and municipal improvements, of a project for referendum be included in the calculation toward the $15 million threshold. She also supported a requirement that many town legal services be selected via competitive bid.

Tesoro also would seek to reform the way the Town Council operates by prohibiting votes on the same day as a public hearing on an issue, and mandating that council members receive all relevant materials for a vote seven days prior to a vote.

Finally, Tesoro promised to create a town app and make it available free to residents.

“This will keep residents informed, allow town meetings to be streamed live and post-event, and allow for residents to interact virtually with all town departments,” she said.

“All these and more will immediately change the character of our town government and return Trumbull to the collaborative political process that served it so well in the past,” Tesoro said.