‘There is always more we can do’

For her first State of the Town speech (full text here), First Selectman Vicki Tesoro went back to the beginning, calling the decision she and her husband made to move to Trumbull and raise a young family “one of the best decisions we ever made together.”

Twenty-seven years later, Tesoro said, she still loves Trumbull.

“We have a lot to be proud of but there is always more work we can do,” she said.

Tesoro’s speech touched on multiple topics, including the town’s pension fund, public safety, response to the string of nor’easters, and the 2018-19 town budget.

But the bulk of her comments centered on economic development, the proposed community center and building a sense of community in town.

Tesoro cited the Henkel Corp., which recently invested $20 million to expand its Trefoil Drive facility, with the possibility of additional expansion in the future.

“I am proud of their confidence in our community, and I urge all Trumbull citizens to get to know the Henkel Corp. and the fine products they make,” she said. “When making buying decisions, we should remember those companies that have shown confidence in us.”

She also pledged to work closely with the Westfield Trumbull mall during its upcoming ownership transition.

“We must work together to get a positive result,” she said.

Upcoming development in Trumbull Center, Long Hill Green and Lindeman Drive is also crucial to Trumbull’s growth, and Tesoro solicited public input on those projects.

“I want your input and ideas,” she said. “My door is always open to you because I know that when we work together and communicate openly, your experience in Trumbull will be a positive and successful one.”

On the proposed community center, Tesoro said there had been several setbacks. The state froze a $2-million grant, and it is unlikely the town will ever receive the funds. The state also has rejected the proposal for a traffic light on Church Hill Road and Quality Street. Finally, the Building Committee concluded its work without providing operating cost estimates for the proposed building, saying that was beyond its scope.

“Before this project can proceed, we must have a financially sound estimate of annual operating costs,” Tesoro said.

Finally, Tesoro dedicated the conclusion of the address to the concept of community-building, citing the return of Trumbull Day and an annual egg hunt at Town Hall, and promising to re-establish other community events and establish new ones.

“Well-planned and executed community events are good for our citizens and good for our businesses,” she said.

She also continued the tradition established by former FIrst Selectman Tim Herbst of bestowing community service awards at the conclusion of the annual State of the Town. Herbst had established the award as the Clarence Heimann Award. Tesoro continued the tradition, but altered the name to honor all former Trumbull first selectmen. The awards went to John Vazzano and Mary Isaac.

Trumbull Republicans congratulated Tesoro on delivering her first State of the Town, offering mild criticism for neglecting to applaud the work of the Herbst administration over the past eight years. Full text of response here.

“Due to the Republican-led administration’s fiscally responsible leadership, upon taking office Mrs. Tesoro inherited a Trumbull that was on solid financial footing,” said Republican Chairman Matt Caron. “Additionally, during the last eight years, the town has flourished with world-class schools, commercial investments in our community and stable taxes.”

Caron said the GOP appreciated Tesoro’s open-door policy and looked forward to working together with the town’s Democratic leadership.

“We all want to see Trumbull continue the progress made over the past eight years and continue to be a community of choice for generations to come,” he said.