The Town Council will vote on next year’s $160.5-million proposed budget Thursday night.

Few changes were recommended by the Town Council’s Finance Committee late last month. The budget represents a 2.24% increase over the current year.

The budget reduces the Board of Education’s request by about $573,000. The budget includes funding the Trumbull Youth Association budget, which was initially removed in First Selectman Tim Herbst’s proposal.

One area of the budget that has drawn criticism by some is the creation of the director of parks and recreation position.
In his State of the Town address last week, Herbst defended the new position, saying it was necessary to make the department self-sustaining and offer more to residents.

“Political posturing in an election year will not prevent us from doing what needs to be done,” he said.

The town has posted the $91,000-a-year position and was interviewing candidates this week, according to Herbst.

Pam Georgas of the Trumbull Nature & Arts Center (TNAC) is one critic of the new position. She sent a letter to the Town Council explaining her position and criticizing comparisons that have been made to Greenwich and Westport.

“We cannot afford extra layers of municipal management like Westport and Greenwich,” Georgas wrote. “I saw the charts provided by the FS [first selectman] showing program cost comparisons to other towns. Trumbull residents will most likely NOT pay higher fees for municipal programming. This is evident by reviewing past registration patterns.”

Georgas said she has had similar experience with organizing TNAC programs.

“In my opinion, government should NOT be in the business of running hi-end ‘Sports & Entertainment’ programming,” Georgas said. “We have plenty of local non-profit and local businesses that offer these programs for people who seek them. Why would we want our government to compete with local nonprofits and businesses? Let local businesses and nonprofits grow the economy by providing services and hiring local folks.”

The Town Council will meet Thursday at 8 p.m. at Town Hall to vote on the budget.

Coverage of the meeting will be posted first at TrumbullTimes.com.