COMMENTARY: Rowe thanks residents for their trust

I want to take a moment and sincerely thank Trumbull's citizens for the honor of allowing me to represent them in the legislature these past 14 years. As I conclude my service as State Representative on January 9, and look forward to being sworn in this February as Probate Judge for Trumbull, Easton & Monroe, I have been reflecting on my time in office. The job was both challenging and rewarding, and there certainly was no shortage of issues and problems to tackle throughout those years. I am proud to have consistently opposed dozens and dozens of tax increases, and fought to curb our state's healthy appetite to spend. Not all of my efforts were successful, but knowing that I had the support of a great community like Trumbull behind me made the job easier, and gave me confidence.

When I first took office, perhaps the biggest local issue was how the state's so-called affordable housing law was impacting our community. High density developments that provided little to no affordable housing and which were out of character for Trumbull's plan of development were seriously changing our town. We were able to build on the work of my predecessor, Elaine Hammers, and through the help of then-First Selectman Ken Halaby, and dozens of Trumbullites who traveled to Hartford to testify about the law, we were able to both amend the law to improve it, while also getting Trumbull a broad moratorium (the only moratorium in the state, and still in effect) on most developments built under the law thereafter.

More recently, there was a fuel cell power plant that was suddenly proposed and slated for quick approval in the middle of Nichols. Within days, an entire community had mobilized against the plan, and after a tough fight and often tense negotiations with the company, a legislative agreement was made. With the help of colleagues Representative Tony Hwang in the House, Senator Anthony Musto in the Senate, and an army of Trumbull residents, the agreement turned into a bill the Governor signed in to law. I remember driving home @ around 1 am the morning after the agreement had been reached, and quickly beeping my horn in victory as I passed Anne & Michael Berte's house (I had told Anne of the good news earlier, and she said I could!).

Throughout the years, there were many constituents with issues, both simple and complicated, which I was so very pleased to help as best I could. No doubt I did not please everyone all the time, but I can say that I worked hard and with integrity, and did my level best.

I was honored to serve under four different First Selectmen, David Wilson, Ken Halaby, Ray Baldwin and Tim Herbst. All these men have a love of our town, and strived to make it a better place. In addition to Representative Hwang and Senator Musto, I also represented Trumbull alongside Senators Lee Scarpetti and Bill Finch, and Representatives Jack Stone & Tom Christiano. Although certainly disagreements on policy existed, each of these public servants worked diligently for our community. Of course, the love and support of my wife Michelle, and our children, who put up with the countless late nights/early mornings the job requires, was most important of all.

Again, thank you to the great citizens of Trumbull. You have honored me with your trust.