Editorial: Election Day 2013

If you are looking for endorsements, you won’t find it here. We won’t tell you how you should vote, though we can’t stress enough how important it is that you do go to the polls Nov. 5. The persons elected will make decisions that have an immediate bearing on your everyday life. Each of these offices, from first selectman to Zoning Board of Appeals, is important. We hope we have done our job in letting you know who the candidates are and where many of them stand on some of the most pressing issues.

When it comes to the race for Trumbull’s top office, you will choose between two candidates who we believe care about their hometown and want to make it better. First Selectman Timothy Herbst is a dynamic and gifted politician and one of the hardest working. Martha Jankovic-Mark is an intelligent and thoughtful Town Council member, who has devoted countless hours to the town.

Jankovic-Mark has been criticized for her abstentions and ‘no’ votes on certain issues in the past, but we do appreciate her effort to make sure she fully understands an issue, and ensures that proper processes are followed, before she casts her council vote. That’s a good trait in any elected official. Jankovic-Mark has struggled a bit to get her message across in recent debates, but that doesn’t mean her ideas aren’t viable and potentially valuable.

Herbst has made and supported concrete improvements to the town, from emergency management and public safety to supporting full-day kindergarten. However, his focus sometimes lingers too long on political opponents. As a town leader he acts decisively, though occasionally divisively.

Both candidates, like all of us, have room for improvement. We hope no matter who is elected that Herbst and Jankovic-Mark will remain involved in town government. Despite their spirited exchanges and marked differences in opinion, they can both be part of a better Trumbull.

No matter who is elected to each office, commission and board, we hope they look at moving the town forward by working with those of both political parties. The best municipal leaders we’ve seen in action manage to face challenges with a mixture of grit, grace and a sense of humor. Trumbull politics has a history of getting ugly, which is a good thing in that it means those involved really care — but most often that ugliness is a waste of time. Still, each elected official is putting themselves out there, open to scrutiny, donating countless hours. They all deserve respect and thanks for that. All the candidates, win or lose, also deserve thanks for taking the leap into this public arena.

We’ll say it one last time, for good measure: Get out and vote!