Herbst: I will not allow Trumbull to be for sale

Michael Herbst

Michael Herbst


As I campaign door to door throughout Trumbull, the single greatest issue that residents raise with me is their concern with numerous radical zone changes. Since September of 2018, applications for zone changes and special permits have resulted in nearly 1,000 apartments being proposed and approved. In responding to this concern, the current first selectman does two things: she blames the prior administration, or she deflects blame to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

On September 20, 2018, 330 apartments were approved in one night - 130 apartments on Oakview Drive and 200 apartments on Reservoir Avenue. A week later, a zone change was approved for the Trumbull Mall that will now facilitates the construction of 260 apartments. Another 590 units were approved within seven days, nearly a year into Mrs. Tesoro’s term. In January of 2019, another zone change allowing for 350 apartments was approved on Monroe Turnpike. In each of these instances, valuable commercial and industrial property was rezoned to allow for residential apartment development. Don’t take my word for it, look at the meeting minutes of the Planning and Zoning Commission on the Town of Trumbull website.

The current first selectman developed a townwide moratorium on apartments without the involvement or input of the Planning and Zoning Commission. In addition, First Selectman Tesoro waited until all the apartment approvals were in place before she announced the “moratorium in name only” on apartment development. Mrs. Tesoro’s moratorium includes a carve-out provision for 610 apartments, including 260 units at the Trumbull Mall and 350 units on Monroe Turnpike. Coincidentally, this moratorium will expire after the election. This means developers will be back submitting applications for potentially more apartments.

While Mrs. Tesoro issued a public statement opposing the construction of 16 units on Huntington Turnpike, she sat silent as approximately 1,000 apartments were approved throughout town. Facts don’t lie. These projects happened on her watch. Furthermore, she has failed to “lead the way in preserving our town’s character by rigorously reviewing development of any kind that displaces single-family homes or disrupts neighborhoods.” These were her own words from 2017. In addition, Mrs. Tesoro has multiple members of her team who serve on land use boards. They are either active developers in Trumbull or who, on repeated occasion, have been accused of conflicts of interest, requiring recusal.

As a candidate for first selectman two years ago, Mrs. Tesoro made “frivolous legal fees” a campaign issue. Two years later, Trumbull residents now have had to reach into their own wallets to hire lawyers to protect their neighborhoods and property values. Does First Selectman Tesoro consider the legal challenges to unwanted development by these residents frivolous? Residents should not have to pay money to protect their homes and their neighborhoods.

As your first selectman, I will not allow Trumbull to be for sale. On Nov. 5, my exceptional team and I will bring strong integrity, sound judgment and will support responsible town development.