Letter: Democrats have a message and a great legacy

To the Editor:

Mark Smith, a Republican former member of the Board of Finance, wrote a commentary on the recent election where he argued that Trumbull Democrats are in disarray.

I’d like to respond. Now, it’s true that during a campaign the air is full of speeches — and vice versa. But the campaign is over so let me briefly offer Mark Smith a lesson in how to appropriately respond to an election outcome: Congratulations to Tim Herbst and his Republican team for their election victory.

Mark Smith says Trumbull Democrats have no message, but he’s wrong. We have a terrific message and a great legacy. We just haven’t done a good job lately in communicating it. Going forward, we’re going to make sure the town understands our message clearly.

• We support fiscal responsible fiscal stewardship and that legacy goes back decades. Trumbull Democrats count Dave Wilson, Paul Timpanelli and Jim Butler among the most popular and effective leaders in this town’s history. Paul Timpanelli reduced taxes twice. Wilson had a trusted record of fiscal responsibility and was elected five times. It’s time to reassert our decades-long legacy of fiscal prudence and not be defined by the politically convenient rhetoric of Tim Herbst, who can’t seem to let go of the Baldwin Administration, even as the years go by.

• Trumbull’s municipal government under the leadership of Democrats has touched every citizen in countless positive ways, large and small. We proudly stand for progressive improvement of the town, while always preserving our heritage and character. From advances in law enforcement, to parks, recreation programs, public works, senior services, economic development and more, the contributions of Trumbull Democrats is clear. We’ve consistently enhanced our town, in sometimes visionary ways.

• We have always been the party of planning and ideas. In decades of holding town offices, our schools were dramatically improved. It was Democrats who first called for the current update of the Plan of Conservation and Development. We suggested a Riverwalk in Trumbull Center. We called for an overall approach to development on Route 25 and Route 111. We support regional cooperation, not trashing our neighbors. Trumbull Democrats support great municipal planning and policy, not petty politics.

• Trumbull Democrats support collegiality. In one sense, we agree with Mark Smith. We support the respectful exchange of ideas. We are willing to work with our Republican neighbors to execute initiatives that are good for Trumbull. We’re not going to trash our opponents. We are not going to mock community volunteers in campaign flyers. We will not engage in vendettas and constant drama against political opponents and neighboring communities.

We Democrats believe that Trumbull wants responsible municipal management, progress-oriented leadership, innovative ideas and politicians who can reflect the best characteristics of the town. Democrats believe neighborliness is one of those characteristics. We congratulate Mr. Herbst and look forward to both working with him and debating when necessary to ensure that Trumbull’s best moments are those we build together, starting now.

Tony Silber