Letter — Important decisions by actual people made Trumbull what it is

Tony Silber

Tony Silber


To the editor:

Until the 1980s, there was a mean curve on Church Hill Road coming into Trumbull Center. The road jogged pretty hard to the left, reducing visibility at the intersection with Daniels Farm Road until the last minute as cars accelerated down the steep slope past the Helen Plumb Building.

Back then, I covered Trumbull zoning for the Bridgeport Post on my first job after college. I remember asking First Selectman Paul Timpanelli about a medical building proposed in Trumbull Center (it was knocked down this summer so a new CVS shopping center could be built).

Paul made a case for the development partly because Church Hill Road would be widened and straightened. Now it’s a much safer thoroughfare.

I thought about that recently. The point is, the Trumbull we now know—and take for granted—wasn’t always there. Actual people making smart decisions at critical junctures created the town we live in today.

Around that same time, I remember Ken Halaby taking me through the 1984 Plan of Conservation and Development. Ken was chairman of Planning and Zoning and later became a Republican first selectman from 1999 to 2001. Ken who reaffirmed our core principles of development for a new era. It was Ken who said the residential character of Main Street was not negotiable.

Ken’s ally was a P&Z Democrat, Dominic Arminio. Dominic was a school teacher. A stickler. A slow talker. He pushed for buffering, for setbacks, for clustering of commercial development. He never relented. Dominic died in 2006 but his influence lives on.

In the late 1980s, two first selectmen, Morag Vance, a Republican, and Dave Wilson, a Democrat, helped acquire the Pequonnock Valley and ensure that that vast section of our town will forever remain parkland.

More recently, in the mid 2000s, Planning and Zoning Chairman Tim Herbst dusted off Ken Halaby’s 20-year-old Plan of Conservation and Development. Tim said it’s time to update that plan. He later echoed my call for a POCD rewrite in 2014. These are to Tim’s credit.

Paul, Morag (our first female first selectman) Dave, Dominic, and Ken—and others—are Trumbull icons. Many current residents may never have heard of them. But Trumbull today is the product of their vision.

Now we call on the new generation of leaders to carry forward this legacy, and make good decisions for our community that will reverberate in the decades ahead.

Tony Silber, District 1

Democratic Town Committee