Letter — Trumbull Republicans missed an opportunity

To the editor:

I write this as only one member of the Trumbull Town Council. I do not speak for any political party, the Democratic Caucus, or the administration under which I serve. My vote is my own, and no one has ever told me how to vote on any issue.

I must express my disappointment, however, with my Republican council colleagues’ attempt to blame the administration for my or any other council member’s vote on the nomination of Mr. Scott Zimov to the Board of Finance.

First and foremost, my own vote had nothing to do with politics. My vote not to support Mr. Zimov reflected a fundamental difference of opinion regarding Mr. Zimov’s previous actions and positions taken while he was a member of the Board of Finance. Others may disagree, but I truly believe that I voted in the best interest of my town.

To characterize it as a vote influenced by the current administration is patently false and personally insulting. In fact, no one in the administration has ever spoken to me about how I might vote on this issue. Again, my vote is my own, and I stand by it.

Second, there is simply more to the story here than most people know. My Republican colleagues have characterized this event as “well you did it first, so now I get to do it.” Setting aside the fact that this seems to admit previous political chicanery by themselves in the past, this mischaracterization is simply not the case.

In fact, the Republican caucus knew well in advance of the meeting that Mr. Zimov’s nomination would likely not have the votes to succeed. This courtesy allowed them to pull the nomination and not put him in an awkward position - a courtesy not afforded the Democratic caucus in previous years.

Instead, they chose to put the nomination forward regardless of likely defeat in order to make it a political issue. They even went so far as to ask for a roll call vote so that they might embarrass council members who might vote against the nomination. For this council member at least, that didn’t work.

If we are truly going to get past the petty bickering and vitriol of the past, we need to approach these issues with only one thing in mind, and that is the best interests of Trumbull. The best interests of Trumbull are served when people can express disagreements and come to consensus without political games. By reaching out to the Republican caucus ahead of time, that opportunity was ripe for the taking. There will be more chances to prove that actions actually do speak louder than words. Let us all hope we don’t miss any more of them.

Kevin Shively (D-2nd)

Trumbull Town Council