Time to increase minority representation

To the editor:

While many are happy with the Democrats’ sweeping victory on Election Day, many are not happy with the idea of a one-party rule. After all, this is something Trumbull has been through before and residents found it difficult being “silenced.” I’d like to take a moment to describe why this is such an important part of going back to seven voting districts.

In Trumbull, we have a rule that no board can be made up of entirely the same party. As an example, this election day Elaine Hammers (R) received fewer votes than Vinny Degennaro (D) for the Board of Finance. However, Mrs. Hammers won the seat because it is required to have a certain amount of representation from each party. Good rules to have for a balanced government.

But here’s where our number of voting districts plays a part. If we have 7 districts, the minority party is guaranteed seven seats on the Town Council (one per district). However, when Tim Herbst was in office, he and Republican Registrar of Voters Bill Holden, fought for (and got) 4 districts, where the minority party is only guaranteed four seats.

Why the change? We can only speculate. But I believe Tim’s goal was to silence the minority party - which was the Democrats at the time. And if that was his goal - it has clearly backfired spectacularly, with a Town Council now made up of 16 Democrats to 5 Republicans.

I hope the Republican Town Council candidates realize that if Tim and Bill had not moved to four districts, they could have won three additional seats. I am very relieved that Vicki has already announced she is going to move forward with moving back to 7 districts, even though it would lessen her party’s representation on the Town Council. This is smart and balanced government.

Regina Haley

Trumbull Citizens for 7 Districts