Letter: A vision of continued progress

To the Editor:

Two years ago, I was approached by our first selectman to run on his ticket for the Trumbull Town Council. While I had been a town attorney for another municipality and provided legal services to many other municipalities, I had never run for office before. I decided to run for the Trumbull Town Council because I believed in what our first selectman and the other elected and appointed Republican officials were doing to move Trumbull forward in a positive direction.

Despite the challenging economic conditions in our state and country, Trumbull’s fiscal condition has improved over the past four years. The average annual tax increase under the Herbst administration has been 1.88% — below the current level of inflation. Last year, the average Trumbull homeowner experienced a residential real property tax reduction of 3.5%. Contrary to the claims in last week’s Trumbull Times, the town’s employee headcount is less than it was four years ago. The Herbst administration has also negotiated multiple employee labor agreements that have resulted in a reduction of the number of town employees who will receive a town pension. Our stable tax rate, coupled with the Herbst administration’s efforts to deal with our pension funding problems, is a major reason why the bond rating agencies not only maintained our bond rating, but upgraded our management assessment from “stable” to “good.” The evaluations of the town’s fiscal health by independent rating agencies certainly carry more weight than partisan banter two months before an election.

Our school system is stronger, with additional technology in the classroom, full-day kindergarten being realized and additional security measures being implemented at our schools. Roads are getting paved and the Town’s Grand List has shown positive growth the last three years. The riverwalk concept mentioned in last week’s Trumbull Times was actually an idea of Ken Martin Sr., who is running on Mr. Herbst’s ticket for the Town Council in District 2. The Herbst administration has worked with regional and state agencies to secure $1 million in grant funding to implement the riverwalk. Our EMS services have been reformed to better protect the residents of Trumbull and our Police Department has the resources they require.

This year, I decided to run for the Trumbull Board of Education because I believe there is much we can do to reduce expenses in non-education related areas, without compromising student and teacher needs. I very much appreciate the opportunity and privilege of serving the Town. I look forward to discussing a positive vision of continued progress for a wonderful town.

Jeffrey Donofrio