Letter: Democrats hope voters have a poor memory

To the Editor:

After reading the article in last Sunday’s CT Post, “Democrats Take Aim at Herbst,” it was hard to believe the rhetoric billowing out from DTC Chair Tom Kelly and Town Council Minority Leader Vicki Tesoro, when they said that in this election year, the Democrats will be more fiscally conservative than First Selectman Tim Herbst. Trumbull Democrats are truly hoping that Trumbull voters have poor memories.

In 2009, Mr. Kelly was elected to the Board of Education as a Republican. He then switched his party affiliation four times in five years, eventually becoming a Democrat and the party chairman. During his four years on the Board of Education, Mr. Kelly supported budget increases in excess of 20%. He actually left the Republican Party in Mr. Herbst’s first term because he felt the administration wasn’t spending enough money. This should underscore the fact that the local Democratic Party has been hijacked by a group of angry malcontents and sycophants. The proof of that is their inability to find a candidate to run for First Selectman and their inability to articulate a positive message of how to move Trumbull forward.

Previous Democratic administrations had raised taxes 54% in the eight years with an average tax increase of 6%; Trumbull voters deserved better and Mr. Herbst was elected in 2009. As the economy tanked, Trumbull Democrats proposed an 11.6% tax increase. Since taking office, Mr. Herbst has held the average annual tax increase to 2% per year, one of the lowest six year averages in Fairfield County. Mr. Herbst has provided more money for public education, public safety and our infrastructure. And the Town’s pension obligations are now fully funded. It is no coincidence that S&P upgraded Trumbull's credit rating last year. In their analysis, they specifically cited the strong fiscal management of the Herbst administration. These are facts Trumbull Democrats ignore.

The proof of Mr. Herbst's leadership is in the results. The commercial grand list has grown by 7% since he took office. Taxes are stable. Trumbull’s school system is nationally recognized. Commercial development and redevelopment is happening all over Town. We have been ranked by Family Circle Magazine as the 7th best Town in the nation to raise a family. Ranked by Coldwell Banker as the Number 1 booming community in Connecticut and just recently ranked as the second safest community in Connecticut.

Over the next few months, the personal disdain for First Selectman Herbst will become more apparent to Trumbull voters because the negative and relentless attacks from Trumbull Democrats have already started. Trumbull voters deserved better than the stratospheric tax increases of the past. I am confident the informed and intelligent voters of Trumbull will realize they are better off now than they were in the past and will reward Mr. Herbst and the Republican team with victory at the polls in November.

Jack Testani