To the Editor:

In 2008, I attended a budget hearing at Madison Middle School when 800 residents came out to express their anger with the Town’s proposed budget. My predecessor had proposed an 11.6% tax increase just as the Great Recession hit Trumbull, our state and our nation so hard. At that moment, I knew Trumbull was in need of desperate change and that is when I decided to run for First Selectman.

Trumbull is better off now than it was five years ago:

• We stabilized property taxes and actually reduced them for the first time in 30 years;

• The Town’s pension fund has improved and recently the Town’s credit rating was upgraded;

• For each of the last four years we have seen new economic development come to Trumbull and our tax base has shown consistent, positive growth;

• Our school system is earning state and national recognition;

In 2013, Coldwell Banker ranked Trumbull the No. 1 Booming Community in all of Connecticut and in 2011 Trumbull was ranked the 7th best town in the nation to raise a family by Family Circle Magazine. If you agree with me that Trumbull is heading in the right direction, then I hope you will agree with me that we cannot afford to turn back the clock.

On July 22, there will be a special election for the Trumbull Board of Finance. The choice is very clear. I am proud to endorse and support Bill Haberlin for the Trumbull Board of Finance. Bill is a dedicated community volunteer, small business owner, father and grandfather. He understands that to be a good Board of Finance member means providing appropriate balance. Balance is superior town services with a modest and stable tax rate.

Since taking office, Bill voted for a budget that maintained and improved upon our outstanding school system, where we have maintained low class size while eliminating portable classrooms. This year’s budget also builds upon meaningful investments in technology.

The budget adopted by Bill and the Board of Finance this year maintains an aggressive senior citizen tax relief program. Our police force is now fully staffed and our Town pension fund is being funded at annual levels recommended by the financial rating agencies. We have been able address these priorities over the course of the last five years while maintaining an average tax increase of just 2% — below inflation.

I can remember the Trumbull of five years ago, when we had tax increases that averaged 6% a year. I can remember not too long ago when Trumbull’s debt more than doubled in a four year period. I can also remember when businesses were running away from Trumbull because of the out of control spending, taxing and borrowing. Trumbull cannot afford to go back to the old way of doing things.

Join me in supporting Bill Haberlin for the Trumbull Board of Finance on Tuesday, July 22. This election is about protecting your wallets and Bill is the man to get the job done.

Timothy M. Herbst

First Selectman