Letter — Herbst not ready for big game

To the Editor:

The state of our state is far too important for me to sit back and say nothing. That is why I got involved 10 years ago. People in Trumbull were being pushed out by the cost of living here, in combination with the recession that was just starting to take hold. It was painful to watch and it was painful to stand on the sidelines. And, although it might have been easier to do so, I don’t do easy.

Connecticut is circling the drain. I refuse to sit by while someone gets elevated to a position of authority they are not qualified for simply because “It’s their turn.” If Connecticut was thriving and we were hitting our stride, I might be able to let it go, but we are nowhere near that. We won’t be for a long time and we certainly won’t be with a small-town first selectman whose record is just worthy of a small town. Numbers do not lie.

  • Raised taxes six of eight years;

  • Top five highest mill rates in Fairfield County;

  • Highest office vacancy rates in Fairfield County;

  • Highest sewer user rates in all of Connecticut;

  • Overpaid for four properties for a community center;

  • Spent $400k on a community center study;

  • Tried to ram through an $18 million community center no one wanted;

  • Unilaterally extended 4 employee contracts days before the election;

  • Endorsed a 20% salary increase for First Selectman, bypassing the Board of Finance;

  • Commercial tax abatements.


The similarities to Malloy are glaring.

I am a former alternate member of the Board of Finance, appointed by First Selectman Herbst, and a former elected member of the Town Council who ran on his ticket. I've worked with Herbst on town issues as a board and commission member and, at one time, was a friend to him. I can say unequivocally that he is not prepared to run a $20 billion-plus enterprise called the State of Connecticut. He does not have the vision or the emotional maturity to lead 3.5 million people to prosperity.

From his dictatorial management style, to questionable financial decisions and land deals. His temper when it comes to criticism from friend and foe. And his vindictive moral, ethical and questionable legal tactics when it comes to contacting employers of dissidents, otherwise known as the bully factor, does not make me feel comfortable giving him that level of authority.

I’m tired of holding my nose and voting for someone just because they have an “R” after their name. I have four other, qualified Republican options this primary season and I will pick one with the skills and temperament to do what needs to be done in Hartford - Someone who won’t turn the capitol into a warzone every time he doesn’t get his way or someone challenges him. A grown up, that believes Connecticut and its future is more important than he is.

Not because it is politically expedient but because it’s right.

Cindy Penkoff