To the Editor:
I just now (2015) read an amazing debate about whether taxpayers should be informed of where their tax dollars are going (Trumbull Times 3/2014: Town approves public comment).
Some Republicans were more hesitant about public comment being part of the meeting minutes or aired on Trumbull Community Television, including District 4 Republican Enrico Costantini.
According to The Times' story, Costantini said people should be speaking to the council, not potentially trying to be heard by the entire town on local access. He advocated for allowing comment before the official meeting began. London responded that any effort to not include public comment as a part of the meeting minutes or to stop Trumbull Community Television from filming it would violate the Freedom of Information Act.
Most residents would like to be included in decisions about their tax dollars. So forcing people to talk “behind closed doors” — with no record and no accountability of the official involved — sounds like Soviet politburo to me. I think that New England towns — real ones, as in the 30 towns presented by V. Tesoro — pride themselves on the tradition of public assembly and open debate. Obviously public comment needs to be regulated, but high school student councils are able to regulate public comment periods. Can’t the Trumbull Town Council equal this degree of competence? Is the closed door approach hiding cronyism and nepotism? May Mr. London and Ms. Tesoro prevail in their pro-democracy stance!
Dan Bender