Letter: Low-income elderly residents want change in town's leadership

There is a serious issue facing voters in Trumbull’s election, Tuesday. The voters will decide whether Tim Herbst will continue his efforts to take away housing opportunities for low-income elderly citizens at Stern Village, a 186 unit low-income elderly and disabled housing complex, operated by the town’s Housing Authority.

Timothy Herbst, running for a fourth term as Trumbull’s first selectman, put together a Board of Commissioners and Executive Director, Harriet Polansky, to drastically change Stern Village. Management spent nearly $400,000 of the tenants’ rent money this year on a failed $28-million funding request. The proposal called for doing away with two-thirds of the low-income units and using them for higher income tenants.

The plan also called for raising the minimum rent 400%, from $125 to $555 per month, further reducing the supply of low-income housing for otherwise qualified applicants. No new units were to be built with the $28-million.

Herbst continues to pursue funding, further spending down the $1.5-million capital reserve fund which took over 11 years to build up, from rents.

Studies show the need continues to grow for low-income elderly housing. The baby-boomer generation is maturing and their hoped for retirement income has taken a beating by the continued poor economy and underemployment over the past 12 years

The Stern Village Tenants’ Association is hopeful for a change in plans and attitude for Stern Village with the election of Vicki Tesoro, First Selectman, Anthony Musto, Town Treasurer and Cindy Katsky, Town Clerk.

Paul Littlefield