Letter: Mark's record shows disregard for public safety

To the Editor:

As demonstrated over the past few years of unprecedented weather events, Trumbull needs a leader who understands public safety. Martha Jankovic-Mark has shown through her time on the Town Council a disregard for public safety and the vital role our police, fire and EMS personnel provide to the people of Trumbull.

As Trumbull Republican Town Committee Chairman, I would like Democratic First Selectman candidate Martha Jankovic-Mark to justify why she has consistently voted against public safety measures during her time on the Trumbull Town Council. Mark has even abstained from votes that had the support from all three emergency service branches.

On Feb. 28, Mrs. Mark was the only member of the Trumbull Town Council to vote against hiring an EMS Chief. Independent public safety professionals audited our emergency medical service and concluded that to better protect the public and to improve 911 call response time, the organization needed a qualified chief to move the organization forward.  This resolution, TC 24-110, passed the Town Council with strong bipartisan support. Yet, Mrs. Mark was the only Town Council member to vote against creating and funding this position. She owes the citizens of Trumbull an explanation.

In addition, since the hiring of Chief Joseph Laucella, the town has increased its call coverage from 76% four months ago, to 95% this month. The response time from EMS Headquarters to a 911 call has improved. This allows police officers, who are first responders, to get back on the road in a more expedited manner.  When a resident picks up the phone and dials 911 for a medical call, they expect an ambulance to get there quickly. Had Mrs. Mark had her way, the reforms at EMS would not have gone forward and public safety would have been compromised.

As a member of the Trumbull Police Commission, I supported Chief Kiely and the Trumbull Police Department as they requested funding to hire additional police officers, increase police training and provide for the replacement of critical life saving equipment in the wake of the events in Newtown on Dec. 14.  On April 10, Mrs. Mark voted against the town budget which provided these critical resources to Chief Kiely and the hard working men and women of the Trumbull Police Department.  If Mrs. Mark had her way, Chief Kiely and the Police Department would not have the resources they needed to better protect the residents of Trumbull.

Finally, Mrs. Mark owes an explanation on her recent abstention during a Legislation and Administration Committee meeting. The resolution called for the creation of a task force to combine emergency dispatching between police, fire and EMS.  All three emergency service branches are in agreement that this change is absolutely necessary to improve call response time and better protect the residents of Trumbull. In the face of unprecedented weather emergencies these last four years, First Selectman Herbst has shown strong leadership and strong respect for our emergency service branches. First Selectman Herbst has not shied away from making the tough decisions. If Mrs. Mark is in the emergency operations center at 3 a.m., she can’t abstain when the Chief of Police and Emergency Management Director ask her to make a decision.

Jack Testani, Trumbull Republican Town Committee Chairman