Letter: Residents shouldn't pay for poor decisions

To the Editor:

There are a few people in town that would have you believe that the current bonding issued was done to give an artificial tax increase. Some think that all the things we had to bond for should have been in the operating budget. This may or may not be true under normal circumstances. But bonding, when done in a responsible manner, can be the best way to handle large expenses that have been ignored and accumulated over a period of time and as long as they survive the life of the bond, are a smart choice for the town and it’s taxpayers.

For many years Trumbull had a 5-year plan that every year got taken off the shelf, the dust blown off, updated and put back on that shelf. Well here is the reality check. You can only ignore the inevitable for so long. That “plan” was ignored to the point that not only did something have to be done but everything had to be done.

Had those serving the town in the past not ignored the roads, had the Board of Education not made other things a priority over technology, had equipment been replaced before it became dangerous to the employees, we would not be in the situation we are in. It’s all about priorities.

We built a new elementary school 10 years ago and a new preschool several years later then proceeded to ignore the other five elementary and two middle schools in town in desperate need of upgrades. Instead we did a $66 million renovation of the high school that still looks like a prison, with no plan to upgrade anything else. Instead it was decided to ram through another sewer project, ALL the time knowing there were issues with the last one; we bought up property and grew town hall. Because of the poor decisions made and a different set of priorities, the town’s biggest and most expensive needs were ignored.

With all that being said, should the residents be hit with a huge increase in their taxes to fix what has been ignored; what they thought was being taken care of? During a still stagnant and difficult economic period should we tell them ‘Sorry we messed up, here’s the bill?’ I don’t think so. For those that may be able to afford such things I say good for you, but the majority of this town doesn’t have that luxury. We have had nearly 200 foreclosures and I see many more coming. We have a large population of seniors in our town, a majority living on a fixed income and based on the numerous doors I have knocked on over the last two elections, many young families that live week to week.

Some may not like the road Trumbull took to rectify the problems that were ignored, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right road to take for the residents of this town. They are after all, the people we promised to look out for.

Cindy Penkoff