To the Editor:

I would like to thank the first selectman, Finance Department, Board of Education, Board of Finance and Town Council for all of their hard work on the Fiscal year 2015-2016 budget. Many elected officials, most of whom are volunteers, put countless hours of study, meetings and analysis to deliver a well thought out budget that clearly represents the values of Trumbull. The Trumbull Republicans once again have proven that making Trumbull a better place to live, work and play a priority and we continue to support the three pillars of a successful community, as articulated by First Selectman Tim Herbst. This budget supports the three pillars of strong finances, a superior public school systems and strong quality of life.

This budget season also demonstrated the power of the people. When the funding for TYA was removed from the budget, the TYA community came out in full force to support the reinstatement of the funding. The young children and young adults that came out to speak in favor of TYA were certainly impressive and after much discussion with the first selectman, the Republicans on the Board of Finance moved to add the funding to TYA back into the budget, but also had the foresight to put TYA in the Recreation department where it will receive more attention, funding and become more successful. This didn’t happen without a fair amount of drama, created when the Democrats on the Board of Finance voted to eliminate TYA.

Once BOF Chairman Elaine Hammers explained the ramifications of their vote, they re-opened the vote and voted to approve the Parks and Recreation budget, which includes the reinstatement of TYA. I am grateful for the leadership of Chairman Hammers and her experience in leading the BOF through the budget process. Without her leadership, TYA would have been eliminated.

Over the past 5 years, the Trumbull Republicans, led by First Selectman Herbst, his talented and hard working team at Town Hall, and the leadership of BOF Chairman Elaine Hammers, BOE Chairman Deborah Herbst and Town Council Chairman Carl Massaro, have done outstanding work keeping our tax rate increase at 2% while focusing on fully funding pensions, keep the right focus on our Education budgets as our enrollment declines, upgrading our Parks and Recreation departments and making improvements in our roads and infrastructure. This has allowed for significant commercial growth in Trumbull and this will continue to keep our residential property taxes in check for many more years.

I echo First Selectman Herbst’s comment from his State of the Town address — I am proud to live and serve in the best town in Connecticut and one of the best towns in America.

Paul S. Lavoie, Chairman Trumbull RTC