Letter: Time for officials to come clean

To the Editor:

What is Trumbull’s state representative David Rutigliano thinking? He fails to meet the obligations of two elected positions, and, when he finally resigns from the Board of Finance, he fails to tell his constituents. He then tries to cover his tracks by saying, “I wrote a letter and I sent it to the Town Clerk, fulfilling my legal obligations.” Legal obligations!! What about his obligations to his constituents? What about his obligations to his fellow finance board members?

State Rep. Rutigliano seems to forget who he represents. He represents the people of his district and the people of Trumbull, not the Trumbull Republican Party or Mr. Herbst.

It is time for Rep. Rutigliano to set the record straight. Why did he try to keep two offices? Why didn’t he notify the Board of Finance members of his decision to resign? Why didn’t he notify his constituents of his decision to resign? Why didn’t he resign in time for his position to be filled in the November election? Why did he resign the day before Thanksgiving when people are focused on family, not politics? Why hasn’t he come out in support of a special election, a special election and associated costs that could have been avoided had he resigned in a timely manner? Time to answer to the people, Rep. Rutigliano, not your party bosses.

Rep. Rutigliano is not the only person who needs to answer some questions. Board of Finance Chair Elaine Hammers has some explaining to do as well. When did she learn of the resignation and why wasn’t it communicated immediately? Let’s not forget our Town Clerk, Suzanne Burr Monaco. Why did the Town Clerk wait so long to put a notice in the paper? Why didn’t the Town Clerk accept the petition for a special election? Who told her not to accept it? People want answers. Real answers, not the kind of nonsense being handed us by Mr. Herbst and Mr. Rutigliano.

This whole affair reeks of petty partisan politics and arrogance. Mr. Kelly and Councilwoman Tesoro should be applauded for their efforts to hold a special election to fill the vacancy created by Rep. Rutigliano’s resignation. They are fighting for the right of the people to choose who represents them; Mr. Herbst and Rep. Rutigliano are fighting for the rights of their party bosses.

This is not about “legal obligations.” It is about doing the right thing. The right thing here would have been for Rep. Rutigliano to have resigned in time for this to be on the November ballot. Failing that, at least he should have communicated his decisions to his constituents rather than try to curry favor with his political bosses. Rep. Rutigliano, you can come clean now, or you can come clean either in court, under oath, or when you are up for re-election.

Kathleen McGannon, former Board of Finance member/chairman