Letter — We will not be deterred
“Measure twice and cut once” is a maxim familiar in the trades. In other words, take time to check your work before doing something permanent. Based on his recent letter to the editor, we gather that Mr. Testani, and many of his Republican colleagues approach matters much differently.
In his letter, Mr. Testani lauds the Council’s unanimous approval of a recent bond refunding, while at the same time taking issue with the Democratic minority for asking several questions about the resolution. Evidently, he feels that extending the meeting by five minutes was a waste of time. While some may feel that our questions were too much to bear, a look back at Council action over the years reveals what can happen when decisions are made without full information or thorough consideration. The following are but two examples:
Remember when the Council was told that the Town would save $80,000 by terminating the joint Health District with Monroe and creating the current Trumbull-only Health Department? The financial assumptions were never questioned or challenged by the majority. Three years later, the Town has realized no savings whatsoever - in fact, the Health Department costs the Town more than its predecessor.
More recently, the Council was asked to vote on a revised tax abatement ordinance designed to provide an economic incentive to commercial developers. The ordinance was distributed in advance to all Council members, but apparently, most felt the verbal summary by the Director of Economic Development and the Town attorney was enough information upon which to base their vote.
Thankfully, those of us in the minority took the time to actually read the proposed ordinance. As it turns out, there was drafting error that would have resulted in the ordinance having the opposite meaning as was intended. Had had we simply accepted what was said without doing what was required, the incorrect ordinance would have sailed through the super majority, passing 15 sets of eyes that perhaps should have given it a second look.
As the minority party, we have grown accustomed to the usual eye rolls, groans and sighs of some at meetings as we attempt to have constructive dialogue about issues. However, to be publicly derided by another Council member and chairman of the Trumbull Republican Town Committee for being thorough and conscientious is petty and beyond the pale.
Be that as it may, we will not be deterred from asking questions and seeking the information necessary to make informed decisions. This is what we have been elected to do. More importantly, it is what the residents of Trumbull expect and deserve.
Editor's Note — This letter was signed by all six Trumbull Democratic Town Council members:
Dawn Cantafio (D-1st)
Bill Mecca (D-1st)
Marybeth Thornton (D-2nd)
Thomas Whitmoyer (D-2nd)
Jason Marsh (D-3rd)
Lisa Valenti (D-4th)