Opinion: Tone of Herbst's letter was unnecessarily combative

Editor’s Note: This is a response to a letter that ran in last week’s paper.

To the Editor:

Mr. Herbst, you and I may be on the same side of the Health Department issue.

So slow down. Take a deep breath.

I want a Trumbull Farmers Market. If that’s one of your objectives, if the Health District Director is the roadblock, if she will not revisit her decision and cannot understand the impact of yours and, if you've exhausted all other avenues, terminating the district may be Trumbull’s last option.

With regard to the decision, I didn’t disagree with the Town Council’s vote. I called it “disappointing” because of the way you and the Council handled it and added that I found the rationale lacking.

I also found the tone of your letter unnecessarily combative. Republicans and Democrats can work together if we make politics about policy, not personalities.

Please try to avoid charges like “partisan,” “pure political gain” and “devoid of fact and logic.” They only detract from your message. Is “partisan” a synonym for “committed Democrat?” What do I gain from your closing the Health District? And my arguments, most all unanswered in your letter, remain.

I’ve been a part of local politics for 25 years. But I come out of a very different culture, one in which we debate real policy differences. Then we vote. And after the meetings we socialize — Republicans and Democrats at the same table. We put aside our differences and enjoy the things we share, things more important than politics.

For example, I worked to defeat Dave Rutigliano last November. My candidate shares more of my values than Dave does. Dave won. Now I look forward to working with him, particularly to help bring back a just bit more than our fair share from the state for Trumbull Community Television.

While my letter raised points central to how the motion was handled, yours ignored them. Town Council was not given the agenda information as required by the Town Charter.

If the deadline was the issue, why the delay in addressing it? Should it perhaps have been brought forward 30 or 60 days ago? Shouldn’t it have been considered by the appropriate Council committee?

The “overwhelming” vote was unsurprising. What was surprising was that not one Republican questioned the charter point, that none was troubled by not being able to perform meaningful due diligence and that they voted as a bloc to support the motion.

I stated that your presentation was entirely financial, and was, borrowing your term, “devoid” of broader rationale.

Even that made no sense — Trumbull will save $220,000 over ten years. That’s about 80 cents per household next year, and over ten years, while the town’s budgets will total nearly $2 billion, you forecast a savings of $220,000. Is that meaningful?

And please advise us how the bank loan will be repaid, and how the office lease terms will be fulfilled.

Now, looking ahead, please bring the Farmers Market back to Long Hill Green in 2015.

Roy Fuchs