The Trumbull Democratic Town Committee on Wednesday accused First Selectman Tim Herbst of gambling away $77,000 in taxpayer money regarding the cancelled Michael Bolton concert.
The DTC called the concert bid "an ill-conceived effort to establish the suburban town of Trumbull as a player in the national live-concert business—an effort he wasn’t qualified to make to begin with," in a press release.
The DTC broke down the payment: "$37,500 went to Bolton; another $7,500 went to a cancellation fee; while $15,000 went to the producer and another $16,000 was spent on tickets and marketing materials."
The party criticized the Town Council for approving a $60,000 appropriation "though the Council didn’t know who the artist was when it approved putting taxpayer money at risk."
“The first selectman and the Republicans on the Town Council like to position themselves as fiscal conservatives, but no real conservative steward of taxpayer dollars would have allowed this scheme to move forward,” said Democratic Board of Finance member Andy Palo. “It’s time that we have adequate checks and balances in town government. It’s time for complete transparency.”
The democrat release attacked Herbst's argument that the loss was a "net" $20,000, mitigated by money from 2010's successful Train Concert.
"In fact, the total amount lost on the concert is $77,000, which includes draining money from the town’s general fund, raiding the profit on the successful 2010 Train concert, and soaking up the last residual funds for the old Trumbull Day event.
“All of this money is taxpayer money, so it’s odd that the administration would try to claim a lesser loss than actually occurred,” said Democratic Party spokesman Tony Silber. “It’s a shame that Tim Herbst would move forward with a “casino” approach to municipal finances, but not fund a beloved local tradition, Trumbull Day.”
"According to materials provided by the town’s finance department, the “Public Events” account is left with $40,000, meaning that most of the lost $77,000 is coming from the allocation made this year—the General Fund—a poor accounting practice."