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Trumbull Town Councilwoman Mark Says She'll Join Dems

She has been a republican since 2005. The Democratic Convention is July 25 at Tashua Knolls at 7 p.m.

Town Council Martha Jankovic-Mark is leaving the republican party and supporting Mary Beth Thornton, the democratic candidate for first selectman.

The fifth-district councilwoman announced her intention Tuesday morning in a press release. She was unaffiliated prior to being elected to the council as a republican in 2005, according to the registrar's office.

She joins Board of Education chairman Ted Lovely, who left the republican party recently to become an independent. Board of Education member Tom Kelly left the GOP but returned.

Mark opened her statement quoting retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: "Each of us brings to our job, whatever it is, our lifetime of experience and our values."

"My political philosophy has been one of fiscal responsibility and 'smart spending' of our tax dollars. I personally like to get the most for my money, and have done my best to do the same for my constituents’ tax revenue, keeping in mind both short and long term planning when I discuss issues, make decisions and vote. I also have been cognizant of my constituents’ health and well-being and have supported proper athletic facilities, including park, tennis court and pool maintenance and renovation, not supported the placement of cell towers where people work, live or spend a great deal of time, and have voted properly on issues in those areas which make Trumbull such a highly desirable place in which to live. I am proud of my votes and stand behind them," Mark said.

"Lately I have felt out of alignment on issues with our local Republican party, which should embrace independent thinking and untrampled liberty. That is why I am leaving the Republican Party to join the Democratic Party where I hope to continue to use my talents to represent my constituents in accordance with my same political philosophy of fiscal responsibility and fairness," she continued.

Mark also praised Thornton.

"She and I share a belief in making fiscally and morally responsible decisions for Trumbull. Mary Beth Thornton is an intelligent woman and a superb leader who listens to her constituents and fellow politicians. I am convinced that she will do the best job as First Selectman," she said.

Concerned Parent July 13, 2011 at 01:54 PM
n a bull economy, this statement makes sense. In a recession, it's not so clear cut, as tax income can decrease significantly. If the tax income decrease is permanent, then it makes sense to cut. If the recession could be temporary, sometimes it makes sense to bridge the gap by providing key services. Also, it is never prudent to be penny-wise and poundfoolish. Sometimes saving a little today will cost you several times as much tomorrow. All of these need to be investigated on a case-by-case basis. A good example is the education system. You can chip away at it now, but it may cost you much more than that 5-10 years from now when the overall perecption of the town's education has taken a blow it cannot recover from in the public eye. It's not an easy situation. Again, I would love to see us saving up more surplus in the good times, so as to not have to suffer so much in the lean times.
Kathleen McGannon July 13, 2011 at 02:00 PM
It amazes me how many Trumbull Republicans were really "Democrats in hiding" and that the TRTC was not able to "weed" them out before asking them to run for office! Maybe I could make some money if I invent a "Dem Detector" so that the TRTC does not have to worry about all these people who are really Dems running for office on the Republican ticket. Seriously, when will the Trumbull Republicans take a good, hard look at how they treat members of their own party and members of the public? And, this so-called "mandate"--did the TRTC feel it was a Democratic mandate when he Dems took all a few years ago? I remember them saying that it was "anger at Bush" that resulted in a Dem tsunami. Perhaps anger at Obama resulted in a Republican tsunami in 2009? Just a thought...
Thomas Tesoro July 13, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Any talk of a "mandate" by any party is the height of arrogance and foolishness. Such talk is soon followed by a hard crash back to earth. As for fiscal responsibility, trying to make such things a formula is a recipe for disaster. At the local level, an individual in government who wants to exercise fiscal responsibility must look at an individual situation and the impact either funding or not funding will have on the Community.In every Community there are people who, at any given point in time, are doing very well or are struggling and every point in between those extremes. There are also times, for a variety of reasons that spending will exceed inflation or be less than inflation.So, any formula will by its very nature will fail. I think voters should be wary of those who are so rigid in their beliefs that they can't see beyond their own prejudices or "formulas". What is happening in Washington today on the subject of the debt ceiling is both parties being unable to get past the pandering to their bases of support. The result is that people become more disillusioned as politicians make fools of themselves. Once again, I welcome Martha Mark to the Democratic Party. Your contributions, your thoughts and your service are a welcome addition. Also, as a former Republican myself, you will find the local Democratic Party very tolerant of those who think for themselves. Tom Tesoro
CTPati July 13, 2011 at 11:41 PM
C parent's first post here makes little sense. "... never always correct." Say what? ..."If ROI is there, invest." 1) How can one accurately *predict* outcomes on much of gov't. spending? 2) Governments need to use Austrian Economics principles: You can't "invest" money that you don't have! PBO, and most DEMS now in CT and D.C., do not believe it, but BANKRUPTCY results from continued irresponsible DEBT, as coming from Hartford and Washington!!! (Is ROI even the proper accounting term for evaluating public sector spending?)
Concerned Parent July 14, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Yes, "ROI" is a fine term. "Return on investment". Return on an investment can come in many forms, not just financial. Quality of life, ethical/moral achievement, financial, and more. There are plenty of ways that ROI can be predicted for government spending initiatives. Past performance can be used as an indicator, projections can be made. This is essentially what government does on an annual basis ... government isn't reactive only, they (should be) proactive as well. Forward-thinking government is more effective. Government needs to be smart enough to understand the peaks and valleys of the economy as well. When things are going real well, they should not expect it to remain sustained. The same is true for a recession. I'm all for fiscal responsibility, what I have said does nothing to dismiss it.
vincent July 14, 2011 at 08:58 PM
kathleen needs a hug
Afreedman2011 July 14, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Wow Vincent, you are a condescending little man!
vincent July 14, 2011 at 10:35 PM
I forgot you and hudak need one too. The anger you spew on this site is wild. Everyday I read your nonsense. It's Herbst fault for all your problems. The kid can cure cancer and you would still be mad.
Bill Holden July 15, 2011 at 01:17 AM
Just heard that the Democrats are orchestrating a photo-op around Ms Mark coming into the Registars's Office Friday at about 10:30 to change her party afilliation. The Dems are even requiring/requesting their Registrar to be there, something unusual at this time of year. It's all partisan politics aimed at milking a story about a person who has not subscribed to main stream Republican beliefs going back to 2005 when she enrolled as Republican, at the request of Lauren Orr the 2005 first selectman candidate, to run for the Council. I agree with those who said she is doing the right thing by following her conscience by enrolling with a Party that more closely reflects her beliefs. The political aspect is the photo-op. Ms Mark has already gained more notarity about her party change that she has for anything she has done on the Council in almost 6 years.
Jose July 15, 2011 at 01:37 AM
Read another article about the change in party affiliation in a different newspaper today. I recall that the FS campaigned on the promise to work across the political aisle to develop consensus and build a unified vision that would really move the town forward. Remember the campaign slogan, "restoring the promise of Trumbull?) Very similar to Obama! Both claimed a "mandate" following their win and both seemed skilled campaigners with the aura of winning against the odds (FS with age and Obama with race). And here we are, saddled with disappointment because fundamental campaign promises were not realized. Despite being a Republican town, our own local party can't accomodate a few moderates. Is there any deeper sign of failure when you alienate from within your own party? Stay tuned for further trashing of Ms. Mark to take the focus off the failures of party leadership!
Afreedman2011 July 15, 2011 at 02:10 AM
As my favorite comedian would say : WAAAAAH!
Kathleen McGannon July 15, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Oh Vincent! And I thought you really wanted to give me a hug! I love hugs! But if by "hug" you mean your two hands around my throat and a tight squeeze, then I will pass. I am really, almost always, a very happy, cheerful person. There isn't much that brings me down. I have tremendous patience--6 children, 2 grandchildren, and teaching middle schoolers will teach one to be cheerful and patient. I just cannot abide the phoniness and scheming of our current First Selectman. He will not get a free pass from me. But he really doesn't cause me to lose any sleep or to need anger management techniques. Now, if you ever want to introduce yourself to me, I am always happy to give a real, genuine hug to people. I'd bet you would like me! Afreedman and Carol Hudak--I will give you hugs as well. It releases endorphins that help me remain my cheerful, happy self! Have a wonderful evening, Vincent!
Bill Holden July 15, 2011 at 02:28 AM
There's mo WAAAAH, Afreedman. Marthat send an email to Trumbull RTC members on Tuesday which said (paraphrasing) "As you may have noticed my views have shifted away from those of the local Republican Party." Her decision to change didn't occur over one issue or one night, and anyone who understands politics knows that Martha and the Dems had conversations over a period of time (assuring Marthat that the Dems would nominate her for Council) before she finally deided to announce a change in party affiliation.
Kathleen McGannon July 15, 2011 at 02:40 AM
I think the operative words are "local Republican party." I have to believe that Martha still embraces basic Republican values, she just can't abide what is being done locally. She has been able to communicate now, and in the past, with people of both parties. That's how it SHOULD be. But when she finds herself unable to support the LOCAL party line, then she has the right to continue to serve with a party she CAN work with. Do I expect her to be in agreement with the Dems on everything? No. Do I expect her to articulate her reasons for her votes to the Dems? Yes. And her reasons will be ACCEPTED, liked or not. To belittle her accomplishments and her participation for the past 6 years is unnecessary. The Republicans clearly thought she was good enough to nominate her for THREE terms. Now, suddenly, she should never have been on the Town Council as a Republican? Please...
Bill Holden July 15, 2011 at 02:50 AM
Kathy, you're trying to put words in my mouth and you know it.
Cindy Penkoff July 15, 2011 at 04:28 AM
The fact that some would make such a big deal about such a non-issue just shows how desperate they are to create a conflict. I like Martha, I always have but I have never thought of her as a Republican and wondered why she chose to register that way. Then I learned she registered as a Republican to run for office. She is simply be true to herself. I do however wonder why she would wish to be a Democrat unless it is the only way she can run for office. She has always said she was an independent.
Tom Kelly July 15, 2011 at 05:18 AM
So now, the Republicans are trying to diminish what Ms. Mark has accomplished over 6 years on the Council. Mr. Holden, Ms. Mark is the type of person that a political party should respect and be happy that is representing them. She is a successful attorney, and has 3 talented children, 2 of whom have recently graduated from the High School. She is kind and friendly and very intelligent. She knows how to laugh. If Ms. Mark hasn't espoused Republican values since 2005, why did the Republicans nominate her in 2007 and 2009? As for why she wished to be a Democrat, I haven't spoken to her about this decision, but perhaps it could have something to do with not being able to support the top of the Republican ticket.
Jon Mark July 15, 2011 at 05:36 AM
No wonder Martha would want to leave a party where the moment she is out of "the group", some of its members are jumping to belittle her accomplishments over the past 6 years. Bill, you are right. This is probably the most press she has gotten, but garnering press attention should not be the goal of a public official. Some of Trumbull's unsung heros are our politicians who do not see the need to be in the spot light, but instead speak in moderation when it counts, and provide a dedicated set of eyes to look over Trumbull's best interests. One must remember that a good public official does the job with a due-diligence to serving the best interests of his or her constituents, in the manner he or she sees fit. The moment their actions do not align with the views of their constituents is when they are voted out of office. Martha, regardless of her party, was elected 3 times now, probably because she was not a subordinate of any party or group, electing to vote for what the people wanted, and by reelecting her twice, one could argue she was doing something right. Do I think this is being overblown? Yes. The fact that a town official is changing parties will not have any affect on the town because it won’t effect her political philosophy, nor will it affect her actions. This begs the question, why the heck did it make the headlines in the first place? Maybe it’s a slow week in news. Thank you for reading…goodnight, god bless, and go eagles. Sincerely yours, Jon Mark
Jon Mark July 15, 2011 at 05:43 AM
Also, I wrote this out of my own free will. My mother nor any party put me up to it. One could say the 30+ town council meetings I had to sit through as a channel 17 videographer has left me interested in Trumbull's politics and more generally, in government's inability to accomplish anything in less than 3 months. On a side note, Bill, I only met you once, and it was a couple years back now, but at the time, I could not help but see the resemblance between you and the classic Disney character "Cookie" from the movie "Atlantis: The Lost Empire." Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVmib2WCqho Spot on or should I get to know you better before making such presumptions?
Thomas Tesoro July 15, 2011 at 01:24 PM
The only desperation is that of the TRTC as yet another moderate is driven from the Party.
Thomas Tesoro July 15, 2011 at 01:29 PM
I like that Bill"Cookie" Holden!! Really Bill, is it necessary for you and Cindy to belittle Martha? or Tom Kelly? or Andy Palo? or anyone else who does not follow local (and I stress local) Republican thinking? Martha left with dignity and as far as I see did not trash anyone. Can't the Republicans do the same?
Jose July 16, 2011 at 02:04 AM
It's a big deal because it is another sign that diversity is not to be allowed in the local Republican party. She is not the only member to switch affiliations. Have you forgotten that your highly touted BOE chair also switched his affiliation? Imagine a group of people so insecure that you can't have a healthy debate for the greater good of the community. Isn't that what we voted for? Less partisanship in favor of more consensus building? It's not about party allegiance, it's about what's best for the community! It's unfortunate you have no appreciation for that!
Bill Holden July 16, 2011 at 02:38 AM
Well, the photo-op occured on schedule this morning. Attended by Martha, making her change official, accompanied by the Democrats' first selectman candidate and registrar of voters (who had to make a special trip for the photo). Roy Fuchs was there to take the photo. Anyone who doesn't recognize this as an orchestrated political campaign event by the Democrat party is naive.
Thomas Tesoro July 16, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Bill Holden, It was an event, in fact, a celebration by the Democrats. We welcome divergent points of view, honor prior service and in the case of Ms. Mark, welcome her with open arms and without any litmus tests. The TRTC should try that. By the way, you should not complain about orchestrated political events considering what I believe was the TRTC orchestrated coup against Mr Palo as Chair of the BOF. Anyone who believes that disgraceful farce was about Robert's Rules of Order is either naive or a TRTC member. The difference between the two parties is made clear by these two events. The seemingly orchestrated Republican coup against Mr. Palo as punishment for his thinking for himself as opposed to the Democrats celebrating Ms Marks entry into our Party because she thinks for herself. Tom Tesoro
Afreedman2011 July 16, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Nice to see that like the Nazi and Communist parties, Trumbull Republicans appear to have a purity test and Ms. Marks failed that test. "I have never thought of her as a Republican". Who the heck do you think you are?
Bill Holden July 16, 2011 at 07:49 PM
Tom T, you've become quite a spinmeister, congrats. Celebrate all you want but don't do it in a Town Hall office during business hours. And, nobody kicked Martha out of the Party. She stated she has not agree with the majority of the party for some time and she chose to change parties. Nothing wrong with that. Regarding the BoF election of officers, you are smart enough to know, if you read "Robert's" that there were incorrect assumptions (not challenged) made following Bill Crook's passing. Do you know that the addition of $35K (and proposal for $193K extra) made to the supplemental by the BoF on 7/14/11 is not allowed by the Charter? A change to this was prosed by a Republican CRC member along with many changes you and your big spending friends consider "radical" and "draconian." Look it up, Chapter V of the present Charter, the BoF may approve a supplemental a in the amount requested or approve a lesser amount. There is no authority to approve an amount higher than requested. Additional amounts may be approved at a subsequent request/meeting. But the entire BoF erred on this Charter provision just as they erred on a line of succession. As you know, I am not a member of the Town Council or the BoF and seldom get involved in their actions. But with what Paul Timpanellie used to refer to as the "silly season" feel I should respond to some silly statements.
Thomas Tesoro July 17, 2011 at 02:16 AM
Hi BillH, Please note you brought up the subject and I just responded. So, no matter how you spin it, the TRTC apparently used the BOF to punish Mr. Palo because if this were a simple procedural issues it would have been fixed in a matter of minutes and Mr. Palo would still be the Chair. So, my advice is that the Republicans mete out their punsihment at their meeting and leave Town Boards out of your internal problems. If the BOF made a mistake, the Town Council can correct it at their meeting. Mr. Martin, as did Mr. Lupien, made the motion in good faith. One of the strenths of the last administration was that we had counsel at every meeting who assisted us when issues like this can about. Today we have legal council to tell us why things that are wrong are in fact right, at least in my opinion. One thing you are right about, this is silly season and you can expect silly things, like your initial post on this subject which is one more example of why people are leaving the local Republicans in droves. On the spin meter how does this one rate? :)
Bill Holden July 17, 2011 at 02:44 AM
Tom T. On the spin meter you were well below your norm for the silly season. If you and others from both parties cannot undersand Robert's and the Charter, it 's time for all to become familiar with the rules. Rober's and the Charter provide a level playing field for all, applied in a consistent manner. Your intrerpretation of how things should be done based upon past mistakes doesn't make you interpretation correct. Read the Charter and understand how one section relates to another before you jump on the democrat party line about radical and draconian proposals for change. If you don't know what's in the Charter, how can you attack proposed changes in the the first draft.with creditibility?
Tom Kelly July 17, 2011 at 04:01 AM
Bill, shouldn't you be directing your comments regarding the use of Robert's towards Chairman Elaine Hammers? It also appears that you do not support political activity affecting Town Hall offices. If that's the case, I find it interesting that you attempted to bar me from rejoining the Republican Party. Thankfully, the Secretary of State's Office ordered that I be enrolled. It would appear that you also disapproved of Mr. Herbst and his entire office staff (Dan Nelson, Norma, Amy) working on Primary Day, 2010, for Ms. Hammers in her failed bid for the Republican nomination for State Senator.
Thomas Tesoro July 17, 2011 at 04:10 AM
BillH, I will defer to your expertise on the charter and to Robert's Rules if you give me the benefit of the doubt as to what I saw, with my own eyes, with respect to Mr. Palo. I certainly do understand how the Chater fit together and that is why I do understand why the majority of the Commission put together recommendations with respect to the terms of the FS and the Council changes. I also read why you would like to create 'at large Council members. Nevertheless, the proposals are, in my opinion, unnecessary and draconian. That does not mean I don't think the Commission did most of their work very well...they did and that the changes they recommended were for the most part wise and necessary (for example, liberalizing the rules around referendum for large capital items. I think the Council got it mostly right by keeping the good and throwing out the unnecessary. Since you seem in a bit of a cantankerous mood I won't remind you that you not only need to know the Charter but the requirements for notice and publishing rationale when making revisions. I think I will let it close, from my perspective with my thanks to you and the Commission for your service and for the vast majority of your work, Also my thanks to the Council for in this instance showing why we have checks and balances in the first place.

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