To the editor,
When my husband and I wanted to find a home 9 years ago, we looked at properties in a number of towns in Fairfield County. We had our hearts set on towns that offered a combination of access to amenities as well as a suburban feel with many parks and open spaces. Trumbull was that town. It offered close proximity to major transportation, stores and restaurants with a system of parks rivaled by few other communities.
It wasn’t long after we settled here that there was a proposed 11.6% tax increase under the Baldwin administration with no promise of full-day kindergarten. As the mother of two young boys and an educator this was very concerning. That election year I had my first conversation with Tim Herbst. He and I discussed the need for full-day kindergarten and the need to keep Trumbull affordable for all residents, young and old.
Since taking office in 2009, Herbst has kept tax increases an affordable 1.88% while enacting full-day kindergarten and seeing the high school renovation through. All of this occurred without teacher layoffs or other cuts in programs across the education system. Baldwin had claimed that full-day kindergarten would bring little reward for the investment. As an active member and treasurer of the Frenchtown Elementary School PTA I can tell you that the results from the inaugural class of full-day students have been astounding. Students are reading at levels previously reached by the end of the first grade year and are more prepared for the rigors of the curriculum in the subsequent years - sounds worth the investment to me.
The most recent attack on Herbst has surrounded his failure to foster regional alliances. This is far from true. As the daughter of Newtown’s First Selectwoman Pat Llodra, I can assure you there is a strong alliance between Trumbull and its neighbors. Trumbull was one of the first towns to offer manpower and assistance in the Sandy Hook Elementary School relocation while Newtown was quick to provide plow assistance in the blizzard of 2013. Trumbull works closely with its neighbors for the betterment of all.
For all of these reasons I have decided to join the Herbst team as a town council candidate for the 4th district. I want to see the promise of Trumbull continue. Let’s keep our town affordable while offering amenities and providing an excellent education system for our children. Please make sure to elect Tim Herbst and his team on November 5, 2013.
Beth Llodra Gilman
Town Council Candidate District 4