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Herbst Maps Out His 3rd Term Goals

Tim Herbst
Tim Herbst
First Selectman Tim Herbst has a laundry list of goals for his third two-year term, and he didn't have to wait long for one of them.

On Nov. 14, the Board of Finance unanimously approved to bond $2.9 million to purchase new radio and dispatching equipment and get plans ready for turning Police Headquarters into a centralized emergency dispatching center.

Centralizing emergency dispatch is one of the plans he was championing for before the election, but there are some he hasn't started yet.

Now that Trumbull High School renovations are nearing completion, it's time to focus on the town's other schools.

"Some of these schools really need a lot of attention," he said. In particular, $2.5 million was bonded for the Madison Middle School roof but after a year, the project has not yet entered the design phase.

Other school buildings have issues because they are older, except for Frenchtown, the town's newest school.

But Herbst said he wants to approach school repairs differently than the THS project, which was started before he was elected in 2009.

There is a Public Works Committee of the Town Council that does not meet often, which he would like to use as a building committee. The close relationship forces the Town Council to be "judicious with taxpayer money."

While the town cannot command the Board of Education, he said the school board should prioritize its building projects.

Other public buildings also need work, such as the Senior Center, which he called "woefully inadequate." During the campaign, some voters asked about establishing a community center.

The library could use better technology, he added.

Financially, Herbst said the Charter should only be re-opened for "housekeeping" items, but would like to establish standards for funding the town's pensions so future first selectmen would continue his administration's pension payment levels.

Herbst said one of his immediate concerns is preserving the town's equalizing clause for any contract with Bridgeport for waste treatment. Bridgeport wants Trumbull to pay for all Bridgeport treatment plants.

"I cannot enter a regional agreement to pay the cost of assets we're not using," he said. There have been talks with Stratford about regionalization, according to the first selectman.

Herbst concluded that he was happy with the campaign he waged and that voters spoke clearly, with democrats crossing the aisle to vote for him.

As for the 2,788 voters who chose his opponent, he recalled the words of Shelton's GOP mayor who won a 12th term, saying he needed to "bring them into the fold."

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Nancy DiNardo was not available for comment, but urged voters on election night to keep on working because two years will pass quickly.

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