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Lavoie: the Democratic Response – A shell game

By Paul Lavoie, Vice Chairman, Trumbull Board of Finance

The recent response to the State of the Town Address confirms that Trumbull Democrats have not learned anything from the last two local elections, where they resorted to constant negativity and personal attacks - - and in both elections, lost by double digit margins.  

The Democrats speak of civility in local government?  How can we forget the First Selectman campaign of 2011?  The Democrats ran the most uncivil, mean and vicious campaign in recent memory while Tim Herbst and the Republicans ran on their outstanding record and never engaged in gutter politics.  For the last 2 years, inflammatory press releases, viscous blogging and frivolous complaints have been the modus operandi of the Democratic Town Committee. If any resident read the local blogs, they would be embarrassed to see how some elected Democrats in this Town behave, setting a poor example for children.     

The Democrats speak about financial stability and tax reductions?  I guess they’re hoping Trumbull residents have poor memories.  On their watch, taxes increased 54% in eight years, with an average annual tax increase of 6%.  Under the Herbst administration, the average tax increase has been less than 2%, and this year, for the first time since 1983, an overwhelming majority of residents will realize a decrease in their residential property taxes.  The Herbst administration has reduced anticipated debt by $9 million dollars and increased annual pension funding from 47% to 83%.

In assessing the financial management of the Herbst administration, don’t listen to the political parties - - listen to the financial rating agencies.  Fitch, Moody’s and S&P have all maintained Trumbull’s bond rating, at the same time 13 other Fairfield County communities were placed on a negative outlook.  All three rating agencies cited the Herbst administration’s strong financial management and aggressive economic development strategy as reasons for preserving the Town’s bond rating.  The Town’s employee headcount is less today than it was two years ago when Mr. Herbst took office. 

The Democrats want more economic development?  Under First Selectman Herbst, we have made significant strides on this front and continue to grow our business tax base.  This is why we have been able to keep the tax rate stable.  Our recent economic development efforts will increase the number of restaurants in town and improve the amenities available to our residents.  The Democrats want a plan for our park system?  We’re already doing it with the regional Rails to Trails initiative and updates to the Plan of Conservation and Development. 

So, as you can see, the Democrats vision for Trumbull is nothing more than a shell game.  They promise you the world, tell you they are going to reduce your taxes and then don’t tell you how they plan to pay for it.  We heard the same thing from President Obama and Governor Malloy when they ran for office.  Sound familiar?  Trumbull is in great hands under the leadership of First Selectman Tim Herbst and we continue to make sound decisions with the best interests of the resident of our great town.

Paul Lavoie

Tom Kelly April 12, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Paul, those are all very nice talking points, and I thank you for posting. I will assure you that my response will be very polite and within the boundaries of reasoned political discourse, and I hope you won't call my post "viscious." There's no question that Herbst has kept taxes down...but at what price, Paul? Our school system has a list of cuts a mile long under Mr. Herbst. We went an entire year without the town paving any roads. Mr. Herbst personally cancelled Trumbull Day. Mr. Herbst increased every fee in the town, and while residential taxes may go down this year, that is not due to Mr. Herbst at all. He's raising spending over 4% this year. It's due to property revaluation and the fact that Trumbull homes have lost an average 21% of their value in the last 6 years. We have an entire neighborhood struggling on their own to fight off the cell tower. The residents of North Nichols still are dealing with chopped up roads as the sewer project drags into its fourth year, and still no assessments have been given to those residents. We have deferred investments into infrastructure and our Police Department, but we know the bill will come due on that someday soon. Meanwhile, although Herbst campaigned on a platform that condemned hiring practices called Family and Friends, he's become at expert at that, and he's been banking campaign contributions for town contractors since he was elected. There is more to the story, and Trumbull's quality of life is in decline.
Tom Pieragostini April 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Thank you for taking the time to write your letter and for your service in doing the the work of the town of Trumbull. Your letter lists several reasons why residents continue to show confidence in the FS and have optimism for our future.
Thomas Tesoro April 12, 2012 at 08:15 PM
A very sad note by Mr. Lavoie, a man who should know better.
Dan April 13, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I don't believe you wrote this letter. I do believe you won points for lending your name. Thanks for putting yourself first.
Regina April 13, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Same story, author, different ghost writer.

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