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Resident: 'Take Ownership' of Summer Concert

By Nicole Satin

Dear Editor,

The desperate spin coming from Town Hall regarding the failed Michael Bolton concert continues. You would think that Tim Herbst and the Trumbull Republican Party would be anxious to put this aborted concert behind them, but apparently not yet. Recently, Herbst surrogate and fellow Republican Elaine Hammers sounded off on the concert. Unfortunately, her words were more of the same frantic effort to spread the blame and avoid any accountability whatsoever.

It's hard to imagine how any reasonable Trumbull resident could give our First Selectman a pass on the failure of this concert. First, and most importantly, Herbst was responsible for selecting Michael Bolton.  The First Selectman's judgment was poor when it came to what would appeal to potential concert-goers.  Second, Herbst refused to tell the Town Council who the performer was when he personally requested a $60,000 appropriation of taxpayer funds to support the concert.  Third, Herbst stated that the concert lost only $20,000, which was a clear lapse of judgment. The $20,000 loss is the net sum of one concert, another canceled concert, this canceled concert, and the transfer of over $12,000 that was left in the Trumbull Day account. It's entirely misleading to report that the concert lost $20,000, when Trumbull's own Finance Department's figures show the concert lost exactly $76,955. Fourth, Herbst said the loss on the concert came from "non-taxpayer funds."

Wait a minute. All funds which are held by the town are taxpayer funds. If they do not belong to the taxpayers, who do they belong to? 

Finally, Herbst and Hammers continue to maintain that the vote of the Town Council was "bipartisan." Ten Republicans voted for the concert. Two Democrats did. Is this what Herbst calls bipartisan? Does he really think Trumbull residents believe this? 

One year ago, we had a serious town debate over saving our schools’ reading specialists, our computer paras and updating outdated text books. There was no money available.  We were told that tough  economic times warranted tough choices and an austere budget. $76,955 could have had a significant impact elsewhere in Trumbull.

It's time for honesty from First Selectman Tim Herbst. If he continues to try to pull the wool over our eyes on this, how can he be trusted in anything he says? Take ownership of this failure, Mr. Herbst. Trumbull voters will have far more respect for you than if you continue with the spin and trying to find others to blame.

Nikki Satin

Charley Pitcher October 20, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Trumbull is a corporation run by a CEO i.e. the First Selectman (Tim Herbts). When there is a problem in any type of corporation it all falls onto the CEO. In this case The First Selectman was the sole person in charge of picking the performer for this year’s summer concert. In no way, shape or form can anyone or thing be blamed for such poor judgment other than the First Selectman. In a town government we all are aware of the countless layers of management that makes up the way the town is run. When poor judgment starts at the top it does not trickle down the scale to lower management. i.e. (Town Council, Board of Finance). And as with any corporation, when the CEO makes a mistake they rarely if ever admit it and almost always try to blame the under management. We all make mistakes and for the most part, we can understand it. This would all be behind us if we could simply get a “I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I’ve learned from it and have grown a little wiser from it” We can forgive, but we will not forget.
Jim Flynn October 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Herbst comes from the discredited school of Republican management that believes in "Never apologize, never explain". This school of management believes that that type of behavior is a sign of weakness. Seems foolish to me
louis October 20, 2012 at 05:03 PM
The government exists to work for the people. We are supposed to comprise the government. Public land is owned by the people collectively, administered by their government. The government of Trumbull was given special privileges as a result of their agreement and commitment to keep taxes low and when there was a surplus to host an event to entertain the masses. Since they recognized money could be made from it, and since you good farming folks stopped minding the store, criminals have taken over. It is now up to the people to take control back
louis October 20, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Its that simple
Charley Pitcher October 20, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Great, however, I was never a farmer.....
Tom Kelly October 20, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Nicole Satin has hit the nail right on the head. It's time for the First Selectman to say that the buck stops with him, instead of trying to blame others for the failed concert.
Jackie Simmons October 21, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Okay, so, now that we've got a big fail for the town concert, can we agree to, perhaps, bring Trumbull Day, which never lost much if any money (and sometimes turned a profit), back to the old stomping grounds so that the thousands of us who grew up here can share the tradition with our children (instead of trying to make a totally lame, corporate event out of it at the mall)? Can the townspeople be directly involved in the decision making process when it comes to these concerts, if they continue (I've never felt the least bit compelled to see any of the has-beens who've been booked so far) so that they actually generate revenue? Or, brace yourselves, if we can afford to blow this kind of cash, can we bring back one or two of the town employees who lost their jobs in the past year? Or improve educational services (which is the reason most of us struggle to maintain residency here)?
louis October 21, 2012 at 01:28 AM
When we (my grandparents) first moved here in the 1940's the political elites were farmers. They were not impressed by a silly list of endorsement from fringe political groups from waterbury or other strange diversions Dave Rutigliano is thrusting in your faces. They understood leadership and the obligation of the government to the people. They were not stupid people. They knew when they were being lied to, they were proud conservatives and democrats who knew what to look for in the folks calling at their door asking for their votes. If you are a Republican, there was a time when the endorsement of the party of Lincoln was not only enough, it was a exclusive requirement for to ensure loyalty. A republican was secure in their own persons, whether wealth of stature or family ancestry, to be the strong foundation on which to build a platform. Those days are gone, but we can still ask more from our government and to keep them accountable for the decisions they make
Joe Smith October 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Hey Charlie. You ever see what happens when a CEO of a major company fails? He is fired, gets a huge buyout, and then takes over for another company in a couple of years when his name is forgotten.

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