Suzanne Testani for District 1: 'Extensive Experience'

by Suzanne Testani

My name is Suzanne Testani; I am the Republican incumbent candidate for Town Council representing voting District 1. I graduated from Fairfield Public Schools in 1980 and am currently an honors student at Fairfield University and close to completing my B.A. in Psychology. I am a 26 year veteran employee of the Town of Greenwich and currently hold the position of full time Program/ Fitness Coordinator at the Town’s Senior Center.

My husband Jack and I moved to Trumbull in 1989. Our sons Alexander and William are both graduates of Trumbull Public Schools. Both boys are currently enrolled as full-time college students and are accomplished athletes.

From 1995 to 2006 I was a JA “Classroom Consultant” at DFS and MMS.  In 2004, I joined the Trumbull Republican Town Committee (TRTC). From 2005 to 2007I served as an appointed member of the Trumbull Board of Recreation. While on that Board I was a member of the Finance Sub-committee. In 2004 I was honored to receive the prestigious “Tomasko Award” from the DFS PTA for outstanding parent volunteer achievement. Since 2007, I have been an active Executive Board Member of Trumbull’s "Business Education Initiative" (BEI). This organization’s mission is to promote the relationship between business and education for Trumbull students aged K through 12.  I am happy to be a member of BEI Committee that provides funding in the form of “Mini-Grants” to students attending both private and public schools in the town of Trumbull.  I was also fortunate to be the THS Touchdown Club’s “Field Sign Fundraising Chair” from 2005 to 2010.  The Touchdown Club allocates student athlete scholarship funding each year to qualified seniors and provides enhancement services for the THS football program.

First elected to the Town Council in 2007, I was re-elected in 2009. I was elected Vice Chairman of the Council and currently serve as Chairman of the Legislative and Administration Sub-Committee (L&A). This past year the L&A Committee worked alongside the Charter Revision Commission to formulate ballot questions that are geared towards enabling the people of Trumbull a greater voice in their town government. During the process several forums were adequately posted and held that provided the public ample opportunity to comment on the proposed Charter revisions.

I am seeking re-election to Town Council from District 1 to help fully utilize my extensive community and municipal experience. My beliefs include:

• Realistic budgeting with an emphasis on fiscal control and responsibility
• An increase in tax base and logistic improvement of Trumbull Center while maintaining town charm
• More money allocated to Seniors and Veterans
• Wise fiscal control over present and future bonding projects

I am a dedicated community member and have been fortunate to be part of the Herbst administration. I will continue to vote my convictions and be a clear voice of reason in District 1. As always, I will promptly respond to all questions, suggestions or concerns when serving once again as your Town Council District 1 Representative. I humbly ask for your vote on Tuesday November 8.


Suzanne S. Testani

Vice Chairman

Trumbull Town Council – District 1

Chairman Legislation & Administration Committee

Cindy Katske October 20, 2011 at 02:06 PM
ILT, your insistence that Joan come up with some top ten list is very odd...I don't understand why you would make that demand. Just because she stated that something was the most egregious incident doesn't state or imply that she is making lists or keeping score, or that she has posted or will post any such lists. Seems to me like you're engaged in some sort of game of "Gotcha!"
I Love Trumbull October 20, 2011 at 02:21 PM
TParent,Joan and now Cindy, I guess we will never have that list about the Democrats. Not shocking and as I predicted. You both, and a few others, like to throw stones from the perch you think you're standing on. Thankfully, your attempts fail to have any meaning or sway votes. Like most unaffiliated voters, we like to hear both sides. When you and others choose to berate and disparage one party and exonerate the other that can do no wrong you lose your voice and hurt your party. If that’s your motive, then job well done. CK - When it comes to how the town I live is run, unlike you, I dont have the time to play games.
Concerned Parent October 20, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Thank you for posting, Mrs. Testani. Although I am not in district 1, I am trying to follow as much as I can that concerns our small town. I am also newer to town politics (although I grew up In Trumbull, I only moved back here a few years ago). I see that your candidacy aims to be fiscally conservative (often repacked as the phrase "fiscal responsibility" for political impact - as I am sure all parties feel they are fiscally responsible) and to aid seniors. With both of your children now in college, I suppose it does not surprise me that you are looking to reduce taxes at the expense of the education budget - since it no longer serves your needs. My guess is that one of the main reasons you moved to Trumbull in 1989 was the excellent education for your children (unless they were sent to private schools, of course). Thank you for your service, and although I would not vote for your agenda, I do feel you have done your best for the town.
I Love Trumbull October 20, 2011 at 02:28 PM
gidget, Really? No voice for the democrats the past two years? Really? No dissention in town and things were discussed civilly back then? Really? If, the party in power (the democrats in this case) for years was doing such a great job, why in one election were they voted out as the controlling party across ALL boards and commissions? Don't reply so quickly. Take a moment, have a cup of coffee and think about it.
Cindy Katske October 20, 2011 at 02:42 PM
ILT, It's a shame that you have resorted to making personal attacks against me under cover of anonymity, when you clearly do not know me. Those who do know me know that I do not play games. I kindly request that you refrain from making any further personal attacks against me. Thank you.
I Love Trumbull October 20, 2011 at 03:00 PM
CK - Sorry if you took something the wrong way. Nothing was meant to be a personal attack. What did I say that you found to be a personal attack? I was looking to gather information so I can make informed decisions. When no additional info is given, in my mind, it discredits the person who originally stated the negative info.
Joan October 20, 2011 at 03:02 PM
ILT, you are perfectly able to post information here supporting the "other side." But please don't expect anyone to believe that you are truly unaffiliated. You clearly have an agenda. So again, feel free to provide the "balance" you think is so lacking.
Suzanne Testani October 20, 2011 at 03:22 PM
JR, I have never "minimized" Mr. Pia's (who's also an incumbent BTW) contributions, or anyone else's for that matter. Anyone who volunteers in politics or any other community service is to be commended whether they agree with my standpoint or not. As I mentioned before, this is America and my constituents are free to vote any way they see fit for those candidates to be their voice in town government.
Suzanne Testani October 20, 2011 at 03:23 PM
(cont'd 'cause I'm turning into Tolstoy) And yes Mr. White, I AM proud to be part of the Herbst Admin. as I believe in its core mission of fiscal responsibility. I'm sure when Mr. Baldwin served our town in the Corner Office his Democratic cohorts were proud to be a part of his Admin. as well. However, I am not known as the type of person to take "orders" from anyone. In the 10 years I've known Mr. Herbst, he has never tried to tell me what to do or how to act. Whether you believe me to be sincere or not, I practice independant thinking and make tough decisions that may not please everyone all the time, but they need to be made just the same. It comes with the job. We know this as politicians. I have spent many hours canvassing door-to-door over the past 1.5 mos. and have been received very warmly by the voters of D1. I am extremely humbled by this, thank you. Thank you for permission for sign placements too. Thank you for choosing me for the last 4 years to be your say on our town's legislative body. If I am fortunate enough to be chosen once again to be one of your Council Reps I will go the extra mile in order to make the best decisions for the people of D1. PS Thanks louis, I like you too! Regards, Suzanne
I Love Trumbull October 20, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Joan, I’ve never posted negative or positive comments about any candidate. All I’ve ever asked was for those that “are in the know” to simply provide that same insight to the candidates they endorse. Surely, you’re not expecting us to believe that those you endorse suffer from the “my child is perfect syndrome”?
Suzanne Testani October 20, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Dear Concerned Parent, Yes, we did move to town because of the excellent reputation of its school system (I was 2 weeks away from giving birth to our first son Alexander at the time) I'm glad you returned to Trumbull, it's been a great place to raise my two active sons who, as I mentioned before, are graduates of TPS. No, I'm not looking to take away from education. I have spent many volunteer hours in support of Trumbull's outstanding education system (My candidate's bio mentions just some of my involvement). Please remember the BoE holds 70% of the entire Town budget. That doesn't leave much revenue for everything else like snow removal, road paving, police, parks and the other necessary services this great town provides. I'm simply looking for greater efficiency and cost-saving avenues to get the most mileage out of every dollar. Thank you for the compliment, It's very much appreciated! Regards, Suzanne
Suzanne Testani October 20, 2011 at 03:56 PM
Dear gidget, Thank you for your comment. I just wanted to remind you that the Democrats have controlled the numbers on the Council far longer than the Republicans have in recent years.
trumbulite09 October 20, 2011 at 04:27 PM
I Love Trumbull - in case you haven't noticed the comments are listed under a letter written by Mrs. Testani and are about Mrs. Testani. Any comments you are looking for isn't even fair to Mrs. Testani who is trying to provide her platform for her district. So you are looking in the wrong place for comments about anyone else but Mrs. Testani good or bad.
JR October 20, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Your first sentence could mislead people into thinking that you are the only incumbent.
Richard W. White October 20, 2011 at 04:53 PM
"I'm not looking to take away from education." Mrs. Testani, your voting record this year does not support that statement. In 2011, the BoE crafted a budget and the Herbst Administration (of which you aparently are also a member of) cut that number. The BoE provided, for the first time, a list of cuts that would be made to programs, teachers, staff, supplies, and curriculum. At the TC budget meeting, there were two motions made by Mr. Meisner and Mr. DelVecchio to raise the BoE line-item and preserve some (but not all) of those programs. You voted against both of those motions. http://www.trumbull-ct.gov/filestorage/6279/1279/1312/3815/6534/04-14-2011_Town_Council_Budget_Minutes.pdf In 2010, there was one motion to cut the BoE budget $519,000 and you voted for that motion. http://www.trumbull-ct.gov/filestorage/6279/1279/1312/3815/4469/TTC__Budget__MINUTES_04-15-10_draft.pdf What "greater efficiency" and "cost-saving" measures would have eliviated the cuts to programs, teachers, staff, and curriculum that were made this year?
Trumbull Supporter October 20, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Thank you Mr White for posting the link to Mrs Testani's voting record. Please also read her 4 beliefs. They do not mention education. It is clear to me that a vote for her would not be a vote for education.
Suzanne Testani October 20, 2011 at 05:16 PM
JR, sorry for that. The bio was about me. Mr. Pia (along w/ any of the other candidates) is free to send his bio along to the Patch as well if he so chooses. If you've seen our literture, he too is cited as an incumbent candidate.
Suzanne Testani October 20, 2011 at 05:25 PM
Mr. White, The Council has absolutely no control over the manner in which the BoE utilizes the funding in which it is granted each year. If you were present the evening of the budget vote, I specifically stated for the record that the teachers received a 0% increase for the first year of their contract ( I then commended them for doing so). I went on to explain that this union conscession alone should have realized millions of $ worth of savings for the BoE. What programs they decide to eliminate or continue to fund is up to them. I will continue to be an advocate for Trumbull's students through my volunteerism in our community. I don't sit on Executive Boards such as the BEI for my health, I do it because I support education.
Suzanne Testani October 20, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Dear TS, Those were very broad bullets. I raised two sons in the TPS system! Being a full-time career mother w/ a huge down-county commute every day, I happily spent from 1995 to 2010 giving my time & effort to DFS, HMS and THS volunteering in an array of capacities. I hope someday my sons can afford to live in this great town. Would also love to see my grands grow up here and attend TPS as well.
Joan October 20, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Surely even you realize, Suzanne, that the Board of Ed does not have all that much flexibility in the allocation of its funds, given the number of government mandates that it must comply with. They have no choice but to fund those mandates. No, any voter who has been paying attention (and trust me, many in District 1 have), will remember that the Board of Ed was very clear and specific as to what they would be able to pay for at various levels of funding that the Town Council could have approved. You did not give an inch, but voted to adhere to the First Selectman's proposed budget which required substantial cuts to the programs and services our school district could offer. It has affected and will continue to affect the quality of our children's educations. It's not just me saying so. Mr. Ted Lovely--a respected educator who was Mr. Herbst's handpicked BOE candidate 2 years ago--said as much. I'm glad you have given of your time to help with our schools while your sons were students. But volunteers, as good-hearted as they are, cannot make up for the cuts to teaching positions, paraprofessionals, interns, curriculum, textbooks, etc., that were necessitated by the budget that you voted for. District 1 families with children in the school system, or about to enter the school system, or anyone who cares about quality education in Trumbull, have the opportunity to vote for Greg Basbagill for Town Council, to support a reasonable approach to education.
Trumbull Supporter October 20, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Respectfully I agree with Joan, Mrs Testani. It was a very tough budget season with no compromise on the Republican side. While I appreciate your volunteerism to date in our schools and on the Town Council I can not see how a vote for you would help the children who are currently is the school system. I thank you for your service by I must support the Democratic candidates Mr Basbagill and Mr Lawlor.
Richard W. White October 20, 2011 at 05:55 PM
I was at the meeting and I thought it odd that anyone thought a zero percent raise would result in millions of savings. Thank you for your support of education.
trumbulite09 October 20, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Mrs. Testani can you tell us where you stand on All Day Kindergarten. If implemented next year as Mr. Herbst has stated, I understand it will be one more thing to hit the budget. A budget you will be responsible for voting on. I also understand in order to fund and accommodate it in the long run, there is talk about turning the schools "grade level" schools instead of elementary, middle, high. Will you support this? Will you expect your District 1 students as young as 10 years old to take a bus from your area to Madison Middle School if they decide in order to afford all day Kindergarten they have to change this? I know these are board of education questions but you will have to vote on the budget and I'm wondering where the money for the proposed all day kindergarten would come from.
Suzanne Testani October 20, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Dear trumbullite09, I am in favor of all day Kindergarten. For example on redistricting: the 2003 DFS school year saw approx.16 children relocated to Middlebrook School for their 5th grade year. It was particulary difficult for these students and parents alike since they had been in DFS since Kindergarten. It was hard on the remaining ones as well (like my younger son William) since they missed the bonded friendships they had established with their peers. I Chaired the 5th Grade "Memory Book" Comm. in 2004 and w/ the Committee's approval included these students since they had spent the vast majority of their elementary years @ DFS. The students and their parents were thrilled over this small but meaningful gesture. Unfortunately, redistricting and reconfiguring our educational procedures may be something the BoE has to look at in the future. I would imagine funding for all day Kindergarten will have to come from various sources such as growth of the Town's grand list, moving educators around due to decreased student enrollment, and the savings realized from merging employee healthcare and maintenance services. Again, these are difficult decisions that will have to be made by the capable individuals who make up the BoE. Great question by the way, thanks so much. Regards, Suzanne
trumbulite09 October 20, 2011 at 08:27 PM
Thank you for your response.
Mitch Kelly October 20, 2011 at 08:40 PM
Suzanne-We have never met but for someone who dedicates your OWN free time for the betterment of OUR community, I see it as beneath you to answer to the many "armchair warriors" and "monday morning quarterbacks" on this mb who maybe attended a meeting here or there but don't donate one third of the time that you do to bettering the community. I have never posted on this board, nor do I plan to again but the pettiness of town Dems has convinced this new Trumbull Independent to vote Republican in my first Trumbull election. Keep up the good work Mrs. Testani MJK
J Strouse October 20, 2011 at 09:27 PM
CP - I hear you. But remember....there's a balance to be struck here. There are varied needs; many different constituents; and many different points of view. Education matters. Our seniors matter. Our middle class matters. Being able to pay our bills matters. We all have to recognize that we're in an environment where everyone has to sacrifice a bit more; that's just the way it is. It stinks; I know. And maybe it means we need to spend more time volunteering or finding other ways to help fill the gap...in our schools, in our parks...whatever the case may be. Moderation is key...(as Plato reminded us)... and there is no doubt in my mind that we have to move forward with deliberate speed, a steady hand, and an appreciation of a town that must always be mindful of ALL of its constituents.
Suzanne Testani October 21, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Dear TS, My two opponents are very qualified individuals. John and I were neighbors on Stag Lane for years while my boys were young. We are good friends and neighbors. A vote for them is your right. Regards, Suzanne
Suzanne Testani October 21, 2011 at 06:46 PM
Thanks Mitch, Thanks for the kind words, they mean more than you know. I don't mean to bloviate about my community/ educational involvement over the years but during campaign time politicians need to inform their constituents of their activities and interests. This information allows the voters to choose those candidates who best represent their views to be their voice in town government. If people of D1 if so choose on Nov. 8th I will keep advocating for them to the best of my ability. I do enjoy my role on the Council. It's similar to my role at the Senior Center, about the same amount of individuals to represent as well, around 3,000+. It's been quite a learning experience. My father spent 30 years serving as an elected official in Fairfield so you might say I was "weaned" on the stuff. Never did I think I'd be the politician one day. It's very different being the political "grunt" as opposed to the "politician". I actually enjoy both roles very much. Sincerely Yours, Suzanne
Suzanne Testani November 04, 2011 at 03:05 PM
Thanks Mitch, I appreciate your kind post. Everyone's entitled to their opinions and as an elected official one does their best to make everyone heard ,understood and in the event of a disagreement, even come to some sort of a compromise if possible. What some may not realize is that elected officials have lives outside of their public roles. I'm not in this for any other reason than to serve the people of Trumbull. I enjoy every minute of it! I have a good job (thank goodness), a family and a life. I'm not trying to prove anything. Hopefully I've already done that. The people will decide the future of Trumbull this coming Tuesday. They will do this by electing the candidates they see fit to lead our great town for the next two years. Please vote and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same. Take care Mitch.


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