To The Editor:
I think it's time for Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst to put aside the spin and start to give Trumbull residents some straight answers regarding the failed Michael Bolton concert.
According to figures supplied by Trumbull Finance Director Maria Pires, the cancelled 2012 concert cost Trumbull $76,955. This $76,955 is broken down as follows: Advertising-$16,390; Promotor-$15,000; Performer-Michael Bolton-$45,000; Personnel on the ticket desk-$565. That's pretty straightforward stuff. Straight from the Finance Department, the failed concert cost Trumbull taxpayers $76,955.
Unfortunately, the latest spin coming from Mr. Herbst is that the concert "only" cost Trumbull taxpayers about $20,000. That's because the concert fund had a balance of $57,148 in it at the beginning of the year. That figure included about $12,561 that was transferred in from the old "Trumbull Day" account, which was a surplus from previous years. That $12,561 was taxpayer money, and it is totally misleading to try to "reduce" the 2012 cancellation expenses by this money and claim it isn't a loss. Additionally, Mr. Herbst reduces the amount of the loss by the $44,587 that was left in the concert fund from previous years. That, too, was Trumbull taxpayer money, and shouldn't be subtracted from the amount of the 2012 loss if the goal is to present Trumbull taxpayers with an honest financial picture. Those accounts are part of the General Fund, which consists of TAXPAYERS' dollars!
The whole concert story is disturbing because of the lack of transparency and consistency in the information coming from the Herbst Administration. Does Mr. Herbst believes that most town residents will not delve into the details, and that they will be content to get a fuzzy, convoluted overview of the financial consequences of the failed concert? Those of us who are aware of the details find it is very frustrating that this administration would try to pull the wool over the eyes of the Trumbull taxpayers once again. It is a disturbing pattern of behavior that needs to be stopped.