First Selectman Tim Herbst has been in full time spin mode since the cancellation of the Michael Bolton concert, desperately trying to find anyone else to blame but himself. Recently, Republican Town Chairman Jack Testani jumped into the fray with a misleading press release. Both Herbst and Testani's statements have been inconsistent and beg the question as to whether First Selectman Herbst and his fellow Republicans can be trusted. It's time to remind Trumbull residents of the facts, quoting right from the official minutes from the meeting and figures supplied by the town's Finance Department.
First Selectman Herbst continues to talk about the Board of Finance being aware of the financial aspects of the concert. Yes, the Board of Finance was aware--and they voted UNANIMOUSLY AGAINST risking $60,000 of taxpayer funds on this concert. All six members of the Board of Finance, including Democrats Lupien, and Palo, voted AGAINST the funding of the concert. Let me say that again—The Board of Finance voted unanimously against the Herbst concert proposal. Mr. Herbst then took it to the Town Council and asked them to override the vote of the Board of Finance.
Indeed, the Town Council did override the Board of Finance. The July 12, 2012 minutes show that Republicans were responsible for this override.Republicans who voted to risk $60,000 of taxpayer money: Suzanne Testani, Jeff Donofrio, Jeffrey Jenkins, Debra Lamberti, Kristy Waizenegger, Ann Marie Evangelista, Chad Ciocci, Mark LeClair, Mike London, Tony Scinto. Democrats who voted in favor: Fred Palmieri and Thomas Whitmoyer. Let's be clear. Ten Republicans voted for the funding for this concert, and only TWO Democrats favored it.
Beyond this, Democratic Minority Leader Martha Mark requested that Town Council go into executive session to discuss the performer. First Selectman Herbst told Ms. Mark that if she wanted to have a say in the selection of the performer, she should run for First Selectman. Mr. Herbst claims that the Town Council and the Board of Finance had all the facts before they approved funding for the concert, but Mr. Herbst REFUSED to give the Town Council the name of the performer before they took their vote!
Lastly, Mr. Herbst has been quoted as saying that the failed concert cost Trumbull taxpayers $20,000. According to figures supplied by the Trumbull Finance Department, the aborted concert lost exactly $76,955. Mr. Herbst's inconsistent statements bring into question whether he can be trusted to explain difficult financial matters to Trumbull residents. In his zeal to flee from responsibility and blame others, Mr. Herbst has omitted or misconstrued several important facts and figures. I have corrected the record in this letter. It's time for Tim Herbst to take responsibility for this concert. He was responsible for the selection of Michael Bolton to be the performer. The concert lost almost $77,000 of taxpayer funds. There's no one else to blame, Mr. Herbst. Please take accountability for this debacle, and then we can all move on.