A Primary for Trumbull's Pescatore

But some of his fellow republicans charge he led 'a campaign of harassment' and tried to have fired those who testified against his father, the former town fire marshal. Pescatore says they are 'unfounded.'

Rob Pescatore Jr. has gathered enough signatures to force a Sept. 13 primary for candidacy the second-district republican Town Council seat.

Pescatore said he garnered 59 signatures, more than the required five percent of registered republicans in his district. The results were certified Monday in the Registrar of Voters office in Town Hall. Only registered republicans may vote in the primary, to be held at . Those registered as unaffiliated can vote if they register as Republicans before noon on Sept. 12.

"People from the TRTC [Trumbull Republican Town Committee] may be upset with me for asking questions of the Herbst administration about the different policies being implemented, but I have an obligation to make sure that my costituents are properly represented and to be sure that we, as a government body, are making the right choices on their behalf — not for any political gain," he said.

Pescatore was not renominated for the seat he won in 2007.

"Mr. Pescatore appears to be confused. He vigorously opposed former First Selectman Ray Baldwin [a democrat], then went against First Selectman Tim Herbst [a republican], attended Mary Beth Thornton's announcement speech supporting the democratic ticket and is now back trying to seek the nomination of the republican party," said TRTC Chairman Jack Testani. "He has demonstrated repeated behavior over the course of the last two years that shows he has a personal agenda, driven by a political vendettas."

Pescatore denied all allegations, and has said he was stripped of his chairmanship of the Town Council Finance Committee because he attended public hearings with Thornton, D-2, regarding the north Nichols sewer projects in districts 2 and 7.

He also vowed "not to engage" the TRTC "in their quest to bring more anger to this town."

"I will focus on the needs of the community," he said. 

Testani said that shortly after the 2009 election, Pescatore met with Herbst and asked him to fire employees in the Information Technology Department and put Pescatore in the director's job.

"He also demanded that the first selectman terminate the senior and deputy fire marshals who had testified against" former Fire Marshal Robert Pescatore, the councilman's father, Testani said.

Pescatore Jr. then "embarked on a campaign of harassment of various departments throughout the town," Testani said, citing the minutes of 2010 council and the committee meetings.

Two republican council members, Tony Scinto and Ann Marie Evangelista, were cited in a press release as saying Pescatore said he had "personal agendas with certain people" and "seemed determined to get even with certain people."

North Nichols Sewers, or Contract IV

Pescatore disagrees with his fellow republicans on hiring Tighe & Bond, an engineering firm, to oversee the sewer work in the Nichols area in the eastern end of town and audit the work in Contract III, in the Jog Hill Road area.

"This forensic audit was was the basis for identifying all of the defects in Contract III, which ultimately led to the proper oversight of Contract IV," Testani said.

Pescatore shares concerns with Thornton that north Nichols residents will bear 75 percent of the cost of the project, rather than spreading out costs over the entire town as in past practice. Sewer assessments have not been determined yet.

He's also concerned about Tighe & Bond's costs. "The projected costs of this project have exceeded what we as a district were told they would be. I have opposed the costs of Tighe & Bond not because I disagree with the oversight, but because the town has a set a precedent of covering the engineering costs of sewer lines in every other contract area."

He cited a recent increase of the firm's to cost to $1.8 million. But Herbst has said the firm has saved the town money so the net result will be a smaller bill.

Also, Tighe & Bond has identified problems with the Jog Hill work, for which the town is suing for more than $8 million. Federal investigators are also probing the town's past sewer projects.

Pescatore's Supporters, Detractors

Several people were cited in support of and against Pescatore. Andrew Palo, vice chairman of the Board of Finance and a republican, said he was saddened at the TRTC's statements.

"As we just witnessed at the national level with our country's debt negotiations, it is time for republicans to throw aside their radical way of approaching problems and to instead reach across the aisle and work with others to conquer the issues our country faces. Mr. Pescatore's sin was he did just that," Palo said. "He reached across the aisle and held numerous town-hall style meetings for the residents of District 2 over the last two years."

"His hard-working demeanor and willingness to listen to diverse opinions is what you want out of Town Council representative," Palo added.

The TRTC quoted one Nichols constituent saying Pescatore was not involved in fighting a fuel cell that was slated for Huntington Turnpike and Primrose Drive.

"Mr. Pescatore was virtually nowhere to be found when we were fighting a power plant," said Richard Moore, a lifelong Nichols resident who helped lead a citizen group against it.

"Mr. Pescatore attended one, maybe two meetings and then disappeared. Other town leaders in both parties were there to help us. Mr. Pescatore, on the other hand, was not there to help us," Moore said.

The republican candidates for town council are incumbent Jane Deyoe and Attorney Jeffrey Donofrio, whom Herbst, the incumbent for first selectman, praised.

"Jane has represented her constituents very well. She is hard-working, diligent and well-respected on both sides of the aisle. Attorney Donofrio will bring professionalism, sound judgment, integrity and character to the Town Council," Herbst said.

Meanwhile, Pescatore thanked his constituents.

"It has been an honor to serve District 2 for the past for years and I look forward to continuing my service," he said.

CTPati August 13, 2011 at 03:35 PM
The largest "percentage of the public...doesn't read TCHAT, TPatch," but "Rasmussen Poll: Tea Party Favored Over Congress." ..."The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll released Wednesday found that 42 percent of likely U.S. voters believe tea partiers get it, while 34 percent say the average congressman and senator isn’t clued in at all to the economic and other problems facing the country. Meanwhile, 24 percent of those surveyed said they were undecided about who knows what."... Read more on Newsmax.com: Rasmussen Poll: Tea Party Favored Over Congress
Tom Kelly August 13, 2011 at 04:52 PM
CT Pati, I guess it depends on the poll to which you give the most credibility or perhaps how the questions are phrased. In the latest Gallup Poll, Democrats hold a 7 point edge over Republicans in the 2012 Congressional race, and 42% said a Tea Party endorsement would make them LESS likely to vote for a candidate (compared to 23% who said it would make them more likely). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/12/gallup-poll_n_925321.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
Bill Holden August 13, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Tom, your statements show how little you learned about Party Rules or the election process during your short tenure on the town committee and as an officer thereof. Party rules provide that endorsement votes are limited to those town committee members eligible to vote for an endorsed candidate in a primary. The town committee meeting takes a break to allow the various districts to meet and endorse council candidates. They have done this every municipal election year for over 30 years, including 2009 when you may not have been paying attention. When the full town committee meeting resumes the district leaders announce the names of the candidates selected to be the endorsed candidates of the town committee. This process follows the state statutes regarding who is allowed to vote in a primary or general election. It is normal for the Town Committee Chairman and highest elected official to "endorse" the candidates formally endorsed by Town Committee members, whether by district or town-wide. You have "endorsed" at least one Democrat for this yea's election. Does that mean you actually participated in Party votes to select any of the Democrat candidates? Perhaps you just don't understand the difference between an "endorsed candidate" an a "nominated candidate" under CT state statutes. (Hint: at this time neither of the major parties officially have any "nominated" candidates.) The Republicans endorse by town committee meeting, not by convention.
CTPati August 14, 2011 at 03:22 AM
Tom, I note that you are conspicuously silent about WHY you, a "progressive," even want to be a Republican. Will you answer that? Again,"Progressivism" as a doctrine is as about as opposite as you can get from the fundamental Republican party *principles.* "‘Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of Liberal Fascism’ shows exactly how progressivism and Woodrow Wilson emerged as powers on the American scene at virtually the same time. Wilson is firmly ensconced in the pantheon of Progressivism. Yet, he was a RACIST and that is never mentioned by liberals today."... http://www.etherzone.com/2011/beam030711.shtml There are also some quite nasty facts of "history" (your expertise?) concerning Planned Parenthood's founding by Margaret Sanger, a *racist* who promoted eugenics. There is also the FACT that abortions of African American babies today are at FIVE TIMES the rate of those performed on Caucasians!
Gregg Basbagill August 14, 2011 at 03:57 AM
CT Pati- Of course you are right that Wilson was a racist (and don't forget completely intolerant of "hyphenated Americans.") If you could please offer one example of a pure politician, who sacrificed pragmatism at all times in the interest of furthering his or her ideals, I would love to hear of it. Of course, I'm sure you know I'm baiting you. There are very few politicians over the course of history who would survive a rigid purity test. There probably isn't a single Founding Father who didn't have some racist tendencies, and even our beloved Lincoln wasn't able to proclaim the slaves' emancipation until Antietam. Why hold such a stupid standard (perfection), when you know it will only be answered with countless other examples of imperfection?
Tom Kelly August 14, 2011 at 05:20 AM
CT Pati, I don't know why you want to make this about me. As Bill points out, I had a short run on TRTC and I am an insignificant politician who didn't do a good job of learning the party nominating rules. I should have paid closer attention, and modeled myself after Bill. Look at the work product produced by his Charter Revision Commission....rigid compliance with state statuts, close attention paid to detail, superior job done of editing and proofreading....well, that wasn't very nice. Sarcasm does not suit me well....I apologize. Well, let me answer your question. Yes, I am progressive in some things. I think that more than once every ten years or so, we should raise the minimum wage in this country. I am a strong believer in quality education. I like to protect the environment. I don't like the fact that there are 240 million handguns in this country. I believe in a fair tax code. I believe in taking care of the most vulnerable amongst our citizens. I don't know why those things aren't compatible with being a Republican. I also believe in keeping a strong defense. I don't think government can solve all our problems. I believe in a sensible immigration policy. I am pro-life, and I believe only God has the authority to decide when a life is going to end. I am certainly not in favor of the deficits the country is amassing. Those beliefs are not good enough to be a Republican these days. The tent is not big enough, and I am routinely called a RINO.
Bill Holden August 14, 2011 at 11:43 AM
Tiom K. You are changing topics when talking about charter revision. I'll just say I would have done things differently if I had been chairman. I was attempting to point out the inaccuracies in your 4:54pm, Aug 12, regarding TRTC endorsement of candidates. You keep reminding everyone that you were Vice-Chair for several months and you assumed things incorrectly. Yet, you criticize others for following the process rather than doing things your way. "Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so." --Ronald Reagan
Tom Kelly August 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM
Bill, my comment was a snarky thing to say, and I shouldn't have said it. So let me just apologize again and say thank you to the folks who served on the commission. I don't need to make points that way and I will try to do better going forward. And I don't think I really misunderstand the nominating process, but my characterization of it is semantically different. I do know that the districts themselves choose the Town Council candidates. Whether that means that the candidates are TRTC endorsed, district endorsed, or some other characterization is not the most important thing. Because regardless of the "official" way that candidates are chosen, in practice, many of those decisions are made, impacted, or orchestrated by others. That's the way the process works, for better or worse. And now we have a primary in District 2. It will be interesting to see the results. Obviously, the party-endorsed (or district endorsed) candidates have an advantage, and we will see if Mr. Pescatore can overcome that advantage. He is a four year incumbent in that District and I think he has worked hard on behalf of his constituents. I asked him why he was choosing to run as a Republican when so many in the party leadership don't like him, and his response to me was "I'm a Republican."
Bill Holden August 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM
The voters will decide on Sept. 13. The polls will be open from 6 am to 8 pm. Voting will be at Booth Hill School. CT is a closed primary state, meaning only enrolled Republicans residing in District 2 are eligible to vote in the primary. However, anyone who changes their party afilliation has a 90 day waiting period before they are eligible to vote in a primary. June 13 was the last day someone could have changed afilliation and be eligible to vote in the Sept 13 primary.
Carol Hudak August 14, 2011 at 12:37 PM
Herbst & co. got elected by moderates; they immediately abandoned them. Now they've embraced the tea party. The primary IS a Pescatore Primary. The TRTC/Tim choice for D-2 TC (Pescatore) seat has lived in Trumbull under a year! Imagine. However, he is a lawyer, and colleague of Herbst, so those are all the qualifications he needs. Only living in Trumbull for a half an hour qualifies no one, Republican, Independent or Democrat, to be a Town Council representative. This candidate might even be using a map to find his way around Trumbull, and he's going to represent us in D-2?
Mark E Smith August 14, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Bill Holden, Approximately, how much money does this Primary cost the taxpayers of Trumbull? Mark
Thomas Tesoro August 14, 2011 at 02:40 PM
I think Teddy Roosevelt considered himself a "progressive" but he was no liberal.
Thomas Tesoro August 14, 2011 at 02:50 PM
We should all keep in mind the "sins" Pescatore committed to be stripped of the Republican administration. 1. He refused to knuckle under and blindly follow the Republican Party Line 2. He attempted to work in a bi-partisan manner on matters of importance to his constituents 3. He refused to compromise the integrity of the Town Council as a co-equal branch of Trumbull Government by joining the Democrats in walking out of the probably illegal "veto" meeting. 4. He treated Mary Beth Thornton as a colleague instead of a pariah. Remember Mr. Pescatore was nominated twice by his Party. His votes more often than not follow the thinking of the Republicans. As far as anyone can see he diligently represented his district. While disagree with many of his votes, he was always polite and cordial. He was no different today than he was when he was elected 4 years ago. So I ask, did Mr. Pescatore change or have the local Republicans changed to a group that demands conformity, blind loyalty and reeks of intolerance of any differing point of view. Ask Rob Pescatore, Andy Palo, Tom Kelly, Ted Lovely Martha Mark and so many more.......
Bill Holden August 14, 2011 at 03:38 PM
Mark, Crunching some numbers quickly (my records aren't at home) indicates the cost will be around $3700. This is somewhat distorted when compared to a townwide election event because there is a minimum charge for the memory cards (which I think is $675). There's the actual programming cost which would be far less than that for only 1 contest consisting of only 3 candidates but we're at the mercy of the "minimum charge" by the tabulator company. I did not plan on using a tabulator for absentee ballots as there will likely be a small number of them. I'm contemplating paying teh absentee moderator & counter less than normal due to the smaller number. However, the officials at the polls will all be there from 5 am until after the polls close, so they will be paid their normal rate. Ballots have to ordered ini multiples of 100. Presently, I'm figuring 400 polling place ballots and believe the town clerk will order 100 absentee ballots.
Cindy Katske August 14, 2011 at 03:52 PM
First of all, I don't know why this comment appears above the one that I intend to reply to, so I apologize for any confusion. I'm responding to Bill Holden's reply at 5:38pm on Saturday, August 13. Bill, I don't understand why you needed to respond in such a way as to attempt to demean Mr. Kelly. If you go back and read his post, he states, "I don't think," "I'm not sure if," "I don't think," and "so I think." He clearly indicated that he was not sure of the nominating procedures, yet you felt the need to belittle him for his lack of knowledge about the process. I know you do not like him, which you have made abundantly clear on many forums such as Facebook, Trumbull Chat, and Patch. I found your response to be quite distasteful, when it could have (and should have) been simply informative, which would have helped to move the dialog forward in a productive manner.
jimrockford August 14, 2011 at 04:08 PM
What is with these soap opera comments? This juvenile commenting by the Trumbull Democratic Party on the opposing party in the comments section of this site makes one wonder if these elected officials have the proper temperament to serve on town boards. Do these Trumbull Democrat officials have anything serious to offer? Now we are seeing why this town was so poorly managed when they were running things for so long.
CTPati August 14, 2011 at 04:15 PM
To demand that elected officials have the *integrity* to obey their oath of office and uphold Constitutional PRINCIPLES is not demanding "perfection"! I find Gregg's notion of comparing the Founding Fathers and Lincoln to W. Wilson preposterous at best. The FF were the best of men, as a body, ideally suited to found an exceptional nation which is still unique in the world. The elitist academic Woodrow Wilson, by comparison, was a truly evil man. I join the millions of Americans who revere the FF and Lincoln as inspired and truly GOOD and honorable men, though imperfect as even they acknowledged. Human beings' imperfection is *exactly why* the Founders knew we must have a LIMITED government with strict controls *from the PEOPLE*--and states--upon it, rather than a "ruling class" as the "progressives" (modern DEMS), and Wilson epitomized.
trumbulite09 August 14, 2011 at 04:57 PM
That's right Jim - so many comments from CTPati(Tea party) about the horrible state of the world which is completely Obama and the democrates fault - although the article is Trumbull focused, Republican Cindy Penkoff attacking a sitting republican town councilman, Republican Bill Holden, going back and forward with RepublicanTom Kelly, Republican Mark Smith asking how much it will be for this Republican Primary because once again the Republican party is divided but yea - it's the Democrates that are contributing to this soap opera. The article is about a Republican Primary wasting money by the Republicans because the Republicans can't even get along with their own party. That is how well the Republicans manage?
Bill Holden August 14, 2011 at 06:35 PM
Cindy, there was no question that Mr Kelly was trying to project an negative image of the Republican Party. His first "I don't think" refers to an endorsement meeting he attended and took a part in in 2009. He should have known better. His "I'm not sure" means he is not speaking from a position of knowledge while attempting to imply he is an authority. His second "I don't think" is an attack of the political reality of both major parties supporting their endorsed candidates, designed to reinforce his negative attack without providing any substance about what he states is "clear", other than saying party leadership endorses the candidates endorsed by the party. That shouldn't be surprising. Unfortunately, this is typical of his attacks by innuendo.
Mark E Smith August 14, 2011 at 07:02 PM
"Mark, Crunching some numbers quickly (my records aren't at home) indicates the cost will be around $3700. This is somewhat distorted when compared to a townwide election event because there is a minimum charge for the memory cards (which I think is $675). There's the actual programming cost which would be far less than that for only 1 contest consisting of only 3 candidates but we're at the mercy of the "minimum charge" by the tabulator company. I did not plan on using a tabulator for absentee ballots as there will likely be a small number of them. I'm contemplating paying teh absentee moderator & counter less than normal due to the smaller number. However, the officials at the polls will all be there from 5 am until after the polls close, so they will be paid their normal rate. Ballots have to ordered ini multiples of 100. Presently, I'm figuring 400 polling place ballots and believe the town clerk will order 100 absentee ballots."... Bill Holden So, for Mr. Pescator to have his 'Primary' the taxpayers (both Dem, Rep and Indie) will have to pay about $3,700 for this Primary.
Thomas Tesoro August 14, 2011 at 07:48 PM
I wonder how much the "legal opinion" cost that resulted in Mr. Palo's shameful ouster as Chair of the BOF? Why should the taxpayers fund TRTC punishment and why shouldn't the People of Mr. Pescatore's district have the opportunity to right the wrong done to him?
Thomas Tesoro August 14, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Actually Jim I think you are a bit confused. Under Democratic leadership our schools improved, our open space grew and so much more. The success of Democratic initiatives received wide recognition and Trumbull became one of the best places to live. Now, under Republican leadership, we lost 40 acres of our Town, our Government is dysfunctional and our schools are offering less than before and you taxes still went up. Given this and the petulant way Republican leadership has expressed itself I would think you would be wondering if you should be questioning the temperment of the current regime.
Bill Holden August 14, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Tom, your extreme partisan feelings are over taking your reasoning abilities. Mr Palo was not ousted as Chair of the BoF. He never was Chair of the BoF, only acted as Chair ProTem as provided by Robert's . Mr Pescatore was not "wronged", unless you think it is a right of an office holder to be renominated (and re-elected?). Mr Pescatore is certainly within his rights to seek the nomination through a primary. My Assistant Registrar and I spent about 45 minutes with Mr Pescatore and a supporter of his going over all the primary petition requirements to explain everything to him so he would understand the rules. I didn't want any misunderstanding to lead to problems. I suggested he could turn in petition pages whenever he wanted prior to the dead line and we would try to notify him of any rejected signatures within 24 hours so he could either continue obtaining signatures if necessary or stop obtaining signatures once the required number were filed.. 49 signatures were required and 59 valid signatures were submitted on August 8. No surprises, not disappointments and no disputes. Nobody was wronged.
Thomas Tesoro August 14, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Hi Bill, Thanks for assuming I had reasoning abilities in the first place. Nevertheless, when a person who by the casual observer seemed to represent his district in a diligent manner is not renominated...something is wrong. As for Mr. Palo, semantics notwithstanding, Mr. Palo acted very professionally as Chair of our Board and there was no reason to make any change other than the Republicans were miffed at him.Roberts Rules of Order is a pretext to do what the TRTC wanted done, that is, punish Mr. Palo and put in as Chair of Our Board a person appointed to the Board by the First Selectman. In essence, the First Selectman chose the Chair of the BOF, This is not good governance and, and I mean this sincerely, as a person who cares about good governance, I am surprised you defend it.
Bill Holden August 14, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Tom, the endorsement of a district 2 town council candidate is something in which I had no part. (Actually the only part I had in the endorsement of any candidate, including my own district. was in voting on the nominees.) Your talk of representing one's district in a diligent manner can be said of practically any incumbent. Yet, I don't believe you want all incumbents to be re-elected. Regarding the BoF; it is not a matter of semantics. Don't the BoF rules provides that anything not specifically addressed by the rules are governed by Robert's? The BoF rules do not address an order of sucession and therefore a new election of Chairman (and vice-chairman, since there was a vacancy there also) were in order. Thought I read on line somewhere that Mr. Palo, after reviewing Robert's agreed that he was not the chairman and that an election was necessary. Not having sen the two meetings he chaired, I won't comment on his performance. It became a matter for all voting members to select the new chairman once the BoF deadlocked on that6 election, the chater required the first selectman to cast a tie breaking vote. He made his choice and stated his reasons for supporting a twice elected member of the BoF, former chairman of the BoF, former State Rep and former Director of Finance of the Town of Trumbull...all more impressive credentials than anyone presently on the BoF,.
Thomas Tesoro August 14, 2011 at 10:36 PM
Come on Bill, the fix was in from the start.The FS actually rose to appoint Ms. Hammers before the nominations were finished. He had to return to his seat and wait until the inevitable. Now, this is not an aspersion on Ms. Hammers, she really is a victim too as was the Town Attorney who was dragged into this. She should have voted for Mr. Palo but went along with the charade. If you think about it, three votes for Ms, Hammers were by non-elected members of the BOF, Mr. LaVoie, Ms. Hammers and the FS. Only Mr. Martin was elected to our Board. I think we all would be better served if we fess up and say the action was retribution for Mr. Palo failing to follow the party line. The voters won't like it but at least it would be factually correct.
Bill Holden August 15, 2011 at 01:22 AM
Geez Tom! You or nobody should be naive enough to believe that the fact Mr Palo was not officially/legally the chairman just popped up when the agenda item of election of officers came to the table. Certainly an election of oficers did not arise when Mr Smith left a meeting. It was some time between that meeting and the next meeting that Mr Smith resigned from the board, as I recall. I don't know if there was time from the resignation to include the election of officers on the next agenda, but if there was, it wouldn't be the first time the BoF (or any other body for that matter) made a procedural mistake that needed to be corrected. (Just look at the recent effort to increase a BoE supplemental by $195K which was reduced to $35K above the requested amount. The BoF clearly does not have that power.)
Thomas Tesoro August 15, 2011 at 02:01 AM
I have a lot of respect for you Bill and one or two incidents or disagreements will not diminish that. You can stand on legalities and Robert's Rules and procedural error and that is fine however, I was there and saw with my own eyes. The TRTC should keep their disciplinary issues at their meetings and not use Taxpayer money to solicit legal opinions or use the BOF as a mechanism for imposing discipline.You and I both know that is a very bad idea and a very bad precedent. As for the BOF error on increasing the BOE request, it was a mistake. I missed it. So did our new Chair, Ms. Hammers whose qualifications you extol. However, a mistake is one thing, the Palo matter quite different.
Bill Holden August 15, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Tom, I also respect you and most people in our local government. Where we disagree on this matter is whether this is an issue of party discipline or doing what is right and proper. I have no idea whether or not a legal opinion regarding this involved the use of taxpayer funds or was included in the budgeted amount. If it did cost anything I would have gladly attended the BoF meeting to point out the error. However, I would only be speaking as a citizen with no standing. My opinion would not carry the weight of a legal opinion, even though we arrived at the same conclusion. (It took me less than ten minutes to confirm that opinion.) Every one makes mistakes once in a while; me and the entire BoF including Steve Lupien who motioned to increase the supplemental appropriation by $195K.
vincent August 15, 2011 at 09:54 PM
you are a pathetic person. You are the king of anonymous posts. Question, when Herbst wins again will we have to liste to you cry for another two years


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