This the fourth and final article in a series based on statements from GOP First Selectman Tim Herbst and his Democratic Challenger Martha Jankovic-Mark.
Trumbull has the second-highest pay-to-play fee in the state, First Selectman Candidate Martha Mark charged.
Mark, who is running against First Selectman Tim Herbst, said, "Forty-four
school districts charge pay-to-participate fees. Trumbull's fee of $250
per sport is second only to Tolland ($275 per sport)."
Herbst said Mark needs to address the Board of Education on that issue.
"If Mrs. Mark has a problem with pay to participate fees, she should talk to her party which holds a 5-2 majority on the Board of Education and has controlled the Board of Education for six out of the last eight years."
Specifically, he said board member Tom Kelly, a democrat, "talks often about pay to participate fees. He is now running on Mrs. Mark’s ticket for Board of Finance. Mr. Kelly talks a good game about fiscal discipline yet voted to increase the Board of Education budget in excess of 10 percent over a two-year period. This 10 percent increase did not budget for a pay to participate reduction or some form of stabilization."
The Board of Education is independent by state statute, even though it is funded by taxes.
"They should also
explain why they recently allowed a 35 percent increase in band participation fees
that was in violation of Board of Education policy," Herbst added.
The first selectman added that tax increases have been 1.88 percent on average, one of the lowest four-year averages in Fairfield County. But his critics have accused his administration of bonding items to keep the tax rate low.