The following is a letter to the editor.
To the Editor:
Two and a half months before a local election, First Selectman candidate Martha Mark has found fiscal conservatism. She certainly did not have it when she was a Republican and she hasn’t really demonstrated it the last two years as a Democrat. As has become standard operating procedure, Ms. Mark and her followers employ a campaign strategy where they tear down our First Selectman. All of a sudden, Mrs. Mark is talking like a fiscal conservative. The fact of the matter is that she can run from her record, but she can’t hide.
Mrs. Mark voted against Town budgets because she felt they did not spend enough. She wanted to spend more. She supported the 73 million dollar renovation of Trumbull High School and didn’t believe that a bond initiative of that magnitude should go before the voters in a referendum. She voted against revisions to the Town Charter that gave voters the right to vote on the budget and also stipulated that capital projects in excess of 15 million also go before the voters. She voted against initiatives that reduced the overall cost of the high school renovation. She voted against expanding senior citizen tax relief. She voted against audits of the botched sewer project in Jog Hill and also against an audit of the high school renovation. If Mrs. Mark is now so concerned for the Trumbull taxpayers, why won’t she support audits that will make sure their tax dollars were properly spent?
Last week, Mrs. Mark said that if elected, with the exception of contractual obligations, she will hold spending at current levels. That sounds nice, but let’s dig a little deeper. She certainly has not kept that commitment, and her big spending track record on the Town Council clearly bears that out. Based on Mrs. Mark’s promise last week, every Trumbullite should ask Mrs. Mark what town services and programs she plans on eliminating to honor her pledge. If Mrs. Mark actually backed up her campaign rhetoric, this would mean that she would not maintain a proper fund balance, not properly fund Town pensions and not meet the Town’s capital priorities. Will she not pave Town roads? Will she eliminate senior citizen tax relief? Will she eliminate full day kindergarten? Leaf pick up? Will she tell Chief Kiely that he cannot have money for police training and new life saving equipment to better protect the public and most especially our schools? Will she tell the EMS Department that they can’t have the resources they need to better serve the medical needs of the community?
These are the questions that every Trumbull taxpayer should make Mrs. Mark answer during the course of this campaign. Over the last four years, our First Selectman Tim Herbst has stabilized property taxes while maintaining and improving Town services in all areas. The proof of that is our recent recognition by Coldwell Banker as the Number 1 booming suburb in Connecticut. We need to keep Trumbull moving in the right direction.
Ann Marie Evangelista, Town Councilwoman