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Herbst Responds to Resignation Flap

The following comes from First Selectman Tim Herbst on the suit over the handling of David Rutigliano's resignation from the Board of Finance.

I will defer to the Town Clerk for a formal response from her office.  What I do know is that the Town Clerk contacted the Secretary of State’s office and the Town Attorneys for guidance upon receipt of the resignation and followed the Town Charter.  

Ms. Tesoro and Mr. Kelly like to talk about their concern for the Trumbull taxpayers, yet they have no problem spending thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on a special election for a seat that the voters of Trumbull elected a Republican to in 2011.  And in 2013, they apparently didn’t hear the 70% of Trumbull voters who believe Trumbull is moving in the right direction.  This type of behavior is exactly why they continue to lose by larger margins in each local election since 2009.  
 
When they learn to be productive rather than counter-productive, the Town will be better served.  All they seem to know how to do is send out malicious press releases and file court actions.  It is time for Trumbull Democrats to offer a positive competing vision of where they will lead the Town of Trumbull.  Trumbullites are sick and tired of their negativity and the results of the 2013 election are proof positive of this fact.

First Selectman Tim Herbst
Kristy Ludlam Waizenegger January 03, 2014 at 04:15 PM
By the way, I think it would probably be worthwhile to do some work around actually finding out why people don't vote then at least we could post some facts instead of so much silly speculation. Low voter turnout is not unique to Trumbull.
Pam Georgas January 03, 2014 at 04:46 PM
If you speak to many people and ask them why they don't vote, they usually give one of 3 reasons 1) they were too busy that day, and never made it 2) they don't really care that much who is running the town, because they find the politics in Trumbull frustrating. 3) they don't think their voice matters, because decisions are often driven by party agendas. If the parties really want to engage more registered voters they should talk to people not parties, and show more respect to unaffiliated voters (over 50% of registered voters). They pay the same taxes as party-affiliated voters, yet are often ignored on many levels.
MAC January 03, 2014 at 06:14 PM
In state and national elections, UNINFORMED voters (along with those who want government to be their Daddy) have inflicted Malloy and BHO upon a state and nation whose Economies are being driven into the sewer! For that reason, along with too many incompetent career politicians in Congress (80-90 % of them--includes both parties!), I prefer that the unmotivated and especially the 'low-information' voters don't vote......................... Voting is a PRIVILEGE, which if it were limited to property owners (as the FF contemplated), imo, would have left our Nation (and state) with the opportunity for all to Prosper and make our own choices--instead of having this never-ending jobless Great Recession!
Jon Greene January 03, 2014 at 06:45 PM
Let's get back to the subject of this article. Since Bill is either gone or chooses not to answer, perhaps Kristy, who I believe voted as a member of the TC to send the charter forward to the voters (please correct me if that is incorrect), would comment on her expectations in approving its language. If the charter gives the public 10 days to respond to an action, what obligation does the administration have to inform them that it has occurred and the clock has started? Is a legal notice in the paper with just two days left sufficient? We heard a lot about the charter being reworked in the name of transparency and empowering voters - was this resignation handled in a manner consistent with her expectations for transparency and empowerment?
billholden January 03, 2014 at 09:06 PM
Jon Green. forgive me if I do not monitor Patch 24 hours a day. Regarding the days for filing a petition for a special election; the 2011 Charter Revision Commission did not make any changes to wording that already existed. A legal notice in a newspaper is not mentioned in the Charter or Statutes.
Pam Georgas January 03, 2014 at 09:37 PM
Bill, I know this is side tracking from the point they are trying to make, but how many voters typically show up for a special election for a board or commission?
Pam Georgas January 03, 2014 at 09:48 PM
Mac, 'unaffiliated' voter does not necessarily equate to 'uninformed' voter. Although I would agree that the majority of all voters are not informed nearly as much they should be. Many people vote on name recognition and media sound bites. On a local level our government should be more inclusive of interested unaffiliated voters.
Thomas Tesoro January 03, 2014 at 10:20 PM
How about we start with something simple, that is, do the right thing. It is not the right thing to resign and tell only a select few from your own Party. it is not right for the Chair of the BOF assuming she knew, not to tell the other members of the Board. it is not right to spew nonsense attacking those who want to give the people the right to decide and it is not at all right to make misleading statements (like 70% of the voters it was about 28%) when in reality it was 70% of those that came to vote. As I said, the republicans believe they can do anything and for a while they were right...not anymore.
Thomas Tesoro January 03, 2014 at 10:23 PM
One other thing, I recommend an article by George Will (one of my favorite writers) entitled "What Political Ignorance Delivers" and another by Amir Taheri entitled "The Right Answer to Turkey's Crisis" where Mr. Taheri chronicles the decline Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of Turkey as power went to his head. Interesting reads with local meaning.
Jon Greene January 03, 2014 at 10:45 PM
Bill, The Charter Revision Commission reviewed every element of the charter for changes so you must have agreed with the 10 days when you opted to leave it as is. So, it is irrelevant whether you created that language or not as it was part of the document you submitted for ratification. In so doing, what was your expectation regarding notice to the public? You and your peers repeatedly talked about transparency and voter empowerment. Was a legal notice buried in the newspaper (no notice on the web site, press releases or mention of any kind to the media) two days before the deadline the kind of transparency and empowerment you intended?
MAC January 04, 2014 at 01:37 AM
Pam, I made no connection between "'unaffiliated' voters" and 'uninformed' voters. Although in my past interactions when campaigning for candidates, while speaking with 'unaffiliated,' voters, many of them proudly proclaim their "independence," as if they are better than those of us registered with a party................ There are two main problems I see with their status: 1. they can't vote in Primaries and 2. some of them see themselves as ABOVE 'Politics' and stay too aloof and under informed about the candidates, out of choice (which of course they can). As I stated before, I prefer that those who are not very informed, such as CT Democrats who simply pull the lever for every (D) on the ballot, would stay home instead of making all of us suffer the DAMAGE inflicted by perennially re-electing INCOMPETENT Career Politicians like Malloy and Blumenthal!
Pam Georgas January 04, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Mac, I actually think you are right about registered people just pulling the party lever across the ballot, without knowing who they are voting for. However both parties are guilty of this. It is a lazy way to vote, more particularity on a local level where you actually have direct access to meet and speak to many candidates. Many party candidates have a wide span of beliefs and experience. On a local level, you will sometimes find D's that are more fiscally conservative than some R's. It is a lot of work to get beyond the party sound bites, and know who you are voting for.... but these folks are very directly impacting our lives in many ways.
MAC January 04, 2014 at 12:38 PM
As to "directly impacting our lives in many ways," is the federal government not doing that now, 'ObamaDoesn'tCare' being the prime example, Pam?.............................................................. I generally agree with what you posted this morning (and often agree with your posts), but any of these "flaps" over Trumbull governance are inconsequential compared to the overreaching state and federal governments' interference (approaching tyranny) into law-abiding citizens' lives nowadays!...................... Under our Constitution the federal government was to be the WEAKEST of the government entities, and subject to the WILL of the PEOPLE. Career Politicians and unelected bureaucrats have turned that around so that in many ways state governments are lackeys to the federal, and we responsible Tax-Paying citizens are looked upon as too stupid to make our own decisions, by the Ruling Class ‘Nanny state.’ Just a few examples of that are federal interference in local Education, Health Care, 2nd Amendment Rights, among many others.
Pam Georgas January 04, 2014 at 12:59 PM
Mac, I strongly believe in giving more power to local governments and local nonprofits that know their communities needs better, but i think the only way that will happen is to have communities that are more engaged, and local politicians that are not driven by partisan party agendas, but agendas to help the needs of people. In this political scenario we live in, I think at this point starting from the communities - up; empowering communities to help themselves....is the only way to make a dent in the changes that should happen. Attempting change from the top down on many issues (federal government to local), I am afraid would be little more than an illusion. Even the healthcare issue most likely would be best resolved by simply empowering local nonprofit organizations to help communities/regions to find affordable healthcare. Why do we need federal government to do this?
Pam Georgas January 04, 2014 at 01:07 PM
Back to topic, I do think Mr. Rutigliano has some good ideas, and will be able to better serve us without the duel role. Is it worth it to fight on principle for a special election for BOF? I don't know the answer, as I don't know the costs to run a special election, nor do I know how many people bother to show up for these special elections. Or what is the likelihood the outcome will be different? I believe sometimes you have to weigh principles, with costs, and predictable outcomes
MAC January 04, 2014 at 02:47 PM
"Why do we need federal government" to run our health care, our education standards, our housing and mortgages, family farms, etc. etc. Pam? I agree with much of what you posted about "empowering communities to help themselves."......................... The main problem, though, is that entrenched bureaucracies at HUD, the IRS, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Education, FannieMae, EPA, etc. as well as Career Politicians in Congress (both parties) have been UN-CONSTITUTIONALLY consolidating their POWER over US and our lives and personal decisions and choices for decades! That usurpation of OUR Rights and Responsibilities has culminated in the gross travesty and abomination of the UN-Affordable "Obamacare"!!........................ With these "repeated injuries and usurpations" entrenched, and the other branches of the federal government enabling or endorsing them, changing anything in Trumbull (or any other community/region) although a noble effort, will NOT overcome or reverse the damage done by the Career Politicians in Hartford and D.C.!..................................................................................... The only way to "make a dent in the changes that should happen" to reassert our Constitutional Rights to have a federal government which is "Of, By and FOR the PEOPLE" is outlined in Mark Levin's book "The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic.".............................................................................. What Levin proposes is Constitutional, under Article 5, and is going forward in many states, with millions of Americans working on this reclaiming our Rights as citizens. Here is one article explaining this worthy endeavor : ............................................ http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/article-five-activism-is-gaining-steam-in-america/
Jon Greene January 04, 2014 at 04:20 PM
Pam, the danger in weighing principles versus return on a case by case basis is that the unprincipled way can then become precedent. The next time it comes up (and perhaps it's something you consider more important) and the administration decides to just stick the resignation letter in the Town Clerk's sock drawer until it's too late to respond, they'll say "That's the way it was done in the Rutigliano case." Sometimes you just have to stand up for principles or there won't be any.
Pam Georgas January 04, 2014 at 05:51 PM
Unfortunately politics; local, state and federal are too often a far cry from being virtuous. So unless we want to spend our lives in litigation, using tax payers or our own personal dollars, we have to weigh case by case principles, vs. return/outcomes. Look at our town charter, which gives appointment power of the ethics commission to the controlling party...that in of itself is highly unethical. Who's idea was that?? ....and who actually wrote and approved it into our charter? That has got to be one of the most egregious laws on our books. The ethics commission should be either elected by the people, or an independent resource to ensure unbiased and ethical proceedings.
Thomas Tesoro January 06, 2014 at 12:46 AM
The Charter revision is a farce and like this resignation was done with little input or publicity. I am sure you will hear "we did what was required by law" but to me that is the minimum, whether it be Charter revision or this resignation when we operate with little or no real transparency the result is rarely good. The Charter and this resignation are two examples.
Roy Fuchs January 07, 2014 at 03:21 PM
We might also be reminded that at last night's Town Council meeting, when democracy attempted to break out, it was quelled by the Republican majority. The six member Board of Finance has three alternates (which begs the question as to why a body of that size has an even number of members, and so requires a two-thirds majority to do business, and why it should even have alternates - something that escapes the mind of one who has served on local boards for 25 years). One, an Independent, is seated. When offered candidates that would have added a Republican and a Democrat, the council chose partisanship over democracy - the quite predictable two Republicans were seated.
Roy Fuchs January 07, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Ms. Georgas, you miss the point of a special election entirely. Its cost could have been averted if the FS counseled Mr. Rutigliano to resign his BoF office in time to have his replacement chosen last November. That would have let the FS's 70 percent elect another Republican. Because democracy seems not to have a good name in Town Hall, the replacement was selected in another way. More to the point, if you are truly worried about the cost of elections, Mr. Holden recommended the four district structure to the Redistricting Commission because it would save $6,000, largely because we'd need fewer phones and fewer phone lines. Have you asked for an audit of this savings? And were it real, what impact would it have in a $150M budget?
Pam Georgas January 07, 2014 at 04:03 PM
I am not missing any points. I understand it all quite clearly. I would even go as far to say that I understand what 'actually' goes on more than some of our elected officials. I am just tired of the partisan bickering on both sides that does not work in favor of the community, but in favor of partisan agendas. I would like to see people appointed to boards and commissions based on their qualifications, and what they can offer the community, not on the party they belong to. It is rare that anyone can get appointed to serve unless you are part of a political inner circle and know the 'password' or secret handshake.
Kristy Waizenegger January 07, 2014 at 07:33 PM
Roy - it was good to see you last night. Your comments above once again set forth the same double standard we hear over and over again. When votes go the way you want them to, you call it democracy and when they don't, you somehow suggest it's not. When I was on the town council, I was called a rubber stamper if I voted the same way as other members of my party but if I voted with members of the other party, I was praised for compromising. You can't have it both ways. Regardless of party affiliation and your opinions on it, I hope you will agree that both "predictable republicans" (and I was one of them) clearly articulated their background and experience and both were qualified. Have a good night - stay warm!
Pam Georgas January 08, 2014 at 09:02 AM
Thank you Kristy, although your response to me seems to have disappeared here, it came into my email box. I am just tired of people telling me I don't 'understand', whenever I disagree with them (I find that very condescending)....or some tell me that if I want to participate in our local community government or make a difference, I must join a political party. I think our system would be more productive if there were a few more nonpartisan or unaffiliated members on boards and commissions.
Kristy Ludlam Waizenegger January 08, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Hi Pam. Sorry for the confusion, I tried to edit my post into two separate posts but lost one I guess. I agree with your comments above, it's never okay to shut someone down by dismissing their opinion on something. Seems there are so many rules and regulations about political affiliation and all those rules were of course written by politicians. Qualifications are what we should focus on. At the state and federal level, our government is completely ineffective because sadly it has all become about pandering to voters and lobbyists. This is a small town, we all bump into each other all over town - we're all neighbors and I wish we could all remember that!
Steven Castro January 08, 2014 at 12:16 PM
The bottom line here is that The Republican Unit in Trumbull has had a grudge with they way things were run for many years prior to the Herbst Administration. They are going to do as they please and spin everything as "look how good we are". It went well for Baldwin and then the voters decided to go in another direction. The incumbrant is always going to have the advantage. This administration has decided to bill future Trumbull Tax Payers for current operating expenditures (road maintenance & snowplows, etc.). They will spin this and tell you that the future Debt Service is due to everyone and everything else; not that they decided to hold down tax increases. If you want good roads, you have to pay for them. The time will come when the farce will be realized. The independant voters will turn and we'll go in another direction. Herbst wants to tell you about a 70% return. If you look at the numbers, 70% of the eligible voters did not vote for him. Apathy runs rampant!
Pam Georgas January 08, 2014 at 01:08 PM
I don't think there is ever a 'bottom line' in politics.... ..."will it go round in circles...I've got a story it ain't got no moral....let the bad guy win every once in a while"~B. Preston
Thomas Tesoro January 10, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Back on topic if you read the article above, you see the sleaze republican playbook in action. Attack the messenger, and falsely play to the taxpayers on how they will losr thousands of dollars, be angry etc. Pure baloney. Rutigliano should have resigned in a timely fashion so his seat would have been on the November ballot. Instead, Herbst and Rutigliano played politics with the peoples right to choose. They got caught red handed and now want to shift responsibility for thier actions to othewrs. They think peole are stupid, I think they are fair and smart. The fault here lies with the ham fisted politics of Trumbull Republicans. Hurray for Kelly and Tesoro for taking action! By the way it will take about 10 special elections to equal the loss experienced by the Bolton Concert fiasco. Also, remind the Republicans they called for a special election only a few years ago. Now that is a real double standard.
Roy Fuchs January 10, 2014 at 01:56 PM
Having lived in Trumbull for only eight years, having been involved in its politics for half that time, and having moved from a community that practices its politics in about as different a manner as Trumbull does, I remain a bit stunned and underwhelmed by much of what I see. One example, that comes through in Mr. Castro's comment, above, is that Trumbull continually fights yesterday's battles - and most often using the half of the story that fits their needs. I wish we could address tomorrow's opportunities rather than yesterday's problems. At the same time, I wish less of the conversation were argumenta ad hominem. How do we gain by naming calling and characterizing? Attack my ideas, but disagreeing with you doesn't make me a moron.
Roy Fuchs January 10, 2014 at 02:28 PM
And with regard to the original story, whether one is an ardent Herbst supporter or a strong opponent, the fact is that his eyes are - and probably have been for quite while - on higher office. It seems to have been, at the least, an open secret that he sees politics as his career, and his announced goal is but the next step. At long last he went public with what many knew, or suspected, for quite a while. Why else would he have been a regular attendee at Republican fund raisers elsewhere in Fairfield County throughout the past campaign season, at which he had the potential to raise far more money than any Trumbull office seeker could possibly use? Now one must ask when the eyes on the prize, and on the Republican convention in June, might motivate him to resign his current post? Then once he starts his campaign he will have to lay out and defend a record that some see as one of significant achievement for such a youthful candidate, while others will see only for its flaws. If nothing else, it will give Trumbull's political geeks, friend and foe alike, an opportunity to watch the home team play.

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