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Herbst Will Run Again for Trumbull First Selectman

It will be his third term if he wins.

First Selectman Tim Herbst announced his re-election bid Sunday night at the annual Trumbull GOP Lincoln-Reagan dinner at the Trumbull Marriott.

"I believe there are many more quarters to play in this game and I'm not quite ready to hang up my cleats," said Herbst, a Trumbull High School graduate and former football player. "And I firmly believe we have come too far and accomplished too much to turn back the clock and return to the policies of the past."

"I love the people of this town and I am honored and humbled to lead the best town in America," he added.

Herbst is the first person to declare his candidacy for first selectman this year. Municipal elections take place in November.

Herbst asked the packed banquet room if Trumbull was better off than it was four years ago, and the audience shouted, "Yes!"

He accused past administrations of adding more than $100 million in debt to the town over five years and raising taxes 54 percent in eight years.

"For years, Trumbull was run by an entrenched political machine comprised of special interests that looked at Trumbull taxpayers like their own personal ATM machine," the first selectman said.

Herbst said his administration is properly funding the town's pensions after they were underfunded for a "generation" before, saving Trumbull's bond rating. He also changed education policy.

"Four years ago, our opponents thought millions upon millions of dollars invested in large auditoriums and swimming pools was the way to improved student performance and achievement," according to Herbst.

He cited the implementation of all-day kindergarten, Trumbull's low class size and lack of teacher layoffs, in addition to a high high school graduation rate and high college attendance.

He also has proposed more police officers and updating emergency equipment in light of the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Stern Village

Touching on a point of controversy, Herbst said he defended Stern Village residents after issues arose in the public housing complex during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

"When I see senior citizens in public housing ignored and left to fend for themselves during a hurricane, you can be damn sure that I am going to stand up and fight to protect them," he said.

In December 2012, Herbst did not reappoint several members of the Trumbull Housing Authority and the rest resigned. He also argued that then-Executive Director Harry Wise mismanaged Stern Village during the hurricane by failing to make changes called for in an emergency plan for a year before the storm.

The new Trumbull Housing Authority replaced Wise and removed the THA's long time attorney, leading critics to accuse Herbst politicizing the board and giving jobs to friends.

Judith Stern, a former THA member, advised Stern Village residents to vote in November.

Economic Development and Infrastructure

Finally, Herbst said the town is financially better off, has more repaved roads and uses more energy-efficient practices to save money.

"Is our infrastructure stronger than it was four years ago? It is stronger," he said.

"And this infrastructure will make a Trumbull a destination point for businesses seeking to grow and invest here. Trumbull can become the economic lynchpin that connects the Tri-state area to the rest of New England, if we have the vision and the commitment to make this ideal a reality," the first selectman added.

For example, a cancer treatment facility is due to break ground in spring, and 68 "new development projects" are underway.

Seniors have more tax relief and the Grand List, the list of all taxable property in town, is up, he reported.

"It is the people of Trumbull that motivated me to seek this office four years ago and it is the people of Trumbull that motivate me each and every day to work with you to make this town a better place to live, work, invest and raise a family," he said.

Peter Preko March 12, 2013 at 01:00 PM
.Tom: When a commission member receives payment from the same authority he/she has fiduciary responsibility, what would you call it? If you got checks from the board of education for services, what would you call it? Payola? Probably too strong a word but unethical? You give me an adjective. As for lining his pockets, there is nothing illegal with that term. I never accused them of illegal actions, only that the fees (please check and you will see) have gone up dramatically and soft costs do not take place of brick and mortar. Tom, and yes, i admire your transparency
JR March 12, 2013 at 01:22 PM
PP - Who's letter to the Trumbull Times? What was the date?
Peter Preko March 12, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Last week. A current THA commissioner. BTW, got a kick out of one of your postings!
Thomas Tesoro March 12, 2013 at 06:37 PM
The fact that a Commissioner received a payment from a Commission on which he/she served is in and of itself neither "payola" nor unethical. It would depend entirely on the facts, for example, did the Commissioner render services outside the scope of hsi/her duties? Was the transaction priced fairly and was it done in the open? Without details, all we have is a bare allegation, from a current Commissioner in whose interests it would be to paint her predecessor in a poor light and an anonymous poster on this blog who is repeating second hand information. Hardly the best witnesses or sources. If you accept Mr./Ms. Preko's approach, and I do not, you would have to question whether Owens Shine and Nicola who rendered the legal opinion that led to the ouster of the previous Counsel to the THA and who then were hired themselves acted ethically. You can see the slippery become evident and the danger in loose talk hurting the reputation of innocent individuals. I am not saying Owens Shine and Nicola acted unethically, I am sure they did not but you can see how a bare assertion of minimal facts could lead an uninformed reader to that incorrect conclusion. Best we stay away from charges like "payola" or "unethical actions" without a full rendition of the facts and circumstances being discussed. The circumstances at Stern Village are, to say the least, curious and IMHO, the actions taken and the methods employed extreme and unnecessary.
Wolferowski March 15, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Good lord, you people have a lot of free time on your hands. Instead of debating local politics on message boards, do something productive, like volunteer for a local charity. (I can't believe I actually read half of this crap)

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