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As Hillcrest Pool Opens Saturday, Politics Surfacing [Updated]

The pool has been mostly closed since April.

Update, Friday, 4:20 p.m.

The town announced the opening Friday afternoon:

"All regularly scheduled programs will commence as of Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012."

Original Story:

After a drought of swimming at Hillcrest pool, the sounds of splashing will be returning Monday.

Now the political waters are churning.

The pool repairs were paid for with state grants obtained by State Sen. Anthony Musto, D-Trumbull. However, both Musto and Nancy DiNardo, the state and Trumbull democratic chair, say First Selectman Tim Herbst isn't giving credit where it's due.

In a press release, Herbst thanked "all parties involved who helped to complete the project."

"We are fortunate that our leaders at the local and state level work collaboratively and creatively to find the money to renovate this pool without placing a negative financial burden on the Trumbull taxpayers," Herbst said.

But Musto and DiNardo said Herbst never mentioned Musto specifically.

Musto commented on Patch that he was glad the pool was recognized as a priority, but added:

"It is unfortunate that he [Herbst] has chosen to say that he worked collaboratively with legislators to get this money when, put simply, he did not. I respect Mr. Rowe and Mr. Hwang, and when we do work together (paving Church Hill Road, relocating the Nichols Power Plant, etc.) we recognize each other's efforts and give each other the credit for our collaborative efforts. In this case, neither of them claimed they had any role in obtaining these funds. The reason is they did not work on it, and I respect them enough to know that they would not falsely claim they did. But Mr. Herbst claims that he worked with other to receive state funds. This is false. It is an attempt to claim he did something important, but that he did not do. Simply put: he did not work with me to get this $500,000 to support a valuable asset for our Town. For Mr. Herbst to claim he had anything to do with it is disingenuous."

Herbst responded Thursday night.

"Perhaps Senator Musto would like to see all of the correspondence sent between my office and other entities, including from my Chief of Staff to work collaboratively to get this done.  I guess Senator Musto has amnesia.  Once again, politics ahead of people.  Given his poor voting record of voting for the largest tax increase in Connecticut history and voting to repeal the death penalty in the wake of theCheshire home invasion- one of the most brutal crimes in our state's history, perhaps that would explain the angry and hostile post from Senator Musto. He engages in petulant behavior that is beneath the office he holds," Herbst said.

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The first selectman said $869,890 on the renovation, and $498,000 came from the state.

"Our recreational and Town programs will be able to take advantage of a renovated pool that will continue to serve the needs of our community," he said.

Recreation Director Mary Markham said the updated pool will have a new paint job and ventilation system. 

Richard October 12, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Somehow his tactic is to throw up distorted facts just to see what sticks in the minds of distracted voters. Clearly it works and I would suggest you shorten and sharpen your message. Otherwise, you won't reach anyone other than those who are already informed.
louis October 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I'm excited to see the idea that myself and other residents presented to Senator Musto and the first selectman come to fruition. We remember when they placed stucco on the ceiling in the early 1980's....we fashioned the same in our home study in solidarity with the people of Trumbull, a monument to poor design. I look forward to seeing the schematics. As I mentioned in my earlier letters which were published, our renovated pool can be the envy of even the upper crust communities of Fairfield County, whether it be club like facilities, and a place for state meets, we should improve access to the average people of town and make sure the design is the best it can be, lets try and rival the baths of diocletian....why not? Our folks, our aspiring olympians deserve no less than that...if we are wise about costs, it will be a recreation facility to enjoy for decades
Richard October 14, 2012 at 12:16 AM
It will never he a place of envy or have the capacity to hold state wide meets, which could have benefitted our kids, community, and benn a source of revenue. We had to throw money into an outdated and dilapidated facility that might have been the envy of other communities 30 or 40 years ago. Another sign that this community can't look forward because it's too stuck in the past.
louis October 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I would say, at the time, they were going to allow the place to fall into ruin or rook us into an entirely new one at the High School, where they were busy selecting the front door and spending ten million on lockers. It can be a place of envy, but you have to think outside the box. Structurally the building is sound. New tiles, new rooms for changing, lighting etc are asthetic changes which could give a new look and confidence to the people who enjoy the facility. Perhaps some throw backs to antiquity, statuary, logo'ed merchandise, new entrance and parking arrangements, this is one way to update the place to make it last for generations. People were seriously talking of tearing it down because the railings were coming unscrewed. I'm working on getting details on where the $300,000 will be spent
JR October 14, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I'd really like to see the invoice for the ten million dollar lockers you often mention. That's over $4k per locker.

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