Town Attorney Robert J. Nicola has issued a legal opinion supporting the proposed four-district voting configuration.
The opinion contains two charts showing the town's compliance with the "one man, one vote" mandate. The percentage variation should not be more than 10 percent, Nicola said.
The Current Configuration:DISTRICT POPULATION # OF REPS POP. PER REP % VARIATION 4 4,561 3 1,520 0 6 4,712 3 1,574 3.55 2 4,970 3 1,657 9.01 3 5,057 3 1,686 10.92 5 5,144 3 1,715 12.82 1 5,547 3 1,849 21.64 7 6,027 3 2,009 32.17
The 4-District ProposalDISTRICT POP. # OF REPS POP. PER REP. % VARIATION 2 8,552 5 1,710 0.00 3 8,581 5 1,716 0.0035 1 8,584 5 1,717 0.0041 4 10,299 6 1,717 0.0041
In addition to on the Redistricting Committee, the opinion adds that "there will be a reduction in the variation of the population, which would occur over the 10-year apportionment cycle."
"This potentially will reduce the need for the development of significant redistricting plans in 10 years to meet constitutional requirements," Nicola added.
A four-district model was used in the past, while the current setup was established 28 years ago. In the 1970s, the model was four districts split into 6,4, 6 and 5 Town Council represenatives.
"How can something be radical when we've done it before?" Herbst said.
Trumbull would also gain a third state representative, Nicola added.
Herbst and Four-District Critics
Critics charge that beneath the numbers, the four-district proposal hurts the neighborhood feel of Trumbull and displaces too many voters. It also would cause voter confusion and would not result in savings, they say.
They're also concerned that a 17-4 majority on the Town Council could result.
Opponents want a seven-district plan but with tweaked boundaries to bring it in line with the law and state legislative districts. The committee's democrats have issued a minority report.
On Saturday, Herbst said redistricting transcends opponents' concerns.
"It's about public policy," he said. Fewer districts means less disruption to the school system. There have been problems reported every election in terms of parking and lines, he said.
Democrat Tom Tesoro, whose wife Vicki Tesoro serves on the Town Council, disagreed, calling all the GOP's reasons "strawman arguments" to distract from the proposal's effect of "reducing minority representation."
"They're speaking all over the place because they can't defend their plan," he said.
"Fewer polling places, longer ballots and more voters equals larger lines and less parking," he added.
"A supermajority of any party is a bad idea for the people of Trumbull," Tesoro concluded.
A public hearing before the Town Council is scheduled tonight.
Some of the plans have been posted online.