This is the second article in a series based on statements by Trumbull First Selectman Candidate Martha Jankovic-Mark and First Selectman Tim Herbst.
Republican First Selectman Tim Herbst has increased spending over the last four years, according to his challenger, Martha Jankovic-Mark.
town spending under Herbst has also soared, with an aggregated four-year
spending increase of nearly $20 million, or 13 percent, on a total budget of
$160 million. Non-education spending has increased even more, at a rate of more
than 17 percent,” Mark said recently.
Herbst replied that, "The
taxpayers of Trumbull do not need a first selectman who will be deceitful for
political gain. That is exactly how Mrs. Mark and the Trumbull Democratic Party
have chosen to begin this campaign.
"If Mrs. Mark has a problem with town spending, she should talk to the leaders of her party that have a 5-2 Democratic majority on the Board of Education. The Board of Education represents two thirds of the Town total budget and Democrats on the Board of Education have voted to increase their budget by more than 10% in a two-year period," the first selectman said.
The non-education spending increase is also associated with the Board of Education, Herbst added. "In this year’s budget, Town departments saw an increase of 1.9 percent. The Board of Education saw an increase of 2.74 percent," he said.
He also cited an 8.58 percent increase in workers' compensation and liability insurance, a plan that also covers the Board of Education, and an increase in funding the town's pension plans.
"Over the last four years, pension contributions (which include Board of Education non-certified employees) saw an increase of 91.63 percent," Herbst said, adding that the pension fund was in "bad shape" when he took office. The town contribution has increased from $3.3 million to $6.3 million, saving the town's bond rating, according to Herbst.
Town debt service has also increased by 17.84 percent, including interest on the Trumbull High School renovation and sewer projects, Herbst said.
“Tim Herbst talks a good game on fiscal management, but his record doesn’t match the results,” Jankovic-Mark said. “On the contrary, he appears not to have control of the town government, instead letting spending increases and special interests roll forward unchecked.”