Update, Monday, March 26
The Town Council will hold a public hearing April 2 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall.
Links to redistricting documents are here:
A four-district plan with a "superdistrict" was recommended Tuesday to the Town Council by a 3-2 margin along party lines.
The Redistricting Committee was made of three republicans and two democrats, and the four-district plan came from the GOP members. A minority report and public hearing are possible before a final decision is made.
The GOP proposal puts six Town Council members in one district and five each in the other three. It is supposed to save about $8,000 and would move about 10,300 voters.
Democrats say it could also lead to 17-4 party majority and confuse voters through larger ballots and an increased number of candidates. The democratic plan maintained seven districts with equal representation (three council members each), and "tweaked" lines to fit the redrawn state legislature districts.
Committee Member Jane Aiello, the town's Democratic Registrar of Voters, said the GOP proposal is gerrymandering, adding the four-district model was being discussed before the committee was formed.
Republicans also charged the democrats with gerrymandering.
"Your maps are designed to break up certain districts to get rid of certain people," said committee member Tony Scinto, a republican. He added that that's what his fellow republicans concluded when he showed them the democrats' proposal.
Aiello said the democrats' plan preserves Trumbull's community feeling.
"In my almost 60 years as a Trumbull resident, I have watched as the town grew from farm and swampland [into] a great place to live, to a thriving suburb with a desireable location ... We have a good school system and Trumbull can still be a wonderful place to live except that partisan politics seems to be driving almost every facet of life here, and detrimentally so."
Before the final vote, democrats unsuccessfully tried to forward their proposal to the council and call a public hearing. Council Member Vicki Tesoro, a democrat on the committee, added that the town attorney has not yet responded to a legal question she posed. Also, Town Council Chairman Carl Massaro Jr. has not responded to two requests for a public hearing, she said.
Massaro was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
The current seven-district plan with three council representatives has been in use for 28 years, said Bill Holden, republican registrar and committee chairman. A five-district setup was adopted for one election, and four districts were used when Trumbull was run by Representative Town Meeting.
The Town Council model was adopted in 1965, Holden said.
The Town Council must review the plan now, but it remains to be seen if the Demcorats' plan will be introduced for consideration via a minority report, or if the Council will hold a public hearing.
The town needed to approve a plan because state legislature elections will be held this November.