To the Editor:
It has always surprised me that the First Selectman’s mother
held a position on the Board of Education.
When he was elected the first time, I truly expected that she would step
down due to the obvious conflict of interest that her position on the board presented and it never
quite felt right with me when that never happened.
I realize she is not required to do so, but it has always seemed to me the good will path to follow. Now that Mrs. Herbst has been elected the Chairwoman of the Board of Education, I don’t know how anyone can deny the glaring conflict this presents. Her position of authority presiding over an approximate $95 million education budget ($1 million of which is controlled by her husband, Director of Athletics at THS) is simply inappropriate at best given her son’s position as First Selectman. In a town where every board is already Republican controlled, we are now placing more power than we should be comfortable with in the hands of one family. Where is our system of checks and balances?
I do realize that Mrs. Herbst was elected to her position as Chairwoman unanimously and it took the votes of two Democrats that I have the utmost respect for. I do not know what their reasons were for making that choice, and unlike Mr. Testani, I can disagree without attacking. I have also read the “apples to oranges” comparison of Vicki and Tom Tesoro’s past positions on Town Council and the Board of Finance to this situation. Such a comparison is simply ridiculous, as they were minority members of their respective boards requiring votes of others. Very different from having your son overseeing your decisions. No?
I truly believe the Republicans in this town have become giddy with power. I am a Democrat, yes, but I am not delusional. This is a clear conflict of interest. Period. Mother and son, and if the RTC wishes to spew rhetoric out of that simple statement then maybe there is no hope for civility in Trumbull.Tracey Lepore