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Palo is “Excited”

Trumbull Board of Finance member Andy Palo reregisters as a Democrat

Andy Palo, a momentary Chair of Trumbull’s Board of Finance, re-registered as a Democrat on July 5th.

Palo successfully sought election to the board in 2009 as part of the Herbst ticket. Pursuing his party’s nomination, he expressed “dismay” at the prior year’s 11.6% mill rate increase “during one of the most difficult economic periods in our lifetimes.”

On the board he has been a voice of moderation – typically seeking a bit more for our schools and a bit less on the town side. He is a regular attendee of Board of Education meetings; he is informed; he is well prepared for his board’s meetings. And he has the interests of taxpayers and parents at heart.

Palo Out, Hammers In

It was Palo’s refusal to join in the lockstep demanded by the First Selectman during the budget approval process during the spring of 2011 that brought his concerns into the open (at least to all but the closest observers).

But he had had earlier runs-ins with his compatriots. One started when then Chair Mark Smith tromped out of board meeting in a fit of pique during that budget cycle. Smith resigned, Vice Chair Palo became the new Chair.

The Trumbull Republican Town Committee named former board member Elaine Hammers to complete Smith’s term – as is their prerogative.

Ms. Hammers was a reasonable choice. The town and the board needed the new member who could quickly step into the ongoing budget process. Hammers has a long record of serving the town and understands its finances and the board’s procedures well. Opposition could only have been political.

In what was recounted to this writer as a hasty exercise of power, the First Selectman ousted Palo in favor of the new and unelected Ms. Hammers as the board’s Chair. Again, the only opposition could have been political. This it was.

Having perhaps a few times too often taken positions at odds with his former compatriots, he was ostracized from the Republican finance board caucus that meets regularly to discuss its agenda.

Deliberating for long months, he found his position, if not untenable, unrewarding. Few things are worse than being an unwanted volunteer.

Having made the change, he commented last week that he sees the Democratic party as “more inclusive... where a more fiscally conservative, socially moderate individual can exist.”

The Republicans’ loss is the Democrats’ gain. At a time when moderates are hard to come by, when compromise is becoming a fleeting skill and when too many take too narrow a view of what serves Trumbull best for the long term, Mr. Palo will be an asset to the Board of Finance, to Trumbull’s Democratic party and to the town itself.

Palo now joins Tom Tesoro and Steve Lupien – also former Republicans – as the Democratic contingent on the Board of Finance.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joan July 11, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I don't believe there ever was an "11.6% mill rate increase," and I'm dismayed that you would perpetuate this myth. There was a proposal for an 11.6% increase by our previous First Selectman, but Democrats and Republicans alike on the Board of Finance did not approve it, so it was never passed.
Mitch Kelly July 11, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Since when has "fact" been a part of a Roy Fuchs arguement? His diatribes are usually entertaining if little else.
Roy Fuchs July 11, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Joan - The "fact" was taken from a posting by Mr. Palo in the run up to his 2009 candidacy. If it is not a fact - and I was not an observer of events politic at that time - perhaps Pinocchio has some other work to do. Mr. Kelly - I applaud your forthrightness, but challenge your first assertion. I may offer a quote that can be disputed - they are, after all other's thoughts, and offered as they were said. Apparently I offer a lot what you deem made up facts. They are not. They result from my attending meetings, talking with principals and doing my home work. You may disagree, but they are facts. I should add that I do not pretend to be a reporter. I am a commentator, and so take the opportunity to offer my opinions. And thank you. I am happy that I entertain you, even if I do not enlighten you. I make no bones about trying to be "fair and balanced." I write opinion pieces. My hope is that there is some learning in them for the many who have no interest in who spends their tax dollars and what they spend it on.
Joan July 11, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Roy, the Republicans, including Mr. Palo apparently, used that false talking point to get elected in 2009. There was no 11.6% tax increase. It did not happen, and I would think you would not want to continue to perpetuate that myth--nor, I assume, would Mr. Palo.
Roy Fuchs July 11, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I'm shocked, shocked to know there were "false talking points" used to by candidates trying to get elected. Perhaps calling attention to such statements will induce others to become more aware of what they read and hear - both substance and context. And the sun may rise in west next week.

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