Trumbull Democrats
For Sale Sign

Musto: Trumbull should not be for sale

The originally published letter to the editor on Trumbull Times can be found here.

The administration’s plan to sell multiple town properties exposes a fundamental misunderstanding of their value. Managing our community property is not about what we can get for it, but about what it is worth to us.

These properties give us open space and office space for recreation and town business. The Town Hall Annex is an historic building that adds small-town charm to our municipal center. The Veteran’s Hall is dedicated to those who serve our country. The Board of Education has an auditorium for school events and town meetings, and several acres of sports fields. The Senior Center also has an auditorium and meeting rooms, and social service offices used by our neighbors. Trumbull received the Nature Center at a discount by agreeing that it would remain open space, and it has been a destination for class trips for years.

These properties are all in established neighborhoods. This is our land, and we should think carefully before selling it off.

But we do not seem to be thinking carefully, or at least not consistently. Competent town planning requires consistency, and selling these lands is not consistent with this administration’s stated goals.

If we need more parking and office space for Town Hall, then don’t sell the Annex, with parking and office space we already own and could expand. If we need a community center, then build it on land we already own; don’t spend $1.6 million to purchase and destroy four private homes. Certainly, don’t make the Board of Education spend $6 million on a 20-year lease if we can save money by repairing the building (for a quarter of that amount) and still keep the ball fields and auditorium.

These sales raise the question of whether a coherent, long-term plan for Trumbull exists at all. The claim that Trumbull can control the development of these properties may be sincere, but it is naive. Economic realities usually trump good intentions.

These properties are in residential zones. Whomever spends money to buy five or 10 acres and demolish existing buildings will want cluster homes, condominiums or zoning changes allowing commercial buildings so that they can maximize return on their investment.

Whether on Main Street, the Nichols Historic District or Katz Pond, such development will permanently change the character of our town. Once these properties are gone, they are gone for good. Leading Trumbull into the future does not require ignoring its past.

When these sales come before our Town Council for approval I hope they will be rejected. While some need repairs, those costs are small compared to the cost of replacing what we lose, as well as the increased burdens on our schools, public services and traffic congestion. I also hope everyone will contact their Council representatives with a consistent message: Trumbull is not for sale. We can continue to live in a vibrant community, but not if we sell it off one piece at a time.

Town Treasurer Anthony Musto

Town Treasurer Anthony Musto

Town Council Standing Room Only

Council Democrats: Let the People Decide

This is a letter to the editor reprinted from Trumbull Times. The original post can be found here.

The May 1 Town Council meeting was packed with residents and information surrounding the proposed Community Center. The resolution before the council was to approve the site of Old Church Hill Road and the conceptual plans for the center. While the resolution appears to be benign, there were many comments from the public, both in email and in person, that the citizens want more say.

The majority party wants you to believe this resolution is just procedural, yet we feel the procedure is flawed. From the onset, we suggested the project go on the November 2016 ballot. A simple question: Are you for or against the construction of a new Community Center? We were shot down by the majority party.

We are not opposed or against a Community Center. We appreciate all of the hard work that volunteers and paid employees have done to get to the point they are today. The architectural renderings are spectacular and we acknowledge the poor conditions of the current Senior Center facility. Most of us attended numerous study forums and left with mixed feelings as the questions and comments did not overwhelmingly support or reject the concept of new construction.

There were 24 speakers at the TC meeting and those for or against the construction were dead even. We strongly believe the entire community should cast a vote to determine if we should proceed with this center. We agree there will never be the perfect location, design and time to meet all the needs of all citizens, however being a Community Center, the community should decide, not 21 elected officials.

As you may already know, there are six town-owned properties out to bid for brokers to market them for the purpose generating revenue to offset the cost of construction. Yet, the State of Connecticut is in a serious financial crisis, which is going to trickle down to Trumbull. This needs to be taken into consideration.

We also learned a request for bid for a contractor went out prior to last night’s meeting to rush the project towards a deadline. Members of the majority party are acting as if the “project is a done deal” and they are not acquiescing to public comment. People are concerned as to how they will continue to afford living Trumbull. If a referendum resulted in a green light for the Community Center the minority party would be behind it and roll up their sleeves to make it the best facility in Fairfield County. Let the people decide!

 

Bill Mecca District 1

Bill Mecca District 1

Dawn Cantafio District 1

Dawn Cantafio District 1

MaryBeth Thorton District 2

MaryBeth Thorton District 2

Thomas Whittmoyer District 2

Thomas Whittmoyer District 2

Jason Marsh District 3

Jason Marsh District 3

Lisa Valenti District 4

Lisa Valenti District 4