Trumbull Democrats
Trumbull Town Hall

Democratic First Selectman Candidate: Commitment to Rules to Transform Trumbull’s Government

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 31, 2017

CONTACT: Eve McGrath 
eve@gmcgrathpr.com, 646-258-0026
vickifortrumbull.com

Democratic First Selectman Candidate: Commitment to Rules to Transform Trumbull’s Government

Vicki Tesoro outlines initiatives to reform and update town government, making it open and responsive.

Trumbull Democratic First Selectman candidate Vicki Tesoro calls for a transformative new relationship between Trumbull town government and the people it serves, laying out a series of initiatives to increase ease of access to town information and services, and to eliminate municipal actions that serve to shut people out.

“For the last eight years, we’ve seen a steady decline in debate, in inclusiveness and in a commitment to proper processes,” Tesoro said. “Focusing on the rules may not sound exciting, but we’ve seen a repeated willingness to ignore the perspectives of those who disagree with the current administration. This is corrosive to strengthening and growing our town and in government participation.”

Two examples where the public’s voices are being silenced are on the issues of:

  • The return of 7 equally balanced voting districts – according to the Town Charter this Initiative should be on the November ballot, as concerned citizens have followed the rules and garnered over 2,000 petition signatures to attain this public vote.
  • A Referendum being placed on the November ballot to vote on the Community/Senior Center – the Charter calls for a Referendum on town projects over $15 million. No more taxpayer money should be spent on this project until the voices of the people have been heard.

Tesoro said, as First Selectman, she will work to increase the public’s faith and involvement in government by seeking:

  • Charter revision that returns the Board of Education to a six-member panel with staggered four-year terms, and no party holding more than three seats.
  • Charter revision to clarify the determination of the “cost” of a project for referendum purposes. All costs, including, but not limited to, ancillary costs, land acquisition, associated municipal improvements, construction and the like must be included in the calculation.
  • Charter revision requirement that legal services, not associated with the appointment of town attorneys, be selected after competitive bid.
  • To have a balance of Republican, Democratic and Unaffiliated appointments to boards and commissions.
  • Prohibition of Town Council votes on the same day a public hearing is held on a matter.
  • Prohibition on all votes unless materials related to that vote are provided to members of any board or commission or the Town Council. Materials should be provided at least seven calendar days prior to a vote.

Tesoro explained a redefined relationship between a town government and its residents must also eliminate those things created to separate government from the governed.

“I support encouraging citizen participation in government, and using new technologies to make the town more transparent in its operations and enhance our connections with citizens.” Tesoro said.

In that spirit, Tesoro said that if elected, the town will:

  • Create a town app and make it available to all residents free of charge. This will keep residents informed, allow town meetings to be streamed live and post-event, and allow for residents to interact virtually with all town departments.
  • Send park stickers to taxpayers with their tax bills. This is a more efficient process that will alleviate residents having to show up at the Recreation Department or pay an additional fee to have a sticker mailed to them.

“All these and more will immediately change the character of our town government and return Trumbull to the collaborative political process that served it so well in the past,” Tesoro said. “We believe these actions will make our government more transparent, more balanced and most important, more responsive to our citizens.”

Trumbull Democrats Disagree with Town Attorney’s Opinion Regarding Citizens’ Initiative for 7 Equal Voting Districts

TRUMBULL DEMOCRATIC TOWN COMMITTEE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tom Kelly
203-767-2366

August 1, 2017

Trumbull Democrats Disagree with Town Attorney’s Opinion Regarding Citizens’ Initiative for 7 Equal Voting Districts

A grassroots, nonpartisan group of Trumbull residents formed the Citizens for 7 Districts, and put forth an Initiative to return Trumbull to seven equal voting districts. Consistent with the Town Charter, this Initiative was signed by over 10% of the number of registered voters in Trumbull. The Town Clerk validated 2,560 signatures, consisting of Trumbull Republican, Unaffiliated and Democratic voters, and the Initiative was forwarded to Town Council Chairman, Carl Massaro. Under Trumbull’s Charter, a special meeting of the Town Council must be called, or the Initiative must be put on the agenda of the next regular Town Council meeting by the Chairman of the Town Council. The Council can either pass the resolution without substantial alteration, or a town-wide vote must be scheduled.

Unfortunately, the Town Attorney has ruled that the Initiative cannot be considered by the Town Council because the Town Council derives its power to establish voting districts from State Statute. Trumbull Democrats disagree with this decision, and believe that this is yet another effort by the Republican administration to suppress the vote. Voter turnout in Trumbull has decreased in every election since the Town Council returned Trumbull to 4 districts. Under the 4-District plan, Trumbull has 40% more voters in our districts than the average of all voting districts across all the towns in Fairfield County. Voting is more inconvenient, and lines are longer. Additionally, our Districts are not equal, with District 4 having more Town Council seats than the other three districts.

“Over 2,500 valid signatures of Trumbull voters signed this petition” stated Vicki Tesoro, Democratic-endorsed candidate for First Selectman. “The voters who signed this petition should not be disregarded or their will ignored by a legal opinion which we believe is inconsistent with our Charter.   I urge the administration and Town Council Chairman Massaro to reconsider this decision, and give the people the right to decide at the polls on Election Day in November.”

Trumbull Democratic Committee Chairman Tom Kelly stated that he hoped the Citizens for 7 Districts will take their case to court. “We stand with the Citizens for 7 Districts. They worked very hard to go out and get a huge number of signatures. Those voters should not be disenfranchised. We saw this kind of thing go on in Stratford and Fairfield and the town attorney’s decision was overruled by the court in both cases. We believe the people of Trumbull will prevail.”

Tesoro also said. “I hope the voters of Trumbull will not forget that this administration wants to deny them the right to vote on this matter.  Trumbull Democrats support the return to 7 equal voting districts and voters should remember that when they go to the polls in November.”

Trumbull Democrats support 7 equal voting districts in Trumbull, with equal representation from each district, strong minority representation, and reduced drive time and lines and the polls. We believe that our town is strongest when more people vote, not fewer.

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