Trumbull Democrats

Election 2016! Get your voting information here!

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”

~ Larry J. Sabato

Finally! Election day is upon us. Here are some resources to help ensure that everyone will get the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.

Voting Districts – Polling Places

District 1 – Hillcrest Middle School – 530 Daniels Farm Road
District 2 – St. Josephs High School – 2320 Huntington Turnpike
District 3 – Madison Middle School – 4630 Madison Avenue
District 4 – Middlebrook Elementary School – 220 Middlebrook Avenue

Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Contact the Trumbull Elections Administration Office at 203-452-5058 or 203-452-5059
if you have any additional questions regarding your Voting District.

If you are unsure what district you are in, click on the link below to view a town map showing the four voting districts.
Click Here for Voting Districts Map

Not Registered? No Problem!

Election Day Registration (EDR) is available at Town Hall Council Chambers from 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM for anyone who missed the deadline. It is important to bring identification to prove who you are and where you reside.
More information about EDR can be found here: http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&q=534366

Trumbull residents who turn 18, became citizens or moved into Trumbull between Nov 2 – Nov 7, can visit the Registrar’s office between those dates to register; the office is open between 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday – Friday.

Once more, polls are open between 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM on November 8. If you need to know if you are registered and where you vote go to http://www.trumbull-ct.gov/.  The Quick Links section has a Voter Look up button that will take you to the State voter look up page.

Exercise your right! Get out and vote!

Planning and Zoning Commission

Trumbull PZ Chair Garrity Disturbed by Testimony Describing Threat of Eminent Domain by Trumbull Town Official Toward a Homeowner

The following is a press release by Trumbull’s Planning and Zoning Chairman Fred Garrity. It can also be viewed on the Trumbull Times website here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 25, 2016

Someone needs to speak for our Trumbull residents, rather than at them. There needs to be some clarity brought to our residents regarding this weeks’ actions taken by Trumbull Planning & Zoning (P&Z) with respect to the Town’s request to acquire 4 properties located on Old Church Hill Road and S Edgewood Ave, both across from Town Hall.

I am proud of my service protecting the character of Trumbull and supporting smart development. I feel privileged serving 6 years on the Trumbull Zoning Board of Appeals, 2 years as chairman of the 6 Town Regional Planning Agency, and now in my 7th year, on the Trumbull P&Z Commission and currently the elected chairman of P&Z. In all my years, I have not been as emotionally stricken for a resident as I was at our last Special Trumbull P&Z meeting on July 20, 2016, who expressed great concern for the Town’s pressured Land Acquisition process.

Our meeting was long, (6 hours and 5 minutes) and at points contentious, with residents expressing their views, both for and against, multiple important agenda items. The last items on the agenda were for PZ to vote favorably or unfavorably on a recommendation to the Town Council per the Town’s request of wanting to enter negotiations to purchase 4 properties across from Town Hall (these are called 824 requests).

While there were several inappropriate, yet understandable outbursts of emotion during the evening, thankfully, there were only a few moments as chair that I had to call out and specifically address an individual’s behavior during the meeting in order to maintain decorum without stifling the residents. This worked for most of the evening.

For the last agenda item, now at about 5 and a half hours into the meeting, the Economic Dev Director presented the 4 parcels in their 824 application for review to the PZ commission. Sadly, for my first time, there was one resident I had to stop and ask him to leave, who when it was his turn, lost his composure while at the microphone speaking against the proposed 824 Town Land Acquisition requests. He began loudly screaming vulgarities directed at Tim Herbst our First Selectman who was not in attendance.  While the resident was unhappy with the way the the Town was being governed, especially as it related to the Town acquiring the 4 parcels on the agenda, I could not allow that kind of inappropriate conduct.

However, the real heartbreak and true cause for concern came from a resident who also spoke outagainst the Town request to acquire the 4 parcels.  As the woman came up to speak, in a frail soft voice, she stated that she was the owner of one of the 4 properties on the agenda proposed for acquisition by this administration and she didn’t know what to do and she felt greatly pressured to sell. When I asked, if she wanted to sell her home she replied, “no, I don’t know what to do, or where I would go”.

Next, she dropped a bombshell. The resident said “she was afraid of what would happen and didn’t know what to do, because when she was at a meeting in Town Hall, with a person she was afraid to name”(not the Economic Development Director),  she was told, “we would never want to go down the road of eminent domain!” She was certain that it was presented as a veiled threat to take her home.

And when asked again who, this resident out of clear and absolute fear refused to name the Town official who was pressuring her. She is now afraid that if she refuses to sell her home it will be taken by our Town government. This is simply not right.

No resident should ever be made to feel threatened, actually be threatened, or live in fear of retaliation from a Town Official for any reason, but, it is particularly offensive where a person’s residence is the subject of questionable tactics.

This meeting is recorded for public access, and unfortunately it is 6 hours long and these events did all occur in the last hour of the meeting. The videos are already online and our public access television has broken it up into 4 video segments, so you will not have to sit through the entire meeting to see these events. Please watch for yourself.

I voted not to support any favorable recommendation of the four properties requested for acquisition, for three reasons: 1 – There was no financial backup, no actual plan for justifying the purchase of these properties, no cost benefit analysis for supporting the Town spend up to $1.5 million on unknown uses, 2 – Several residents had no notice, and showed up to voice their fear of the unknown, as the Town is not subject to PZ regulations and can build at will on land once they own it, 3 – the troubling testimony that was presented claiming a Town official used undue pressure and fear tactics insinuating eminent domain, made it unacceptable to me.

Commissioner Silber (D) also voted against all 4 properties, Commissioner Helfrich (D) voted favorably for two of the properties along with Commissioners Chory (R) Preusch (R). None of the Commissioners voted to recommend acquisition of the property of the woman who testified to feeling pressured, or the property adjacent to hers. Final votes on the 4 properties were 3 in Favor and 2 not in Favor for two of the properties, and 5 not in Favor unanimously against 2 of the properties.

These actions taken by PZ are only referral votes, meaning that Trumbull Town Council has the final voting authority on Town land acquisition, The PZ vote for favorable or unfavorable only determines whether the the Trumbull TC needs a simple majority vote or a super majority vote to pass the amendment. Right now the Trumbull Town Council is 17 (R) to 4 (D’s) , so that point is almost always moot.

Public Email from Tim Herbst

Tim Herbst Uses Town Resources Attempting to Publicly Shame Democratic Citizens; Democrats Respond

Mr. Herbst:

This email will serve as the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee’s response to your email of June 2, 2016 regarding the Survey for the Community Center.

(See Tim Herbst letter from 6-3-2016)

Your comments regarding who participated in this survey are inaccurate.  The email sent by the town using Survey Monkey may be able to track who responded to the survey through the email link, but it can’t track who may have taken the survey by simply directly going to it when it was on the town’s website.  Indeed, some of the people you describe in your email did, indeed, participate in the survey, and therefore, your statements are untrue.

That being said, we believe it is totally inappropriate for the Town Council to charge the Building Committee with determining the opinion of the town regarding a Senior/Community Center, and then sending the survey to town elected leaders who could skew the results if the sample size was small enough.  Elected officials should not, in our opinion, be participating in a “community survey” meant to gauge public opinion.  This could skew the results, and instead of listening to the public’s opinion, the elected officials’ opinion could misrepresent what public opinion actually is.  In effect, you would have elected officials and political insiders telling the public what their opinion is.

More importantly, we believe that the use by the government of Survey Monkey in the fashion you describe is another example of overreach by “Big Brother” compiling information without disclosing it to the town residents who received the survey.  Nowhere on the survey does it inform the recipient that the town can collect their IP address data if they click through to the survey.  Nowhere in the email or the survey does it inform the recipient that Survey Monkey allows the survey creator to match the email addresses to the responses so that the town could identify who submitted each survey.  Since the survey did not have a space for a person’s name, the inference is that the survey results are anonymous, but such may not be the case when Survey Monkey is used.  Nowhere on the survey is it disclosed to recipients how they got on the list to receive the survey, or that their participation was being tracked and could be publicly disclosed.

In this case, a town survey was created using taxpayer-paid town resources, and the data collected from that survey, which was sent unsolicited to various people, was used in a public partisan political attack.  We believe this is abuse of government resources, and falls right in the same line with hiring private investigators to look in people’s windows, sending Trumbull police officers outside their jurisdiction to deliver ethics complaints, calling the employers of perceived political enemies, etc.

Beyond this, we live in a free country with constitutionally-protected free speech.  You do not determine what the prerequisites are for people to voice their opinion on a community center.  Whether someone participated in a survey has no bearing on how he or she chooses to voice their opinion on a proposed building that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

As far as Mrs. Tesoro’s participation is concerned, please note the following:

  1. Mrs. Tesoro did not participate in the survey because she felt it was poorly done;
  2. Mrs. Tesoro has provided her opinion in other ways.  She has attended at least two public hearings held by the Building Committee and spoke to the committee and to the public;
  3. Mrs. Tesoro has attended, in person, almost every Building Committee meeting since the committee was created in February 2015, and offered her comments from time to time;
  4. Mrs. Tesoro attended the Town Council meeting on March 7, 2016 when the Building Committee updated the full Council and she spoke during public comments about her concerns and asked that the committee reach out to the public for their feedback;
  5. Mrs. Tesoro attended a gathering of residents at Island Brook Park to tour the park with fellow citizens and listen to their concerns; and
  6. Mrs. Tesoro attended a public meeting at the Senior Center in April 2016 when she voiced her opinion about the Senior Center and the move of the Probate Court.

Mrs. Tesoro has been totally engaged in this matter since the beginning.  Rather than criticize her in a partisan attack, we would encourage you to work with her as a leader in the Democratic Party.  We are willing to work with you on this and every important issue in our town if you wish to engage in respectful collaboration.  We will work with you to find common ground for the good of our town.  Unfortunately, you have shown no real desire to work with us on anything during the entire 6 1/2 years of your administration.

Finally, we believe it is wrong for you to characterize the discussion of the Senior/Community Center along Republican vs. Democratic lines.  One of the fiercest critics of these plans has been Roy Molgard, an elected Republican on the Board of Finance.  Another person who has expressed her opinions publicly is Rachel Yahwak, another Republican who just resigned as Chairman of the Senior Commission and member of the Building Committee.  Also, Republican Councilwoman Ann Marie Evangelista recently publicly urged the Committee to slow down and listen to the input of town residents.  Several other local Republicans have voiced their disagreement with the way that this process has been handled thus far.  We urge you to listen to those within your own party, and stop trying to portray this as partisan issue.

We urge the Building Committee to take immediate steps to properly survey the residents of the Town of Trumbull.  A proper survey should be done by an independent entity which can ensure the integrity of the survey results.  Also, based on the way this concept has been handled thus far, we believe that the ultimate decision on this facility should be by a town-wide referendum, so that the voters of Trumbull have a direct voice in how millions of taxpayer dollars are spent.

Sincerely,

Trumbull Democratic Town Committee
Tom Kelly, Chair

Download a copy of this TDTC response here

Tidy Up Trumbull

Join Us and Help “Tidy Up Trumbull”

The Trumbull Democrats are proud to once again be a part of the annual “Tidy Up Trumbull” event organized by the Trumbull Community Women on Saturday, April 23 from 9 AM to 12 PM. This annual event is a great opportunity for Trumbull residents to help us keep our parks, trails, roadsides and parking areas beautiful.

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