Trumbull Democrats
Trumbull Town Hall

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

AUGUST 31, 2017

CONTACT: Eve McGrath, 646-258-0026

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


CONTACT: Tom Kelly

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.


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