Trumbull Democrats

First Selectman Candidate Tesoro Asks Current Administration to Defer Replacement of Director of Parks and Recreation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Eve McGrath
eve@gmcgrathpr.com646-258-0026
vickifortrumbull.com

TRUMBULL, CT (September 8, 2017) – Democratic First Selectman candidate Vicki Tesoro is calling on the current administration to defer replacing Trumbull’s Director of Parks and Recreation position until December when the new administration is elected and in place.

“This position carries a six figure salary, plus town benefits, as well as a take-home car.  In light of the current fiscal environment, we must consider ways that we can reduce town expenses and find efficiencies,” Tesoro said.  “We should look very carefully at all of our departments—including Parks and Recreation—to see if we can structure them to achieve savings, while maintaining quality services for our residents. Our town prides itself on our parks and recreation services. Our pools must open each year on time for the summer season.  Our playgrounds must stay safe and in a state of constant upkeep and repair.”

The current Director of Parks and Recreation, Stuart McCarthy, has submitted his resignation and will be leaving after the Fall Festival, scheduled to take place September 9-10.  The position currently has a salary of $101,425 as approved by the Town Council, plus town benefits, a town cellphone, and a town take-home car.

“The decision to hire a new director, if needed, should be made by the incoming administration,” Tesoro stated. “Given that our current First Selectman will be in office only through December, he should not be the one to make this appointment. In addition, we call on the current administration not to make an interim director appointment at this time so that the town can see cost savings.”

Tesoro called for bipartisan agreement on this decision. “I don’t want this to be a matter of disagreement between me and the other candidates for First Selectman, or between Democrats and Republicans.  We need to work together for the benefit of all of our citizens. This is the right thing to do, and I’m asking the other First Selectman candidates to join me in taking this position. Let’s demonstrate that we can work together by starting with this, an issue that is in the best interest of the town and our residents.”

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.”

Stand up, Speak out!

Vicki Tesoro Addresses Issues Regarding the Senior/Community Center Building Committee

Stand Up, Speak Out! is a recurring feature highlighting selected public comments made by Trumbull Democratic Town Committee members during various Trumbull town meetings. The following comments were made by Vicki Tesoro before the Trumbull Town Council on Monday, June 6, 2016:

Vicki Tesoro

“Tonight I would like to speak on two subjects before this Council. First, I would like to speak on behalf of Cindy Katske and the Senior/Community Center Building Committee.

Ms. Katske is a long time Town Volunteer, a lawyer and has attended most of the current Building Committee meetings. She is well versed in the issues and ready to serve.

While the other person being considered is a fine man and an elected official, to my knowledge he has only attended one or two meetings of the Committee. Further, his skills that of an architect, are already represented on the Committee.

I would remind this Council that Ms. Katse had reservations about the first charter revision in 2011. In spite of those reservations she worked with the Town Council to correct the many errors found in that document. In other words, she put the good of the Community before partisan considerations. I hope this council does the same this evening and votes for her to be added to the committee.

My second subject is the Building Committee itself. I am pleased that our First Selectman has joined the chorus of those calling for more Community input before proceeding with the project. However, his approach is not best way to achieve this goal.

My suggestion is to follow the successful model used by the Library, which I have talked about throughout this process. I continue to urge you to direct the Building Committee to hire an independent consultant to both design and implement a professional anonymous survey and to facilitate any other meetings such as focus groups and public hearings. This will guarantee the integrity of the data collected and ensure that residents can freely express their opinions.

In this way we will learn what, if anything the Community would like to see built.

One final note, I have spoken on this subject at two of the Building Committee’s public hearings, I have attended most of the Committee meetings and offered comments from time to time. On April 11 of this year I spoke at a meeting held at the senior center about this process. I spoke during public comments at the March 7, 2016 Town Council meeting. This is how I chose to be involved. It is not up to the first selectman or anyone else to criticize or direct how I choose to be involved. No one in Trumbull government should be tracking any resident’s emails or IP address and then use that information for political purposes. Nor should any government official tell me how to exercise my rights as a private citizen or question my integrity for making my choice on how to participate in a public process. I hope that all of you agree with me.”

Trumbull Democrats encourage all Trumbull citizens to stand up and speak out about issues important to our town. For more information on how you can get involved to help us make Trumbull an even better place to work and live, email us at info@TrumbullDemocrats.org and don’t forget to sign up for our email list right here on this website.