TRUMBULL – Town Council member Robert Pescatore, Jr., R-2, filed petitions with the Trumbull Registrar of Voters on Monday afternoon to establish a primary race for the Town Council seat in District 2. Pescatore submitted 59 signatures which were validated by the assistant registrar of voters, Kathleen Miranti, around 12:30 p.m.
“The total number of signatures submitted exceeds the legal requirement of 49 signatures, or 5 percent of all enrolled Republicans of the district as of July 26, 2011,” Pescatore said in a press release. “The reason I am establishing a primary race for this district is to afford my constituents the opportunity to vote for the person(s) they feel will best represent them.”
After he filed his petition, the Trumbull Republican Town Committee issued a press release slamming Pescatore. The TRTC alleged Pescatore demanded First Selectman Tim Herbst fire town employees against whom he had a personal vendetta, that he made budget decisions based on those personal vendettas, and that he was not involved in the Nichols sewer project, one of the biggest issues in his district.
“People from the TRTC may be upset with me for asking questions of the Herbst administration about the different policies being implemented, but I have an obligation to make sure that my constituents are properly represented and to be sure that we, as a government body, are making the right choices on their behalf – not for any political gain,” Pescatore said. “The claims of the TRTC that I have acted based on personal vendettas are unfounded. I have always acted professionally and ethically, and have kept the interests of my constituents at the forefront. I have held several district meetings to ensure that every resident has had the opportunity to present their views to me and so that I could assist where needed. The personal attacks on me by some members of the TRTC do nothing to further the interests of the people. I will not engage them in their quest to bring more anger to this town – I will focus on the needs of the community.”
Currently, a massive sewer expansion project is underway in Districts 2 and 7, known as the North Nichols Sewer Project – Contract 4. Several costs have been added to the project, including funds to cover the contract of Tighe and Bond, a third party engineering firm overseeing the project.
“The projected costs of this project have exceeded what we, as a district, were told they would be,” Pescatore said. “I have opposed the costs of Tighe and Bond not because I disagree with the oversight, but because the town has set a precedent of covering the engineering costs of the sewer lines in every other contract area. All of a sudden, the policy shifted to making the North Nichols contract area pay for its engineering services to the current amount of approximately $1.8 million dollars. The fact that the two policies were in conflict led me to oppose the monies for the District 1 engineering services because those policies did not properly represent the interests of the residents.”
Andrew Palo, Republican vice-chairman of the Board of Finance, defended Pescatore and issued the following statement regarding the recent TRTC press release:
“After reading the angry press release from the Trumbull Republican Town Committee regarding Mr. Pescatore, I was saddened once again by the words of its Chairman, Jack Testani. Mr. Testani’s accusatory language toward Mr. Pescatore is not what a leader should be saying or promoting. As we just witnessed at the national level with our country’s debt negotiations, it is time for Republicans to throw aside their radical way of approaching problems and to instead reach across the aisle and work with others to conquer the issues our country faces. Mr. Pescatore’s sin was that he did just this for his constituents. He reached across the aisle and held numerous town hall style meetings for the residents of District 2 over the last two years. Meetings where the residents of District 2 could come and discuss a myriad of issues including their potential sewer assessments and the ever rising oversight costs being levied on each of their households, the placement of the fuel cell, charter revision and any other issue that a resident wanted to have a discussion about. His hard working demeanor and willingness to listen to diverse opinions is what you want out of a Town Council representative. Mr. Pescatore has been nominated twice before by the Trumbull Republicans. This is the time and place to reelect him for a third term.”
Pescatore was first elected in 2007 to the Trumbull Town Council. Prior to serving in an elected capacity, Pescatore ran a town-wide petition drive to allow residents the opportunity to vote on the like-new renovation of Trumbull High School.
“I felt that the people of Trumbull should have the right to decide since they are the ones who pay the bills,” Pescatore said. “While I fell short by a couple hundred signatures, I was proud to step up to the plate for my community at the age of 22. I took a lot of criticism for doing what I felt was right back then, and I am seeing that same type of criticism surface now from the Trumbull Republican Town Committee and the Herbst administration for doing what is right for the residents of District 2.”
Pescatore encouraged residents to contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.