On November 3, 2009, Timothy M. Herbst was elected First Selectman of the Town of Trumbull at age 29, becoming the youngest elected chief executive in the history of town government. He was reelected in 2011. In November 2013 he was reelected to another two-year term with roughly 70 percent of the vote.
Herbst believes the strength of a community rests upon three pillars: strong finances, strong schools and a strong quality of life.
When Herbst took office, Trumbull was reeling from high taxes and a large budget deficit. In his first 100 days in office, he followed through on his pledge to identify $1 million of operational savings in his first 100 days turning a budget deficit into a surplus while stabilizing property taxes.
In 2012, for the first time since 1983, Trumbull residents saw an average residential property tax decrease of 3.5%. In addition, the Town Council adopted the plan submitted by the Herbst administration to double senior citizen tax relief.
Trumbull has earned state and federal recognition as a model suburban community. In 2011, Family Circle Magazine ranked Trumbull as the 7th best Town in the nation to raise a family. In 2013, Coldwell Banker ranked Trumbull as the number 1 booming suburban community in Connecticut.
Herbst also promised to address the town’s beleaguered pension fund. For the first time in a generation, the Town pension has reached adequate levels of proper annual pension funding and has negotiated multiple employee labor agreements that have reduced the number of town employees that are pension eligible. As a result of this strong financial management, Fitch, Moody’s and S&P have lauded the Town’s financial position. A report from S&P’s fiscal outlook:
“Standard & Poor’s has revised Trumbull’s management practices to “good” from “standard” under our Financial Management Assessment methodology”
The son of teachers and a product of Trumbull Public Schools, Herbst had also pledged to implement full-day kindergarten. Working with administrators and teachers, full day became a reality in 2012.
Herbst has been a consistent champion of comprehensive early childhood intervention. Trumbull now has one of the strongest early childhood education models in the State of Connecticut. Trumbull students are consistently outperforming Fairfield County communities that are spending more per pupil, and despite tough economic times, the Town of Trumbull has avoided teacher layoffs, maintained low class size, improved classroom technology and made necessary capital improvements to school facilities. A comprehensive technology initiative provided laptops and I Pads at the elementary and middle school level. Trumbull enjoys a graduation rate of 99.4 percent with 94 percent of students pursuing higher education.
In the wake of unparalleled weather related emergencies, Herbst has placed a core emphasis on reorganizing the Town’s emergency management systems to improve efficiency and better protect the residents of Trumbull.
In the area of economic development, despite a bad economy, Trumbull continues to see positive growth in its Grand List. The Herbst administration proposed a business tax incentive plan that was adopted by the Trumbull Town Council and signed into law. This new program is placing Trumbull on the map as a business friendly environment and sparking interest throughout the tri-state area.
A new medical development will serve as a state-of- the-art cancer treatment center in Connecticut. In 2013 the Town of Trumbull also welcomed a new shopping center on Route 111 and saw Phase 2 of the Trumbull Center Revitalization completed, with three new restaurants coming to Trumbull.
A strong infrastructure also supports a robust economic development policy. Under the Herbst administration, the Town of Trumbull has seen the most expansive road repaving program in the last fifty years.
Herbst graduated from Trumbull High School in 1998, where he played football and served as Class President. He graduated with honors from Trinity College in 2002, earning a B.A. in political science. While in college, Herbst interned for Deputy House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and was also elected president of the student body. At the age of 19, Herbst was elected to the Planning and Zoning Commission, where he served for 11 years, including 4 years as Chairman. His election to public office at the age of 19 was featured in The New York Times in July of 2001.
A 2007 graduate of Pace University School of Law, where he was a member of the Pace Environmental Law Review, Herbst previously practiced law with the Trumbull law firm of Owens, Schine and Nicola before his election as First Selectman.