Top Vote-Getter Again – Mayor Don Trinks To Serve 8th Term as Windsor, Connecticut Democrats Win Town Council & BOE Majorities
Posted on November 4, 2015
Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
Elected for an 8th term, Donald Trinks was again the top vote-getter in the race for Town Council in Windsor, Connecticut, Connecticut’s first town, during the November 3, municipal elections. Despite Trinks’ ongoing popularity, in a move indicative of what supporters say is his love for and dedication to Windsor, Trinks was the lone candidate standing – at the allowed distance- outside the Town Hall polling district early Tuesday afternoon waving to those who passed by.
Despite a campaign marred by what Trinks said were attempts to spread “misinformation” by the Democrats’ opponents, it wasn’t so much winning that was on his mind rather healing the rift among the town’s political foes after the election. Supporters say too, it is that type of desire for political compromise and working together that has distinguished Trinks over his years in office.
“I really believe this project can galvanize the town – my vision is of a kind of ole’ fashioned barn raising,” said Trinks.
The project to which he was referring is a new dog pound for Windsor. It may not be a sexy, headline grabbing issue. But Trinks said he is committed to making it happen for two main reasons. One, the town needs a new dog pound. Two, he has seen a tremendous response from various residents willing to help which he said tells him townspeople will unite around this effort.
In the weeks leading up to the election a war of words broke out in the local paper between Windsor Democrats and Republicans primarily over past budget referendums. It took five referendums to pass a budget this last spring. As a result, said the mayor, subsequently one Democrat spoke of revamping the budget process. Members of the GOP, he said, then took “morsels of truth” and tried to paint a picture of Democrats plotting to take away voters’ right to accept or reject the budget in a referendum vote.
According to Trinks, what Democrats aim to do is improve communication about the budget earlier in the process. And they want to do so in smaller, less intimidating settings where the general public may feel freer to ask questions.
Some voters however, stood fast behind the claim that Democrats wanted to do away with future budgets referendums.
In a letter to the editor which ran in the October 30, 2015 Windsor Journal Weekly, resident Bill Generous wrote that talk of budget referendum voting was a legitimate campaign issue –
“Although I respect Mayor Trinks and his ability to compromise on budgetary issues over the years, I take exception to his depiction of the “whole truth” on budget referendums in his October 16th Letter to the Editor. Was it really the cost of a budget referendum that formed a basis for past conversations on altering the budget adoption process? The cost to hold a referendum is a rounding error in Windsor’s budget. Even multiple budget votes are a small price to pay for more democracy…”. View http://www.TheWindsorJournal.com to read the entire letter.
Trinks counters that six town councilor’s votes are required to even form a charter revision commission which would be necessary to change the budget process. Since Democrats hold only five of the nine council slots, a sixth vote would have to come from the other side of the aisle. Were a change recommended by the commission it would then require at least six councilor’s votes to send the matter to – what else – a referendum vote for approval by the electorate, added Trinks.
In that Trinks was the highest vote-getter, by tradition he will likely retain his position as mayor. Officially, that is determined by a vote of the council.
For Trinks every local election is emotional since the passing of one of Windsor’s former mayors, Brian Griffin, whom Trinks describes as his mentor. Keeping Griffin’s memory close at heart, when circumstances get tough Trinks said he draws on advice given to him by Griffin:
“Keep it light. Stay positive.”
Also elected to the Windsor Town Council: Democrats Deputy Mayor Jody Terranova, Randy McKenney, Alan Simon and Jill Jackson-
Jenkins along with Republicans James Govoni, Bernard Petkis, Kenny Wilkos, and Donald Jepsen – defeated was Republican John Gamache. For the Board of Education elected were: Democrats Board President Christina Santos, Leonard Lockhart, Richard O’Reilly, Yvette Ali and Nuchette Black-Burke along with Republicans Paul Panos, Michaela Fissel, Melissa Rizzo-Holmes and Brian Bosch – defeated was Republican Ronald Eleveld.