Rina Bakalar, who served as co-chair of Mayor Joe Ganim’s economic development transition team and for several years director of the city’s Central Grants Office, has been appointed director of development for the Town of Trumbull by First Selectman Tim Herbst.
“Rina has a long track record of positive results,” said Herbst in a statement. “She has an expertise in accessing grants and funding to support projects in communities. She has a tremendous work ethic and exudes positive energy, coupled with a clear vision. She knows how to make things happen and gets things done.”
Bakalar has extensive experience working in local, state and federal government, for both Democrats and Republicans, including as district director for former Congressman Christopher Shays. She worked in the mayoral administrations of Ganim, John Fabrizi and Bill Finch before accepting a position with Shays.
In addition to serving as Trumbull’s chief development official, Herbst added Bakalar will oversee all permitting departments that include the Fire Marshal’s office as well as the Planning and Zoning, Building and Health Departments.
Several key Bridgeport officials have taken positions under Herbst throughout the years including John Marsilio who served as director of Public Facilities for a decade and Ed Lavernoich who left the Bridgeport development office to head up economic development in Trumbull. Lavernoich recently returned to Bridgeport, appointed by Ganim to replace David Kooris as development chief on an interim basis while a national search is conducted.
“Trumbull is a well-run town with tremendous potential,” said Bakalar in a statement released by Herbst’s office. “I look forward to working with developers, businesses, residents and elected officials to model how communities can balance quality of life with smart development in order to be vibrant, relevant and attractive for the future. I look forward to working with First Selectman Herbst and his administration in continuing to grow Trumbull’s economic base and Grand List. The growth that Trumbull has experienced these last six years has been nothing short of incredible and it is critical that we keep growing Trumbull’s economy and creating jobs. This improves Trumbull’s quality of life and continues to maintain its status as a community of choice here in Connecticut.”