To the Editor:

Shortsightedness is sometimes difficult to spot. We’ve all experienced occasions in life where decisions that seemed attractive in that moment are later realized, with hindsight and objectivity, to have actually been quite poor. Such is the case with this year’s proposed charter revision. It has been developed and supported by men who basically do what the mayor asks them to do and have held their political positions a little too long and whose ideas have lost any perspective of what is best for our collective future three, five or even 10 years from now.

Republicans have long supported a platform of fiscal responsibility and smaller government. However, this proposed revision removes all safeguards for both of those foundational principles. It is a shortsighted document that seeks to build in more government and less oversight while simultaneously centralizing municipal power with a handful of men and suppressing the voices of average citizens.

Several consequences are inevitable if the charter revision is approved by voters: The number of lawsuits concerning Planning and Zoning and the Inland Wetlands commissions could skyrocket, hindering progress and costing the taxpayers money; the proposed changes to the Board of Education will drastically limit parents’ ability to have a voice in how our children are educated and eliminate any need for collaboration; and, with the disbanding the Board of Apportionment & Taxation, all budget oversight will be abandoned, leaving us vulnerable to higher spending and greater debt. In short, it will make it very easy for the city to make unilateral decisions then stick us all with the bill when poor management and a lack of fiscal oversight allows for inevitable mistakes.

If you’re still skeptical, you don’t have to look further than our own Shelton Police Department. Centralized power and a lack of oversight has resulted in deplorable conditions and treatment of the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for us on a daily basis; even more so during a global pandemic.

Finally, imagine the day, in perhaps the not-too-distant future, when a new administration comes to power in City Hall. There would be no avenue, not a single recourse, to prevent that administration from doing whatever they please, with little to no oversight whatsoever.

This charter revision proposal is terrible for Shelton. It will result in much larger government and less fiscal responsibility, two things that Republicans everywhere have fought against for generations. Please vote no on the charter revision this November and help preserve our long-standing ideology here at home. At the end of the day, we are #1Shelton.

David Gidwani

1st Ward Alderman