To the Editor:

The proposed charter revision on the ballot for the Nov. 3 election is a power grab. Or, perhaps more precisely, it concentrates power in the hands of fewer people, silencing the voices of those who look for the moderating influence of bipartisanship. It also increases the likelihood — even beyond what we see today — of sloppy government operations and financial mismanagement. If the charter revision is approved, this condition will be with us for the next 10 years.

There are three changes that have the greatest impact on this potential outcome.

The Elimination of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation. This board is charged with reviewing the annual budget submission from the mayor and any spending by city departments that deviates from budgeted amounts. This board is constructed to be bipartisan — 50 percent of its membership representing each party — and can identify questionable departmental spending and budgets that may not be fiscally and strategically prudent. Without it, voters will never know how the city is running its business.

The creation of super majorities among all elected boards, notably the Boards of Education and Planning and Zoning. Decisions of these boards will be made without the participation of the minority party. This is particularly troubling for the Board of Education where the priority will be on managing costs rather than improving the quality of our schools.

The increase of bonding authority. The Board of Aldermen can issue bonds, for any reason it wants, for a higher amount without voter approval. Greater bond issuing authority means more debt, increasing the cost of interest, draining money away from the needs of city operations, and potentially adding to voters’ tax burdens.

Fewer people will be running this city and the rest of us will never know what they’re doing.

Vote no on the charter revision.

John C. Harmon

Former candidate for mayor

Member, Shelton Democratic Town Committee