To the Editor:

The city charter is the governing document used to manage our city. It covers a wide variety of procedures that guide how city business is conducted. Good practice and state statutes require that the charter be reviewed every 10 years to update and stay current with changing conditions.

Shelton last updated its charter in 2012 so a charter review is timely. Consequently, the Board of Aldermen (BOA) appointed a Charter Revision Commission (CRC) for this purpose.

Perhaps the most important CRC recommended change is the formation of a Joint Technology Committee (JTC). This recommendation is based on our previous successful use of a JTC where community technology leaders, education representatives and city administrators were appointed and worked together over a period of 12 years spending $2.5 million to implement the citywide area network and a host of other education-based technology innovations. The previous JTC was set up by the BOA as a building committee. The voters then approved a referendum providing $2.5 million and the previous JTC disbanded by charter when funds were exhausted leaving a serious technology service void for some 10 years. In this day and age, the city and especially our school district cannot be without immediate attention to their technology needs.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has focused our attention on the priority to address education technology as well as our virtual community needs. Setting up the JTC, granting them autonomy to act independently on a permanent basis and funding these needs requires changing the current charter. The CRC has recommended this path for technology progress throughout our community. The required finances are manageable using this model and all impacted city service providers will be represented. Now the only remaining obstacle is to receive community support via approval of the charter referendum in November.

This charter proposal will dictate our education and community technology progress for the next 10 years. I urge voters to support this charter revision and enable the technology progress our community deserves in a cost-effective and planned manner.

John F. Anglace, Jr.

Board of Aldermen President