Letter: Former BOE member opposes charter revisions
To the Editor:
In order to make a sale of anything, there needs to be an equal transaction, typically something of value is exchanged for money. That is the problem with the proposed charter revision, there is absolutely nothing of value in it for the citizens that need to vote to approve it.
What is the benefit of granting replacement power to the mayor for the P&Z Board and Wetlands Commission for the average citizen? I can see how that would allow the mayor to stack the board with possible quid pro quo votes, but for the average citizen, it just seems like it means a high rise could pop up in your backyard at any time. Why would we buy that?
Further, this seems to be a precursor to further development which we absolutely do not need.
One cannot throw a rock at Bridgeport Avenue without hitting a “space available” sign, but the revision clearly seeks to streamline the approval process and begin construction faster. This will only result in more congestion with more entrances and exits along our major thoroughfares. However, should the charter pass, it can only result in more empty storefronts and office space. This seems likely to negatively impact our quality of life on several fronts so once again, no sale.
Finally, limiting the number of candidates limits voter choice and makes it much easier for our elected officials to do a substandard job with only a remote chance of consequence. All this really does is get the average citizen out of their faces for their whole term except the few weeks before their next campaign while also making it harder to get rid of poor government officials. I’m sorry, if you do a trash job in public office, you do not deserve to hold onto your post. This makes it harder to do that so once again, we are not buying.
This begs a series of puzzling questions. Why did the mayor, who, and make no mistake about this, personally selected the members of the Charter Revision Commission, push for these changes with so little benefit to the public? With the obvious further empowerment of the mayor, who else would benefit from this?
Finally, there is the mystery carrot of the joint tech committee. Let me be clear, a charter revision is not necessary in order for the Board of Aldermen to listen to the expert recommendations of the Board of Education. In fact, for our aldermen, it is their present job. It is on them to act now to get the needed tech for our students and teachers now. This narrative that a charter revision is required as presented by both Aldermen Anglace and Simonetti is patently false, so I beg you, do not fall for it.
This election, please vote like you are purchasing your government structure for the next 10 years. Most of you would not spend one red cent on this disaster, so I advise you not waste your vote on a substandard government either. Vote no on the charter revision.