To the Editor:

At the Friday meeting, Republican members of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation (A&T), abetted by Mayor Lauretti, attempted to abandon their budget duties in violation of the city charter. Democratic A&T board members were forced to leave the meeting in order to stop an illegal vote from occurring.

Gov. Ned Lamont's Executive Order 7HH specifically clarifies that for a municipal budget to be passed during Covid-19: "All conditions precedent to any such adoption, including without limitation, public notices, hearings, or presentations, shall proceed in a manner as closely consistent with the applicable statutes, special acts, town charters, municipal ordinances, resolutions or procedures as possible, and in compliance with the open meeting provisions set forth in Executive Order No. 7B."

Shelton's charter requires at least one joint meeting of A&T and the aldermen. No such meeting has occurred yet and, as per the governor's order, this requirement is not waived. Friday’s meeting ended when the three Republican members of A&T attempted to submit the proposed budget as is without meeting charter requirements. Democratic members attempted to table the motion so a joint session could be scheduled. The Republicans and mayor as tie breaker voted against it. To put it more simply, the Republicans and the mayor voted to directly violate the city charter.

Click here to watch the video.

If you care about having a transparent budget process call or email City Hall and demand that they follow the charter and hold budget hearings so there can actually be a dialogue between the Board of Education, the aldermen, A&T and the mayor about this proposed budget.

Email or call:

City Hall: (203) 924-1555

Mayor Lauretti's email: shelton01@cityofshelton.org

Board of A&T members:

John A. Belden, Jr. (R): (203) 924-9275; Email: jbjohnb@aol.com

John Boyko (R): (203) 257-0581

John J. Francino-Quinn (R): (203) 410-9380; Email: cavalytrooper3@gmail.com

Steven G. Guralnick (D): (203) 926-9597; Email: sgg47@att.net

Joseph J. Knapik (D): (203) 929-7988; Email: joeknapik56@gmail.com

Michelle C. Laubin (D): (203) 824-2935; Email: mclaubin@comcast.net

We'd also like to hear your opinion if you'd care to share your email with us as well: SheltonDemocrats@gmail.com

Shelton Democratic Committee