Letter: Shelton A&T offers budget scrutiny, must meet regularly

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

The Nov. 3 vote on the proposed revision to the city charter was clear: 10,000 voters out 15,000 votes cast said no. And equally clear was one of the reasons: the elimination of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation, in effect eliminating financial oversight of the city’s fiscal operations. We all want the city budget to represent the needs of Shelton citizens and we all want actual spending to follow the budget. If spending doesn’t do that, we want an explanation. That’s what financial oversight means and this oversight should be as bipartisan as possible. Hence the need for the Board of A&T.

For two years, the mayor has been able to remove this financial oversight in practice by seeing that the Board of A&T does not meet. This has meant that the budget for the coming fiscal year has received no scrutiny. And we don’t know if the city has kept expenditures within the various budget lines and if not, why. The charter revision proposal was an attempt to make official and permanent what has been the administration’s practice.

So the question arises: why has the Board of A&T not met following this resounding defeat of the proposed charter revision? The answer: because the Mayor wants it that way. The vote was clear. So is the mayor’s obligation to follow that vote. We are already hearing from voters about their concerns that the city’s schools may be underfunded. It would be good to know if there might be available funds to cover this gap. There are other things we could learn with a more public accounting of the city’s finances.

John Harmon

Shelton