Letter: Shelton charter places fiscal 'oversight' with aldermen

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:

Michelle Laubin wrote a letter to the editor titled, “Time to allow Shelton A&T to perform its budget oversight function.”

Shelton’s charter references the A&T role in the budget development process but does not define an A&T “oversight” role. The charter also gives A&T the authority to make line item transfers within a departmental budget. It gives the Board of Aldermen (BOA) the authority to authorize departmental line item over-expenditures during the fiscal year and to transfer unexpended and unencumbered balances from one department to another during the last 30 days of each fiscal year.

A&T has a role in the budget making process and as I recall, it was the Democrat A&T members who abrogated their so called “oversight” role by collectively walking out of the budget meeting thereby forfeiting the A&T board’s participation in the fiscal year 2020 budget process; a disservice to the three Republican members and to the general public. Now, do they cry “foul?”

They made no recommendation to the BOA last year, and they have only made one budget recommendation since the charter gave them this opportunity. A 3-3 member A&T board has consistently not been able to reach agreement since the inception of this charter role. The departmental budget hearings are increasingly partisan and offer little guidance to the BOA.

The charter places the budget making (fiscal) authority and the legislative authority with the Board of Aldermen (BOA). The BOA Finance Committee, the city treasurer and the finance department staff exercise budget review/oversight throughout the year. Monthly budget runs are available and now online for increased public transparency. One should recognize that it is only the Democrat A&T members who are trying to create and define an A&T “oversight” role and, being an election year, that probably explains why.

John F. Anglace, Jr.

Board of Aldermen President