Letter: Shelton voter’s mandate for a finance board

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:

With the defeat of the Charter Revision in 2020, Shelton voters sent a clear mandate to maintain the Board of Apportionment and Taxation (A&T). The reality, however, is the Mayor and Board of Aldermen (BOA) have completely ignored this mandate and have abandoned A&T.

The administration says A&T is no longer relevant because they have not been able to produce a budget. I disagree! In my tenure on A&T, we submitted two bi-partisan budgets to the BOA along with recommended changes in budget practices and a new accounting method for the reserve. This deliberate sidelining of A&T is unwarranted and has motivated me to run for Board of Alderman (Ward 1). As a former member of A&T and controller of Sikorsky Aircraft, I have years of financial experience in managing a successful team-based budgeting process. My ideas follow.

As alderman, my plan would be to implement a budget practice used by most businesses and cities based on long-term goals and community priorities that would hold all boards and departments accountable for performance and results. In this process, revenues and expenses would be monitored and analyzed monthly, compared to budget, potential spending problems identified, and initiate actions to remedy the problems. With 41,000 citizens and a $128 million revenue and expense budget, Shelton deserves more oversight, not less.

Further, I would support the implementation of new policies, rules, and procedures for controlling the surplus and conduct regular operational audits of city practices (starting with cash). I would also collaborate with the Board of Education to ensure that all education spending decisions made by the BOA include an assessment of impact on student and academic success.

Managing your tax dollars is a privilege that I must earn. It is not a right. I have the experience and will work for you to restore the role of A&T so that your taxpayer dollars are safeguarded with the independent oversight you deserve. Your 2020 mandate must be accepted and A&T must be reinstated.

Please be sure to vote on Nov. 2.

Wayne Bragg

Board of Aldermen First Ward candidate