To the Editor:

Friends and neighbors, I would like to ask you to join me and vote no on the proposed revisions to the charter.

The change to eliminate the Board of Apportionment and Taxation should concern most voters as this is the only guaranteed bi-partisan review of the budget. This holds true for both parties and is a necessary check on the chief elected official and the Board of Aldermen. This board can, has and should provide a through review of the fiscal requests and proposed expenditures by interviewing department heads regarding their budget allocations.

The change proposed to the Board of Education, on which I served for 12 years, eliminated the need to work together as a broader group representing all the citizens of the community to bring about policy changes. Without the 5-4 split we could end up with new policies with each shift of political parties. That would be unnerving for the professional staff.

The changes to the makeup of the Planning and Zoning Commission will make it easier (by requiring a lower percentage of support). I don't believe that most of our families and friends want future development to happen with less support from the commission than we currently have. In fact, I think that the percentage voting in favor of additional development should be increased, not decreased.

I have read that there are this saying this is an issue for "just Democrats.” As a lifelong Republican, I can say that nothing could be further from the truth. This charter proposal is flawed in many ways and members of all political parties are urging our friends, families and neighbors to vote no.

Win Oppel