LETTER: Shelton department heads should attend budget meetings

To the Editor:

It has come to my attention through various local groups concerned about transparency in our Shelton government that, during the budget review process, many department heads are not present at the budget workshops to discuss their respective budgets and answer questions posed by the governing board(s).

As a registered Shelton voter, resident and taxpayer, I feel that Mayor Mark Lauretti should require each of his department heads to attend the budget workshop for their department.

This would allow our elected officials to work more effectively as they finalize the annual budget. And it would allow for more understanding of the budget by elected officials and the public alike.
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This seems the responsible action of any department head of any government agency or corporation, for that matter. Without each department head being present how can they speak to the validity and/or accuracy of their past and proposed budget?

How can our Board of Apportionment and Taxation or our Board of Aldermen make sound recommendations or decisions about city spending without getting to ask each department head about its plans?

The public deserves a budget process which is open, clear and thoughtful. I hope Mayor Lauretti will understand and agree, and require our department heads to attend the budget workshops this year and in all future years.

Judith Carey