Thursday, October 09, 2008

No vote on Charter revision

The Cheshire Herald gives a recap on last week's Ordinance Review Committee rejection of a Charter revision (by Josh Morgan).

Read the article and you'll see why I'm opposed - I see it as a power grab by Big Government.

While I'm quoted mentioning the majority's desire to:

1) reduce accountability by increasing terms from two years to four years and

2) increase government power by changing the position of Town Clerk from an elected position to an appointed position*

I also noticed a comment in yesterday's MRJ on the race for the 103rd:

Esty opposes referendums and initiatives, saying they allow special-interest groups to force issues into the ballot."It sounds like public empowerment. In practice, it's quite the opposite," she said, adding that California, which has referendums, often has two or three-page ballots because of all the issues included. (by Jesse Buchanan)

And as Cindy intimates over at Underground Town Hall... the only reason the Senior Tax program was enacted was because of the power of initiative granted to the voters in the Town Charter. If it weren't for the Power of Initiative, the Council majority would've completely ignored their election year promises. And the last thing we need is a power hungry majority controlling a Charter revision with a possible goal of reducing voter power and increasing government power.

But here's a brief history of senior tax relief from my perspective:

1) In the election of 2005, candidates made promises about senior tax relief. Those candidates ran as the consummate outsiders.

2) Then after taking office, those same candidates became the consummate insiders.

3) They now "understood" the complexities of running government.


The only thing they understood was that they no longer took direction from the voters, they took direction from staff.

And only after a huge public outcry (driven largely by voter initiative) did Cheshire's new insiders conclude they may have a problem getting reelected (ahhh... those pesky elections... four years is better than two years). Thus, after much anguish they realized that the power of initiative enabled the voters to direct the Council to direct staff to fulfill their promise of senior tax relief.

So there absolutely is a need for the power of initiative (and referendum) at the town level.

I don't want that power taken from the voters. And I do wonder about the true goals of the current majority.

But to further expand... my belief that the voters must be heard in between election cycles is my opinion. Alternatively, I can look at both parties in Cheshire and see Council members (from my five years as a member) who believe that as soon as the election is over, there is no need to listen to anyone. That's "why they were elected" - to know the right course forward. That's their governing philosophy.

I come from a different school of thought. I believe (even when I disagree) the views of the voters matter all the time, not just at election time.

Finally, as for the assertion I often hear that 2005 was filled with election year promises that were actually lies... I don't see it that way. I think the promises were made with good intentions. The problem was when the majority took office and immediately took the back seat. They allowed staff to follow their own agenda without input or oversight from anyone. It's just another example of an administration with its own agenda and no oversight, except for the Democratic Rubber Stamp Council.

Tim White

* I believe this is actually the desire of staff... endorsed by the majority with their big, heavy rubber stamp.


Anonymous said...

Esty is a flagrant hypocrite. She opposes the death penalty even when there's 100% certainty of guilt, as in the Cheshire case. Yet she supports unrestricted abortion, even of late term, fully viable nine-month babies.

She says that only God, not the state, has the 'moral' right to execute murderers. Yet in her morally relativistic world, execution of innocent, fully viable babies should be legally sanctioned.

This plus her opposition of initiative referendum shows that Esty is an extreme liberal of the worst kind : an ELITIST liberal rather than a populist one.

Breachway said...

I think we got your point on a previous comment...some people are prochoice and against the death penalty. I wont vote for her but I have no problem with this...its America

Anonymous said...

I didn't post that comment on the previous thread. So I'm echoing what someone else said.

Breachway isn't bothered by the hypocricy of Esty's being anti-death penalty and pro-abortion? Not bothered by her being morally relativistic and intellectually contradictory? I guess you expect less than I do in basic integrity.