Calls for a 'no' vote for charter revision

To the Editor:

We urge you to vote “no” this Nov. 6 on New Milford’s proposed charter revision.

A “no” vote will stop New Milford from going backwards, hold town leaders responsible for budget decisions, and prevent an effort to recreate disunity and acrimony.

The biggest problem with this charter revision is it gives more power and control to the Board of Finance.

This will drag New Milford back to pre-2006, when the Board of Finance was stripped of most of its budget authority. In fact, the Board of Finance was almost completely eliminated in 2006.

A “no” vote will prevent the Board of Finance from making every budget decision after the mayor and Town Council complete their work. They will make the last spending decisions before you vote on the budget, and they will make the spending decisions after every failed budget vote.

This makes no sense.

The mayor and Town Council will be out of the budget revision process — one of the most important aspects of town government.

Taking responsibility away from “town leaders” lets them off the hook for poor decisions, making it harder for you to hold them accountable.

This lack of responsibility also makes it difficult for town leaders to direct your tax dollars where you need them to go.

Another reason to vote “no” is they want to add one seat to the Board of Finance. First, this has never been part of New Milford’s charter.

Second, it will create less cooperation among Board members — which is the exact opposite of pulling together as a town.

Before 2006, the Board of Finance had become too powerful and was at the root of much anger and confusion every year.

The 2006 Charter Revision Commission almost eliminated this board, but the vote ended in a tie. If one member had switched their vote, the Board of Finance would not exist today.

Instead, the 2006 Charter removed much of budgetary power from the Board of Finance, and this has worked well for 12 years.

So why change it now? Why resurrect old problems now?

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is appropriate for this vote. Please vote “no” on charter revision in order to keep what was already fixed in 2006.

Mary Jane Lundgren


New Milford Democratic Town Committee