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Letter to the Editor: Vote 'Yes' on Charter Revision

A letter from the members of the Shelton Charter Revision Commission urging voters to support the Charter Revision in Tuesday's election.

To the Citizens of the City of Shelton:

We the undersigned members of the Shelton Charter Revision Commission strongly urge you to vote “YES” on November 6, 2012 to approve the proposed Charter Revision for the City of Shelton.  We believe that the proposed Revised Charter will improve the operation of the City and will be a viable governing document for years to come.

The following is a highlight of just some of the changes proposed by the Commission: 

  • As you may know, the City Charter has not been revised since 1994 and many changes had to be made to comply with statutory changes in the law. 
  • The Board of Ethics has been increased from 3 members to 5 with no more than 2 members from any political party, which will assure a more balanced and independent board.
  • The Board of Ethics will no longer be appointed by the Mayor, but will be appointed by the Board of Aldermen.
  • The Finance Director will be required to prepare and present a report twice a year to advise the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen as to the state of the City’s finances compared to the adopted budget.
  • The City’s bidding process has been modified to streamline the purchasing process for the City Departments while retaining the safeguards of municipal bidding requirements.
  • The Assistant Corporation Counsel’s office will now be under the supervision of the Corporation Counsel so that the City will receive a unified and consistent representation of legal services.
  • The ordinance process has been revised so that any proposed ordinance must be acted upon by the Board of Aldermen and cannot die in committee.  If referred to a committee, the committee must report back to the Board and the full Board of Aldermen must act on the proposed ordinance.
  • Certain public information will now be required to be posted on the City Website so that residents may be informed as to the City’s business.
  • Two alternate members have been added to the Inland-Wetland Commission so that business will not be delayed if members are not available to attend scheduled meetings.
  • Vacancies of appointed positions shall now be filled within a time certain.  If it is a Mayoral appointment and the Mayor fails to fill the vacancy, the Board of Aldermen will be able to make the appointment after a certain time period has passed.  If it is a Board of Aldermen appointment and the Board fails to appoint, than the Mayor may make the appointment after a certain time period has passed.  This will assure that vacancies will be filled.
  • Finally, and more importantly, the Proposed Revised Charter makes major organizational and definitional changes to the City’s Volunteer Fire Organization.  The duties and the responsibilities of the City’s fire companies, the Office of the Fire Chief, the Board of Fire Commissioners, the Officer’s Council, Deputy Fire Chiefs, Assistant Fire Chiefs, Captains, Lieutenants, the Fire Marshal and the Deputy Fire Marshal and the Fire Marshal’s Office has been fully defined. 

With regard to the fire department changes, they could not have been achieved without the major efforts and cooperation of the Charter Revision Commission, the Fire Chief, the members of the Officer’s Council, the members of the Board of Fire Commissioners and all the officials of our volunteer fire department.  Their bipartisan efforts have resulted in a living document, which will assure the citizens of the City of Shelton that those who volunteer their time and put their lives on the line to protect us will be able to continue to do so for many years to come.  The Commission believes that these changes establish a clearly defined organization for the City’s volunteer fire department, which is in the best interest of the residents of the City.

The Charter Revision Commission believes that it has proposed a viable and improved Charter that will serve the City well for many years to come. Therefore, we urge every citizen to VOTE YES on November 6, 2012 to accept the Revised Charter.  Thank you.

Members of the Shelton Charter Revision Commission

Jo Ann Roeter November 06, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I have comments on two of the above items: "•The ordinance process has been revised so that any proposed ordinance must be acted upon by the Board of Aldermen and cannot die in committee. If referred to a committee, the committee must report back to the Board and the full Board of Aldermen must act on the proposed ordinance." [I believe all proposed ordinances should be available to the citizens of this city for comments and voted on.] "•Certain public information will now be required to be posted on the City Website so that residents may be informed as to the City’s business." [I believe ALL public information should be required to be posted on the City Website. I think the citizens deserve transparency from their city government.]

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