To the Editor:
I am writing to urge voters to Just Vote No on the proposed Trumbull charter revisions. The revision process has been flawed from the start. The Herbst administration insisted on seating a partisan commission, which proceeded to propose 175 changes to our town’s governing document. Many of those changes were drastic and not what anyone reasonably anticipated. In fact, several Town Council members, from both parties, have stated that if they knew the charter revision commission would propose so many alarming changes, they would not have voted for charter revision in the first place!
Although the Charter Revision Commission spent quite a lot of time on the proposed revision, it failed to comply with state statutes and did not provide comments on its proposed changes. This made it extremely difficult for the public and the Town Council to understand why so many of the changes were needed. For the Commission to fail to follow state statutes is just unacceptable. The proposed revisions also contained so many typographical errors and other errors that the Town Council had to spend hours just fixing typos—hours that it should have spent focusing on the substance of the revisions. The resulting document, which comes before the voters on Election Day, contains errors, inconsistencies, and provisions that could lead to legal challenges. Is that good for our town? Why wasn’t this done the right way?
Now the voters are faced with three charter revision questions on the ballot. Do the voters have even a basic understanding of the changes that are presented for their vote? I think the answer is No. These changes have not been adequately explained to voters to enable them to make an educated decision as to whether these changes are good for Trumbull. The revisions change the term of office of the Board of Education, how we vote for Town Council members, and even how we determine our annual budget. Referendum procedures have been changed so that a very small minority of voters can overturn just about any decision that is made in town. These changes are far too drastic and sweeping, and voters have not been given sufficient information for them to fully grasp how the basic governance of Trumbull will be changed.
The answer to all this is simple: Just Vote No on charter revision on Nov. 8!