Republican Party Seeking Strong Mayor?

Republican Party Seeking Strong Mayor?

Southington Democratic Town Chairwoman Elaine Bedard says that the Republican controlled Town Council and its Chairman, John Dobbins, are continuing to dismantle Southington’s citizen involvement in Boards and Commissions.  After making the Senior Commission virtually useless, with less meetings and oversight, Republicans now want to eliminate involvement for the other citizen boards and commissions.  Is the Republican Party looking to create a new form of Mayoral government for Southington, without any oversight, and avoiding an election by the people?

The Republican-driven fiscal argument that “there is no accountability” is a smoke screen.  The Charter already gives final say regarding the budget to their appointed Town Manger before it goes to the GOP dominated Board of Finance and then onto the Town Council.  This smoke screen is for the public to blame others because the Republicans want to hide from their reckless spending. Since the GOP took over in 2009, including their budget proposal this year, Southington taxpayers will see a record 21% increase in the mill rate and an astonishing 12.3 million dollars in new government spending. The effects of these increases have brought your car and home taxes to challenging levels.

At the Town Council meeting on March 11, 2013, Chairman Dobbins refused to publicly say what he intended to change in the Town Charter. However he did not hide his intention to the members of the town council, all behind closed doors. We need transparency and honestly with the voters. No more games!

Southington has a strong history of dedicated volunteers who serve our community. Southington commission members do not get paid. Therefore, the comment that there would be a savings has no merit. The present Southington Charter dictates that all department budgets must go to the Town Manager and the Board of Finance and then to the Town Council for approval. The checks and balances that were put in place in the formation of the Charter have served this town well.

Many towns and cities across the country want civilian oversight of its police, fire and other municipal departments. The people of Southington need to have more say, not less, like the Republicans want.

Southington should not make the Town Manger position a quasi-mayoral position. One person who is not elected should not have all the power.

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