Letter: Vote NO on Charter Revision

To the Editor:

I have been closely following the Trumbull Charter Revision Commission and the Town Council as they have recommended a number of revisions to the Town Charter that will be on the ballot on Election Day. I will be voting NO on these two questions, and I urge others to do the same.

There are two questions on the ballot relating to Charter Revision, designated as Question 2 and Question 3. Question 2 is a general question encompassing a number of separate, unspecified revisions to the Charter. Question 3 is a specific question that would add a proposed new section to the Charter if approved.

These important questions beg for explanation if voters are to make informed decisions. Question 2 is vague and does not specify the various changes to be made. Question 3 would add a provision that could have a major impact on the town budget— and could increase taxes, reduce services, or both — for years to come. The voters deserve to know, well before Election Day, the reasons for the proposed changes. The Town Council agreed, and meeting minutes reflect the Council’s desire for clear explanatory text to be provided to the voters.

So where is the explanatory text? Not on the town website. Not available at public places, such as the town libraries or Senior Center. Not in the newspapers, at least as of this writing. There is a video on the Trumbull Education Channel explaining the changes, but what about voters who don’t know about it or don’t have access to it? A video should be one small piece of a much larger plan to educate voters about these important questions. Although there will be posters at the polling places with an explanation of the changes, how are voters supposed to learn about these important issues only as they walk into the polls?

The town Charter is like our Constitution, and it should be changed infrequently and only when a pressing need arises. Trumbull’s Charter just underwent sweeping changes in 2011. Why aren’t the voters being told why we need to change it again so soon? Why the lack of transparency?

Trumbull’s leaders need to do a better job providing needed information to voters. On Election Day, if you don’t understand exactly what a “yes” vote means, just vote “NO” on Questions 2 and 3.

Cindy Katske