June 17, 2019  |  

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Shouldn’t We Be Asking

Published Oct. 31, 2018

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Clinton residents’ Nov. 6 vote on Clinton charter revision will be the most important vote they will ever cast. Modernizing town government will affect us directly and positively. The Charter Reform Coalition and the Charter Revision Commission support this effort. Our current government structure controlled by politicians on party committees, a few with their own agendas, has failed us and it cuts independent voters out of the process. Look around town, including the CVS location, and ask, do you like the results?

Our lack of economic development results in increasing tax burdens that are continually shifted to homeowners. Years of stagnation and budget defeats at referendum must stop. While hope exists due to the efforts of our current first selectman, Christine Goupil, consider the years of decline caused by our structure. We need an economic development effort led by a professional who overlaps elections.

What should we do? First, we need a non-partisan professional leader managing the town. No matter how well meaning, we shouldn’t have amateurs who often are unqualified managing our government. Therefore, I urge your readers to vote “Yes” on Question 3, which will bring us a qualified, certified, educated, and vetted town manager overseen by a policy-setting, elected, seven-member town council. There is nothing to lose.

The majority of American towns and cities have a town/city manager. It is tried, true, and not new. Some ask about costs to terminate a town manager, an unlikely event. There is no one answer to that question. It depends on the circumstances and terms of their negotiated contract. In some cases there would be no cost, but shouldn’t we be asking following question: What does it cost to have inefficient government and unqualified leaders with two-year terms picked by small groups of party insiders we don’t know?

Selectman Phil Sengle (R)

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