Monetary Oversight Ought to Be Bipartisan, Goal

Printed: Dec 30, 2021 04:50 PM

To the Editor:

In response to a latest letter relating to the proposals across the Board of Finance: The City Legal professional has confirmed the Board of Finance in Newtown is an advisory board and that Legislative Council is the Fiscal Authority in Newtown. Our Council fills the identical position as Boards of Finance in Monroe and Southbury, however we additionally make ordinances which is why the council has a bigger membership and a unique title.

I’ve a deep respect for the Board of Finance, its members, and the work they do, however claiming it’s a “examine” on the Legislative Council is just not reflective of course of because it makes suggestions. The voters are the last word examine on the Council, and who we attempt to symbolize. The Council is elected each two years and, in my time, I’ve seen management swing between events twice and members commonly change.

The voters have the authority to approve or reject budgets and enormous appropriations.

After I was a child, Newtown didn’t have a Board of Finance; we had a governmental framework just like most Connecticut communities the place the Govt Physique and Board of Training feed into some Fiscal Authority earlier than budgets finally go to the voters. These cities get alongside simply effective.

The bipartisan Cost Committee of the final Legislative Council tasked the Fee to “take away the Board of Finance” (3/3/21) as constituted and I consider {that a} majority of members of the brand new Council agree. This isn’t a partisan place. We’ve got additionally heard from previous Board of Finance members who help consolidation and simplification.

Newtown has a number of appointed boards and commissions that present super service to our group. Many have longer and staggered phrases. These are topic to minority illustration guidelines, which alleviate the considerations about stuffing boards to justify agendas.

I’d contest that the political course of, with partisan committees placing up slates, is extra more likely to end in pushing agendas as we noticed when the dialog round doubtlessly closing a college was changed into an election problem, compromising objectivity on the topic.

There’s worth in monetary oversight, however that oversight needs to be bipartisan and goal, searching for to search out solely essentially the most certified people. Creating an appointed board would insulate the members from election points.

As it’s constituted now it’s topic to partisan pulls and is a system that always prioritizes electability. It dissuades these gifted people who would in any other case be keen to serve, however don’t want to be subjected to the political nastiness that our candidates skilled within the run as much as November’s election.

The state and federal governments have acknowledged the worth in having non-partisan, appointed monetary advisory our bodies (Workplace of Fiscal Evaluation and Congressional Funds Workplace respectively.) I consider Newtown may benefit from keen volunteers taking part in an analogous position.

My feedback are my very own and a person and never on behalf of the Legislative Council, of which I’m a member.

Variety regards,

Ryan Knapp

Sandy Hook

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