Letter: Vote ‘No’ on Question Three

To Editor, New Canaanite:

As a member of the Charter Revision Commission, I voted against recommending removal of the first selectman from continuation as the chairman of the Board of Finance and the elimination of the requirement that Board of Finance members be New Canaan “taxpayers”. I recommend a ‘No’ vote on question #3:

Shall the current Charter be changed so that the First Selectman, although remaining an ex-officio member of the Board of Finance, will no longer serve as Chairman of the Board of Finance, and the Board of Finance will choose its Chairman from its regular members? If the proposed change is approved, the appointed Board of Finance will be totally unaccountable to the voters of New Canaan. The present requirement that the first selectman serve as chairman of the Board of Finance without vote except in the case of a tie, originated in the 1935 Charter of the town of New Canaan. The argument that after 80 years of fiscally responsible government there is now a need for an additional check to balance the power of the Board of Selectmen evidences a misunderstanding of the responsibilities of the town’s governing bodies.