Charter Changes Will Strip the Water/Sewer Commissions of all Authority
Letter to the editor from Steven Wiseman of Water/Sewer Commission.
On two separate occasions the Board of Selectmen sent information on all three Charter change questions to every voting household in the Town. Both of these mailings contained erroneous and confusing information. The second mailing was not received by the voters in the time frame allowed by law. Both mailings are paid for by the taxpayers, perhaps the Board of Selectmen could provide the public with the costs incurred for printing, mailing and Town employees.
The Water/Sewer Commissions ask that the proper concise information is presented to the voters and allow them to make the proper decisions. We have addressed the issues in question two only as that is our area of knowledge.
Now let’s look at some of the facts; One important piece of information not mentioned in Mary’s editorial was the fact that the Charter changes strip the Water/Sewer Commissions of all authority, they become “advisors” to the Board of Selectmen who will have all decision making and financial control of the Water and Sewer Departments. Question one makes the Superintendant of these departments an appointee of the Town Manager and not under the control of the Commissioners. The Charter changes clearly provide the Board of selectmen total control of the Water and Sewer Departments. These departments have the second largest budgets in the Town and are Public Utilities. They are “fee for service” and should be directly controlled by the ratepayers.
Our budgets are probably the most detailed and concise of any Town Department and are reviewed by the Finance Committee, Capital Committee and Town Manager before they are presented for approval at Town Meeting. As with all other Town Departments, no money is spent without taxpayer approval.
I stand behind any editorial statements that I have made and would be happy to discuss/debate any “twisted” information that anyone believes I have posted and I ask what areas of expertise the Board of Selectmen have to appoint the Commissioners and run these highly regulated and Public Safety orientated Departments.