OSWPCA: Sunshine / Letter to Board of Selectmen, 23Nov10

Text facsimile

--------------------------> Joel R. Anderson

                            13 George Drive
                            Old Saybrook CT 06475-2636
                            860 388-9858
                            oswpca.com
                            govtwork.org
                            23 November 2010

Office of the Board of Selectmen
Michael A. Pace, First Selectman
302 Main Street
Old Saybrook CT 06475-2384

 The Town can't have a WWMD without paying for it.

Dear Selectman:
"For each septic upgrade project in the WWMD, the homeowner is responsible to pay 50 percent of the total cost while the remaining 50 percent of the cost is funded by the Clean Water Fund grant and the town's share.

"The town's Board of Selectmen voted earlier this month to send the program's language to a town meeting at which electors would decide whether or not to adopt the language as an ordinance."

- Harbor News 18Nov2010, "WPCA Adopts Policy for Septic Upgrade Payback," by Becky Coffey.
This proposal, to split WWMD costs between WWMD property owners and the Town, is absurd, even by the Town's low standard.

Who must pay? That ship sailed with Referendum vote. The Board of Selectmen can't now propose that the electors who voted for the WWMD be permitted to vote a second time to relieve themselves of the burden of paying half the cost of a program they first voted for in its entirety.

The Town doesn't have the authority to transfer the cost, or any portion of the cost, of voter-approved projects onto a subset of its citizens. It can't hold a vote of the electors to effect such transfers.
Were it within the power of electors to transfer costs previously approved by a majority of electors, in the manner suggested by the Board of Selectmen, let the electors vote to transfer 100 percent of the cost of WWMD-upgrades to the three persons currently serving on the Board of Selectmen.

Does anyone on the Board of Selectman think that a vote of the electors would make this legal?
The Town is responsible for 100 percent of the cost of implementing the WWMD. The Town can't offer to 'share' the cost. It can't bring cost-sharing to a vote. Who pays was decided on 11Aug09.
                            Very truly yours,

                            Joel R. Anderson

N.B: a copy of this letter is posted to oswpca.com.
    Electronic and paper copies have been distributed
    to interested parties.

c:

Office of the Board of Selectmen
William A. Peace, Selectman
302 Main Street
Old Saybrook CT 06475-2384

Office of the Board of Selectmen
Carol Manning, Selectman
302 Main Street
Old Saybrook CT 06475-2384