Vote 'no' on mayoral system

To the Editor:

It should come as no surprise that I will be voting against the binding referendum for the mayoral system and I hope you will as well. Having served on the Bennington Select Board for 7 years, four as Chair I know the present system is not perfect, but it works. Who among us has not made a few mistakes in the past 25 years?

While I respect those who would prefer a mayoral system, and would enjoy a debate. However, I am extremely concerned with the wording of Ballot Article 2, particularly C.

c) The mayor shall have the power to make or break a tie, and shall have the power to veto any action of the Selectboard.

This provision means Bennington would have a mayor with veto proof authority over every aspect of town government and no provision for recall. Some have indicated that the Legislature can change this and while the legislature could, in my opinion. it is highly unlikely they would. According to the Chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee which reviews all charter changes the only reason her committee would change a provision is if it is illegal or unconstitutional.

The choice is clear, please vote no!

Sen. Dick Sears



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