BRIDGEPORT — The city’s Republican party are sending a letter to the Charter Revision Commission requesting minority representation on city boards, including the City Council. Current council members earlier this month told the commission they didn’t think minority representation rules should be introduced into the charter.
Here’s the text of the Republican Town Committee’s letter:
March 26, 2012
Dear Charter Revision Commissioners:
During this time of transition and evolution you have an opportunity to enhance the lives of thousands. The people of Bridgeport have been in desperate need of a new direction. As you know a reformed system for our public schools is not the only matter which needs your attention. This commission must also explore the benefits that would come from minority party representation.
There is no downside to the implementation of a minority party representation rule to the Bridgeport city charter, on the contrary positive effects abound. For instance instead of a political monopoly by the majority party; power is shared to the mutual benefit of all. The majority party maintains its power and therefore its agenda, however, opportunities for effective government can now be more readily presented by minority party representatives instead of capable ideas being lost because they are never initiated in a public forum. A further example of the effectiveness of minority party representation is in the case when the minority party’s Governor is in office in the state of Connecticut, as was the case from 1994 to 2010. In this case minority party representatives could have more effectively lobbied the Governor than the ruling majority party of the city. The outcome of close votes in the state legislature could also be determined by this more effective lobbying. There is no doubt that this would benefit Bridgeport.
Recently Mayor Finch campaigned on the issue of transparency in city government. What better way to achieve transparency than to have the check and balance of minority party representation. Many towns throughout Connecticut currently use minority party representation to the benefit of its citizens. It is time for Bridgeport to become progressive in the real sense of the word. This would be a good start.
Please accept this letter as a formal request from the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee to strongly consider and later adopt this rule.
The Bridgeport Republican Town Committee
John Slater, Chairman
Francisco Borres, Vice Chairman
Scot Henkel, Secretary
c.c. Mayor Bill Finch
Various members of the media