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Selectmen have lost voters' confidence

As Winsted and the nation head to the polls next Tuesday, Nov. 4, local voters will have more than a presidential election to worry about. A proposed charter revision is up for a yes or no vote, separated into four different questions. In all likelihood, the proposed revisions will fail, and that failure will cast a dark shadow, not on voters, but on the town’s Board of Selectmen, which has lost the confidence of its constituents.

Next Tuesday’s likely rejection of the Republican-backed charter revisions will be the latest in a string of votes in which Winsted residents have shown they are unhappy with the town’s leadership. Four proposed budgets have failed since May, while voters have expressed dissatisfaction with the way the majority has treated fellow members of the board, members of other boards and town employees. It would not be surprising to see a budget with a zero tax increase fail at referendum, simply because voters are fed up with town leaders.

Numerous "majority rules" votes on the Board of Selectmen have been the norm this past year, while minority opinions have been ignored. Public pleas for reconsideration of the ousting of former Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman George Closson have fallen on deaf ears, while the GOP has openly shown it is willing to do favors for a proposed golf course developer who donated to their campaign. Voters see through this and have shown their discontent time after time at the polls.

Whether or not the Republicans have the best interest of Winsted at heart is irrelevant at this point. The board has lost the confidence of its constituents, and next Tuesday’s vote on the charter revision questions will prove it.

Perhaps when the election is over, members of the board majority will realize last year’s election was not a mandate for them to force their agenda on the town. It will be up to the so-called "gang of five" to lighten up and find ways to attract support with more honey and less vinegar.

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