Bethel Action Committee Rallies for Signatures to Prevent Selective Information Distribution

Bethel Action Committee Rallies for Signatures to Prevent Selective Information Distribution

The Bethel Action Committee (BAC), one of Connecticut’s longest-running taxpayer advocacy groups, is petitioning for an ordinance to no longer allow selective information distribution, according to Billy Michael, Chairman of the BAC. Referring specifically to voters being reminded of when and how to vote, Michael said, is unfair.

“No town agency can cherry pick a little group and tell them when and how to vote,” Michael said, “like the superintendent has done with his emails.”

“There are unfair voting rights in Bethel because one group [those with children in the public school system] are being reminded to vote while the other group is not. If you don’t have kids in the school system you don’t get the emails.”

Michael said the practice of sending out town-specific information should not be allowed because all Bethel taxpayers are paying for the service, yet all taxpayers are not receiving the “paid for” information.

“We dont’ have a town newspaper anymore so there isn’t a way for all Bethel residents to receive the information, yet all of us are paying,” Michael said.

Michael contacted Bethel Buzz to get the word out to Bethel residents that he and the BAC have begun a petition for a town meeting to pass the ordinance. Their website as the link to sign up for what they are calling the “All or None Public Alert Ordinance Petition.” They hope to collect the required 600 signatures to refer the following question before voters at a town meeting:

We, the undersigned taxpayers and qualified electors of the Town of Bethel, do hereby petition and request that the following question be referred to voters at a Special Town Meeting pursuant to the Bethel Charter and applicable Connecticut State Statutes:

Shall the Town of Bethel compel and urge the Board of Selectmen to enact an ordinance that requires the Town to forward to all postal patrons of Bethel via U.S. mail, the same notifications/advisory information of an upcoming referendum that any agency of the Town of Bethel has forwarded by any means to parties outside of the agency itself where the agency is publicly funded by the Town of Bethel.

Excluded from said ordinance will be publicly financed notification for such referendum which are required by law, including but not limited to Federal, State, Town of Bethel Ordinances and Charter provisions.

This action is in response to school parents enjoying personal email notifications of pending referenda to the exclusion of all other Bethel taxpayers. This ordinance will ensure that any information regarding town or school expenditures pending referendum is sent to all Local Postal Patrons or not be sent at all. Currently, only those households associated with the Bethel Public Schools receive notification by the Superintendent. BAC believes that this is exclusionary, and thus an infringement on equal voting rights.

No subgroup of Bethel voters should receive alerts and communications that are financed by all taxpayers, yet not available to all taxpayers.

Click here to sign the petition. The signature deadline for the petition is April 1, 2012.

For more information about the Bethel Action Committee, click here.

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Posted on January 11, 2012, in Home and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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