MANCHESTER (July 8, 2009) – Mayor Frank Guinta blasted members of the Board of Aldermen for “yet another effort to subvert the will of the people” with their vote to send the spending cap referendum to court. Despite the legal efforts of petitioners last year and the ruling of three state agencies (Attorney General’s Office, Secretary of State; and Department of Revenue Administration) attesting to the legality of the referendum’s language, seven aldermen are continuing their efforts to deny the people of Manchester a vote.
“It is unbelievably disappointing that aldermen continue to subvert the will of the people,” Guinta said. “Last year, they did everything in their power to get this pushed from the 2008 to the 2009 ballot. Now, they are pulling out all the stops to get the courts to do their dirty work and throw the referendum off the ballot all together. So far, seven aldermen are winning; the people of Manchester are losing.”
On July 7, the aldermen voted, 7-5, to reject a request to withdraw a court case that could potentially throw the spending cap off the 2009 municipal ballot. On Sept. 5, 2008, eight aldermen blocked efforts to have the spending cap initiative on the 2008 ballot, despite an eight-hour marathon session in which Mayor Guinta tried to get the initiative placed on the ballot.
“The argument the eight aldermen made was that the people needed more time to learn the pros and cons about the referendum. At that time, they promised public hearings and information sessions. Instead, in the last 10 months, these aldermen have worked with special interests to get this thrown off the ballot,” Guinta said. “Even today, we’ve read about how the spending cap works in Franklin and, in an emergency, can be overridden. This process gives power to the people; policymakers retain their ways and means authority. The process works.”
Guinta states that he respects those that oppose the spending cap and looks forward to having a vigorous and informative debate on the issue. “However, I am staunchly opposed to the actions of a small group of lawmakers disenfranchising the voters of Manchester.”