On Nov. 6, city voters will decide this question:
“Shall the city of Bridgeport approve and adopt the charter changes as recommended by the Charter Revision Commission and approved by the City Council, including education governance reforms?”
One thing we can bank on, in light of the braindead non-voters in the state’s largest city, the turnout will be a whole lot higher for the presidential election on Nov. 6 than the largely single- and teen-digit turnouts of local elections the past two years. The upcoming general election should eclipse 50 percent.
The larger question tucked within the ballot question approved by the City Council in this Charter Revision initiative: will voters approve or reject Mayor Bill Finch’s proposal to appoint members of the school board? School board members are currently elected.
The larger election turnout places a premium on message. Which side can best make its case: the so-called reformers supporting a mayoral-appointed board or the opponents in support of maintaining an elected body?
Supporters of the mayor can point to the love, peace and diplomacy progress that took place under the state-appointed school board that, by the way, includes three of those members recently elected in a special election ordered by the Connecticut Supreme Court. The opponents will argue you don’t want to give this mayor any more power, the schools aren’t better off, just vote no.
The framing of the ballot question lends itself to an electoral embrace: “education governance reforms.” How do you say no to that, especially in a city with historic education challenges? If you haven’t been paying attention wouldn’t you fill in that oval?
Not unless an organized opposition makes a strong case to reject the question. Where is the organized opposition? Does it have bodies? Does it have money?
If not, this ballot question has a chance for passage.