LETTERS: Cartoon misinformation; and the negative characterization of a state Supreme Court decision

LETTERS: Cartoon misinformation; and the negative characterization of a state Supreme Court decision



Misinformation

Editor:

You have a choice of which cartoon to publish in your newspaper. However, I object to those which perpetuate misinformation (R-J, 4/7/21). There is little to no similarity in voting regulations between Colorado and Georgia. Colorado allows registration on Election Day. Applications to vote by mail are sent to all eligible voters. 94% of people in Colorado voted by mail in 2020. They also allow for a wide range of materials to provide for ID.

The Republicans are not changing their policies to win more votes, they're changing the rules to exclude more voters.

Jeanne Smith, Meriden

Negative characterization

Editor: 

As former Majority Leader of the Meriden City Council, I respectfully but whole-heartedly disagree with the R-J Editorial Board’s (R-J, 3/31/21) negative characterization of the recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision in which the court found that private discussions among Democratic and Republican council leadership, the Mayor and the City Manager are perfectly legal and need not be noticed as public meetings. 

Such gatherings are necessary for bipartisan dialogue on matters affecting our residents’ welfare. The participants do not constitute a quorum and have no authority to take any action which legally binds the City Council. Resolutions submitted to the City Council always can be subject to discussion, public comment, information gathering, amendments, and votes in favor or against.

Nor is this unique to Meriden. These types of bipartisan exchanges occur at all levels of government — local, state and federal.  Bipartisan cooperation is critical to productive governance.  Members of a single party, even if a quorum, already legally can converse in private caucus. Thus, to prohibit the Majority Leader from speaking even to the Minority Leader about ideas to improve Meriden without noticing such discussion in advance as a public meeting would be illogical.

Contrary to the R-J’s claim that the court decision is “a step backward” and contrary to the RJ’s criticism of Mayor Scarpati’s accurate statement that transparency “is a key cornerstone” in Meriden, the Connecticut Supreme Court correctly found the R-J’s position, if accepted, (1) would render statutory language “meaningless,” (2) “would disrupt the orderly and efficient functioning of government in a manner that the [FOIA] does not contemplate,” (3) “would discourage two members of different political parties from gathering,” and (4) would lead to an “absurd result.”

Congratulations to the City’s legal department for a court victory which maintains common sense balance between effective and transparent government!

Brian P. Daniels, Meriden


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