Let us vote, and let us hold our government officials accountable

To the Editor:

“Demand accountability from your officials,” said State Senator Tony Hwang to the full audience at this weekend’s League of Women Voters event in Fairfield. I agree wholeheartedly with Senator Hwang: accountability in government is an important, extremely relevant topic these days.  And how are public officials accountable to the people in a democracy? Elections.

I fought for the special election for the Selectman seat and gathered nearly 100 elector signatures in the busiest week of the year, because I feel passionately about my right to vote on this elected position, which wields great power over policy, appointments and funding of capital projects in town.  In under a week, a bi-partisan group of Fairfielders came together to effectuate their right to vote on this elected position.  What is guiding us is our desire to hold our public officials accountable — our desire to participate in our democracy — our desire TO VOTE. It is this right to vote, enshrined in our Constitution, that caused 3,200 electors to sign those petitions.  

To characterize our effort to hold our public officials accountable through election as a “power grab” is both patently false and ironic. A “power grab” by the people is DEMOCRACY itself. We the People are the very source from which all government derives its power. The state statute that enables the Fairfield electors to file a petition for special election protects and preserves the fundamental right of the people to hold our public officials accountable through special election; Selectman Tymniak’s and Selectman Bateson’s misguided attempt to void the special election limits the people’s rights and is an offense to our Constitution.

An appointed official, not subject to a popular vote for THREE years, is the very antithesis to accountability in government. Let us vote, and let us hold our government officials accountable.  

Jill Vergara

Representative, Fairfield RTM District 7

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