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Letter to the Editor: Why add another level of bureaucracy? Vote no

Dear Editor,
As a resident of Madison City for over 19 years, I am curious as to why PAC Madison Forward wants to change the structure of our government by adding another layer of bureaucracy. Spending 20 years in government in Washington DC and watching it grow uncontrollably, an old quote came to mind. “Bureaucracies are inherently anti-democratic. Bureaucrats derive their power from their position in the structure, not from their relations with the people they are supposed to serve. The people are not masters of the bureaucracy, but its clients.” Alan Keyes

Madison City voters must ask themselves if adding another layer of bureaucracy will help balance our growth, improve our overcrowded roads, reduce our almost $350 million debt, allow greater citizen transparency, etc.? Can our elected officials identify other ways to become more efficient?
When researching the topic, one citizen noted: “Are we willing to bank roll a city manager and possible staff? Are the citizens ready to provide the city a blank check without any guarantee of more efficiencies and effectiveness?”

Another citizen felt it was unwise to vote for something we cannot reasonably vote out. “Once you vote in something, it is difficult to take back.” By nature, a bureaucracy intends to grow.

Another is concerned that our city elected officials have not provided any specifics on the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of each of the positions and how they would interact. Providing only a top-level presentation leaving out pertinent details does not allow the citizens to make an educated decision when voting.
Voting YES just to see how it’s going to work in Madison is a significant disruption that we cannot afford, especially with a multi-year transition to a new form of government.

One said, “Let’s look at how government is structured. The president does not have a vote but has veto power similar to our form of government at the federal level. The veto is there as a checks and balances and not employed very often as it forces the two branches to work it out and come to an agreement. Under a council-manager, the mayor votes as part of the legislative branch and gives up a significant part of the executive duties and surrenders responsibilities and authority to an unelected bureaucrat, selected by the legislative branch vs the people. The veto power, check and balances completely disappear. Should congress select our country’s president vs we the people?” Are we willing to add another layer of Government?

After evaluating both sides, I still have more questions than answers. I will be voting no on May 9th. It’s up to the good citizens of Madison to get smart on the pros and cons and make an informed decision. I encourage you to exercise your voice and VOTE on May 9th!

M. Pope
Madison City Resident

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