Council Majority Ignored Constituents
To the Editor:
Is it really a public hearing if elected officials aren’t there to listen?
At last week’s Legislative Council meeting, six LC members voted to repeal Newtown’s smart, effective Reusable Checkout Bag Initiative ordinance. This ordinance went further than the State’s plastic bag ban by requiring a 10-cent charge for the use of single-use paper bags, encouraging use of reusable bags instead.
No local businesses that were allegedly being hurt by this popular ordinance spoke out in favor of repealing it. Not one! Plenty of residents spoke on the issue though.
Nine out of ten residents at the public hearing spoke in favor of leaving the ordinance in place — 9-1! The Legislative Council also received 33 letters from their constituents before Ryan Knapp, Ordinance Committee Chair, made his motion to repeal.
Thirty-one of those letters were written in opposition of his proposed repeal. Only two were in favor — 31-2!
Despite the overwhelming public opposition, Mr. Knapp and five other LC members shamefully ignored what constituents wanted and voted to repeal this helpful, responsible, popular ordinance anyway. This begs the question: Whose interests are these public servants actually serving, if not the public’s?