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DiCenso: Mayor Dugatto Is Not Following The Rules

by Carmen DiCenso | GUEST COLUMN | Aug 4, 2017 4:25 pm

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Posted to: Derby, Derby Election 2017, Guest Column

Rich Dziekan and Sam Pollastro have been attempting to tie me to Anita Dugatto’s record as mayor over the past four years, but Mayor Dugatto’s record is exactly why I have chosen to run for mayor and get Derby City Hall back on track.

The main reason I decided to run for mayor is to put Derby’s charter back to work the way it is intended. The fact is, the power of the Mayor of Derby is limited, unless that power is intentionally undermined.

Derby’s charter states “The Mayor shall recommend the adoption of all such measures connected with the police, security, health, cleanliness and general well being of said city and the improvement of its government and finances as he/she shall deem expedient.”

The key word in the previous sentence is “recommend.” The mayor only has the power to make recommendations to the Board of Aldermen/Alderwomen, who as the legislative body of the City of Derby, makes the final decision. Per the charter, “The Mayor … in the event of a tie [has] a vote only on matters other than any ordinance or bill or claim against the city.”

By not communicating with the Board of Aldermen/Alderwomen and making decisions on her own, Mayor Dugatto has been violating the charter for nearly four years. She is making the position of mayor more powerful by not including the legislative body of the city on major decisions. As a result, the Board of Aldermen/Alderwomen does not have a say in, and cannot oppose, any of her decisions if we are not kept in the loop.

Some of the items Mayor Dugatto has made decisions on without informing the Board of Aldermen/Alderwomen include, but are not limited to:

1.       Delayed widening of Route 34 (Main Street) without BOA knowledge or approval

2.       Replaced city labor attorney without BOA knowledge or approval

3.       Hired new city attorney without BOA knowledge or approval

4.       BOA found out about Sterling Opera House investigation on the Valley Independent Sentinel

5.       BOA found out about Housing Authority/CHFA/DOH matter on the Valley Independent Sentinel

6.       Renovated portions of City Hall without BOA knowledge or approval

7.       Paid salary and dictated hours of Chief of Staff without BOA knowledge or approval

8.       Hired a personal executive assistant without BOA knowledge or approval

9.       Granted permission to individual to enter Onopiak property without BOA knowledge or approval

As mayor, my objective is to restore our local government back to what the charter says. Restoring Derby City Hall begins with transparency and communication with the Board of Aldermen, Tax Board, Board of Education, and all other departments and commissions within our city.

My goal as mayor is to respect and empower these boards and commissions to operate as intended, not overstep the bounds clearly defined by our charter.

It’s time to unite our city.  We can do better.

The writer is the president of the Derby Board of Aldermen and is running for mayor as a Democrat.

Views expressed in guest columns (aka ‘letters to the editor’) and press releases do not reflect the views of ValleyIndy.org. The Valley Indy has a strict 550-word limit on guest columns.

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