19th century English historian Lord Acton nailed it when he wrote “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” 21st century Prospect confirms the need for limiting the terms of politicians.
A case in point is Mayor Robert Chatfield’s administration and its unethical record of granting discounts or waivers of building permit fees for whomever it chooses. Building permit fees are set by ordinance and state statute based on the value of the project. Unfortunately there is hard evidence that the mayor or others in his administration discounted building permit fees for Regency at Prospect which, in my opinion were offset by hitting Regency residents with inordinately high property tax assessments. Further, the new Aria banquet facility was granted no less than a $26,000 permit fee abatement. Such arrogance has cost Prospect retirees and young families hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a former three-term councilman and fervent backer of term limits, I will petition the Town Council to appoint an independent investigator to review all building permits issued over the past 20 years to determine if the proper fees were charged, and if not, why and to whose benefit? Why did the Council only recently enact an ethically-challenged ordinance allowing the mayor to waive up to $5,000 of building permit fees while the practice has been going on arbitrarily for years? The Council should rescind this law at its next meeting and charge appropriate fees.
Speaking of favoritism over 300 voter-taxpayers have signed my petition forcing the Mayor and Town Council to send their proposed budget to an April 29 referendum rather than entrusting our fiscal fate to a miniscule faction of pro-spending voters gathered at a town meeting. All of Prospect’s eligible 6,000 taxpayer-voters should have a say how their money is spent, not just a chosen few with an interest to increase spending to their benefit.
I do not seek a job nor do I profit a penny by speaking out about abuse of power by entrenched Democrat and Republican Prospect politicians, from the Mayor to Council members. Rather, with the building permit fee illegalities and so many other covert and questionable policies by the administration, I feel Prospect has reached a breaking point crying out for a thorough housecleaning. I’m voting no-confidence on Monday, April 29.