Letter: Mayor’s seat is not a lifetime appointment

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To the editor,

The citizen/voters of Prospect owe a debt of gratitude to Mayor Bob Chatfield, our leader since the year of Jimmy Carter’s inauguration in 1977; that’s 34 years of service by one man.

How many towns in Connecticut can boast of such dedication and staying power by the same party and individual to manage our affairs? I wonder if people from the surrounding towns and cities think that no one else in Prospect can do the job and Mayor Bob is our one and only able savior. If Mayor-for-Life Bob is in fact the only local qualified town executive, Prospect voter/taxpayers had best pray that Mayor Bob’s genes allow for longevity far beyond that of mere mortal men.

Despite the tongue-in-cheek tone, should any one individual, whether Republican, Democrat or non-affiliated monopolize the mayor’s office for over three decades? Can anyone honestly believe that this is a healthy condition in Prospect or anywhere?

When Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed on for four terms, the people and Congress in their collective wisdom and appreciation of human nature enacted term limits. The Founding Fathers in their wisdom never intended elective office to be a career choice. They knew that citizens who work in the real economy with first hand experience in earning a living or running a business would serve the republic best. Rotation in office keeps our leaders honest; entrenched politicians become too comfortable and tend to forget whom they serve.

Prospect voters arguably have two choices: grant Mayor Chatfield a well-deserved retirement in November or stop wasting tax money on elections. Cancel them, and like “President for Life” Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, formerly coronate Robert Chatfield “Mayor-for-Life.”

Mike Scaviola

Prospect

Chair, Democratic Town Committee