YOUR VIEWS | Democratic Power Grab


To the editor:

On Saturday, June 13, the all-Democratic City Council executed a blatant political power grab in shifting the day of city elections from the traditional month of May to November. Behind all the glib rhetoric about greater voter participation and less cost to the city, the hard fact is that this Council, perhaps unnerved by the defeat of two of its colleagues last month by a Republican and a conservative Independent, swore never again.

Changing the data, despite recommendations not to do so by the latest bipartisan task force it appointed, as well as the League of Women Voters (hardly a Republican-leaning organization), and many other civic groups, was a clear slap at the oft-voiced concept of citizen participation.
Stripped of its good government faade, the Councils action is designed to ensure that, with a much larger turnout in November, voters in this heavily Democratic city, concentrating on the top of the ticket, will simply vote the Democratic sample ballot as they enter the polls.

If the City Council truly meant all the high-flown rhetoric that members expressed during Saturdays session, they would have deferred the issue to the next Council. There was no need to ram it through two weeks before the new governing body takes office. This truly was a City Hall Putsch.

Jerry Lipson,