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Letter to the Editor: From a Prospective Charter Commissioner

An introduction and an argument for the commission.

Hello!  My name is Geri Ann Bujnowski and I am asking for your vote on November 6th in the hopes of becoming a member of the proposed Springfield Charter Study Commission.

I have been living in the Township for the past 19 years.  I am married with 2 sons.  I have become more involved in the community since my boys are older.  I have been regularly attending the Township Committee meetings for the last few years and currently, I am chairing the Springfield Improvement Team.  It is an organization recently formed to encourage volunteerism in town through senior outreach, beautification, and community goodwill.

I decided to run for a seat on the proposed 5-member Charter Study Commission because I felt that there was a lot of misinformation regarding the purpose of the Commission and possible outcomes.

Currently, we have an elected Township Committee of 5 residents that governs Springfield. Many people don’t realize that we don’t directly elect our own Mayor! The Committee elects a Mayor from amongst themselves every year.  I have often wondered why that is, and perhaps many of you have wondered too. This seemed odd to me.  As it turns out, this is the oldest form of government. 

Now, just because something is old, doesn’t mean we have to throw it out.   I believe, and many will agree though, that Springfield has changed a lot, especially in the last 100 years or so.  That raises a lot of questions about how to best govern Springfield.   A Charter Study Commission, by State law, is the tool to examine the issues more closely and try to answer those questions for the community.  That’s a choice every Springfield voter will have when they go to the polls this year.  Yes to creating a Charter Study Commission or No to shut down the discussion altogether.

I, for one would like a choice, and think residents should come together to support a Charter Study Commission so we can determine what the future of Springfield can be.  Recently at meetings, I’ve heard people say that we don’t need that or that it’s already been discussed.  I am not willing to shut down the discussions.  I for one, am not willing to let what other people think is best for you or me, dictate what is best for either of us or the town.  I will do the research, give you the facts, tell you the truth and I think you are perfectly capable of making up your own minds and coming to the right decision for the town.  That decision may be changing the form of government, or it may be keeping the form of government we have.

Voting for the Charter Study Commission and for the five members this November does not mean an immediate change or even change the length of the terms or salaries of the Mayor and Township Committee.  This is a volunteer position that I am running for.  None of us will be paid.  This is our community and we need to be vigilant and take an active role in our government.  If elected, my job would be a fact-finding mission.  I think I can be impartial and thorough, which is why I think I am the right candidate for the position.

Changing the form of government in town can’t be done by this Commission or the Township Committee but they have given us an opportunity to empower ourselves.  We can have a voice.  It is no easy feat to change the township government and rightly so.  It shouldn’t be done casually and on a whim but rather carefully studied.  Whomever you choose to vote for or not vote for is your own business.  But we rarely get this chance – every 50 years or so if we’re lucky.  I want the choice.

I am willing to do the hard work and I hope you will vote for me.

Diane Boyle November 06, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Geri I dont know anyone more dedicated to the residents of Springfield than yourself!! Whenever there is a crisis you are there volunteering your time. I know you as a smart, well-informed,and outspoken woman. Exactly what this committee needs!! I couldnt wait to vote for you!!

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