In Brookfield we are being asked to vote on Charter questions which make substantive changes to our form of government. All of the changes place more layers of government between us, the average citizen, and the operation of our town. Supposedly we need five selectmen because of the “complications” of meeting and complying with FOI regulations. What’s so complicated about filing an agenda in the Town Clerk’s office 24 hours before a meeting, allowing the meeting to be observed and taking minutes? Those are the “complications” the selectmen want sidestepped. Brookfield hasn’t always had a stellar record of FOI compliance. Many fought hard over the years to make our government open and responsive. Brookfielders have shown that this issue matters to them by overwhelmingly voting against the 5 selectmen board twice already. Why is this being foisted on us yet again? As President Johnson said, during the signing ceremony for the Federal FOI Act in 1966, “No one should be able to pull curtains of secrecy around decisions which can be revealed without injury to the public interest." Why are we being asked to give away our rights and allow secret meetings? Why are we being asked to raise the threshold of petition signers necessary for calling a town meeting, thereby disenfranchising neighborhoods like Greenridge or Happy Landings neighbors on issues of vital impact on them? Why would a free people give away their rights this way? Retain your rights: vote “NO” on all Charter questions in Brookfield.