When New London voters overwhelmingly approved a new form of government back in 2010, many were certainly responding to the argument that an elected mayor would be held more accountable than a city manager.
Now, with barely six months of a new mayor under their belts, many in the city worry that promised accountability seems like a long way off.
In fact, it's more than three years away, which, during some of those unsettling mayoral press conferences, could seem like a lifetime.
I wish the city could lower its mill rate just a smidgen for every lament I've heard over the last few months that the new charter should have included some provision for a recall of the mayor. (For the record, state law would prohibit a mayoral recall.)
Some of the dissatisfaction with the city's first full-time mayor has apparently coalesced in efforts to reopen the charter.
An effort to start a new round of charter change failed by one vote before the City Council earlier this month. It is expected the effort will be revived again later this summer.
Some of those calling for charter change say they would like to simply clarify some provisions in the charter crafted in 2010. But once a commission to change the charter is seated, everything is on the table.
Certainly a lot of this clamoring for charter change so soon is a move by people unhappy with the new mayor who would like to limit the mayoral term or even return to the old city manager form of government.
This would be a big mistake. Six months is not long enough to test drive a new charter.
A restaurant doesn't change its menu just because one dish is not popular.
There are indeed safeguards built into the charter, and some of them are going to dig in soon.
Most likely the budget and its current 8 percent tax hike will go to referendum.
That will give voters a chance very soon to weigh in on how they believe everyone in their new government is doing.
Mayor Finizio said at one time he was prepared to campaign even for his own initial budget proposal, with its whopping 20 percent tax increase.
I have also heard the mayor use the calculation of how many city voters are property owners, suggesting voters who don't pay property taxes could help carry the vote in a budget referendum. I doubt it.
The other big electoral safeguard will come when the current city councilors wrap up their two-year terms and decide whether to run again. I suspect the few who have closely aligned themselves with the unpopular mayor would have an uphill battle to re-election.
Voters will have some chances to vent long before the mayor's four-year term is up.
I suspect the mayor has used some of these opening months to get some unpleasant business out of the way.
Certainly it's better to have a bruising budget battle at the outset of a four-year term. Voters might forget three years from now how much taxes were cranked up.
The mayor moved early in his term to neutralize likely opponents, including the unseemly release of an embarrassing police report about a principal rival in the last election.
He has also sparred regularly with Council President Michael Passero, a fellow Democrat who should have been an ally.
The mayor's making the most budget pain revolve around huge cuts to the Fire Department, where Passero works, seemed like more than a coincidence. When Passero took the bait and complained about cutting firefighters, the mayor accused him of self-interest.
I wonder if the mayor has made a calculation that this is a good time to get the dirty work out of the way, years before accountability kicks in. People forget.
On the other hand, three years can go by fast.
And if year one has been designed as a stage setter, a lot of good things better happen in years two and three. Six months into the first term, accomplishments are hard to count.
Never mind charter change. The voting booths will open again soon.
In the end, the mayor will be held more accountable than a city manager.
This is the opinion of David Collins