The town is currently undergoing a Charter revision and has recently appointed a charter revision commission consisting of nine members: Wayne Rutty, John Fernandes, Tom Berchulski, Amy Jacques-Purdy, William Bowles, Bruno Morasutti, Audrey Brookes, Mike Battistoni and Harlan Fredericksen.
They will spend the next year deliberating on how to change the Charter, which is one of the most important documents for a town. A Town Charter delineates governance rules for a municipality and sets the laws for the local government. It would be analogous to state statutes, hence its importance.
Along with general housekeeping in the Charter, there are many items that are out of date and need modernizing. Feel free to reach out to us or comment with your thoughts and/or changes, additions, deletions.
There will be the first of at least three public hearing on the issue, called by the board of selectmen, on April 27, 7 p.m., at the firehouse. If you cannot make the meeting but have submissions feel free to email Melissa Schlag at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will make sure your voice is heard at the hearing. However,there will have to be another hearing before they start their work because statutorily the charter revision commission must hold two public hearings on their own, one at the beginning of their deliberations and one at the end before final submission to the board of selectmen and eventual referendum.
Here is a link to the charter on ecode which gives you search capabilities.
A link to a PDF format is on the town website here.
3 thoughts on “Town Charter Update”
I agree with your comments, Tanja – I think 5 people would make for more well-rounded discussions.
Having served on the Board of Selectmen for two terms (four years), I can attest for the need of a larger board. I can’t remember a time when my republican counterpart (selectman) and I voted against what the first selectman proposed/presented. On the very few occasions that I did vote against the two-man tide, (even against my fellow democrat first selectman), I felt the board should’ve been larger to allow for greater, more rounded debate over various issues. I am in favor of a five person board.
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I feel this section, 4-8 of the charter:
“At each regular Town election there shall be elected a Board of Selectmen, consisting of the First Selectman and two Selectmen. No more than two members of such Board of Selectmen may be members of the same political party. Each person entitled to vote in a Town election may cast one vote for the office of First Selectman and two votes for the office of Board of Selectmen. No elector may be a candidate for both the Office of First Selectman and that of Selectmen. These officers shall serve terms of two years and shall have the powers and duties prescribed by law.”
needs to be changed to a five member board. This would encourage real debate amongst the selectmen about the issues at hand and less likely to be a rubber stamp board. Additionally, it would also be a better representation of the town.
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