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September 12, 2005 Minutes

September 12, 2005
7:30 p.m.

I.      Call Meeting To Order

Mr. LeBorious called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

II.     Attendance

In attendance:  Richard LeBorious, Chairman, Noreen Farmer, Kathy Bilodeau, Cliff Nelson, Ed Filipone, John Parda
Unable to attend:  Ralph Saunders (unscheduled), Joe Roberts (scheduled), Peter Nevers (unscheduled)

III.    Added Agenda Items – None.
IV.     Public Participation  - None.
V.      Written Communications  - None
VI.     Previous Minutes

a.      August 8, 2005 Regular meeting

MOTION: To accept the regular meeting minutes of August 8, 2005 as      submitted.
                Made by Ms. Bilodeau, seconded by Mr. Filipone

b.      August 25, 2005

MOTION: To table August 25, 2005 minutes to the next meeting.
                Made by Mr. Parda, seconded by Ms. Bilodeau

VII.    Continued review of the existing Charter and potential revision(s), specifically focusing on the following chapter(s) and related section(s):

The Commission discussed in detail the sections relating to the Board of Selectmen and the First Selectmen, incorporating language to support the concept of the Town Manager idea.  

Discussion regarding increasing the Board of Selectmen to seven members was held.  The Town Managers who made presentations to the Charter Revision Commission felt that 7 was a good number.  It was questioned if the Board of Selectmen could have a member and alternate scenario  this has not been seen in other forms of government.   The sentiment was that a broader representation could be gained with seven members.  Concern was expressed that sometimes more members on a board or commission equals more talking, but not necessarily more action.  A decision on this item was held pending a full board to discuss the same to gain a complete consensus.  

If the idea, as expressed at the August 25 meeting, of removal of the Board of Finance is put in place, that could alter some of the Board of Selectmen duties.  If a Professional Administrator is in place, the Board of Selectmen could do some of those lesser, routine functions now put before a Town Meeting. For example, the Board of Selectmen could approve a land transfer under a certain dollar amount or approve housekeeping-type ordinances.  The Board of Selectmen could be left the prerogative to go to Town Meeting if sufficient public interest was expressed. Also the citizens could have the right to petition any item to Town Meeting. This gives protection to the tax payers, while allowing the Board of Selectmen the necessary powers to execute certain functions.  It was the consensus to pursue this avenue.

The voting parameters of the Board of Selectmen was discussed.  Scenarios include “action by the Board of Selectmen shall be by majority of the full membership”.  This idea was discussed and pros and cons expressed.  Some expressed this would be too restrictive  if there are too many restrictions things are not going to get done.  On the flip side this wording might help the Board become a well-oiled machine and open up more broad based discussions.  It also prevents readdressing issues that were passed without a full board.  At this point the members were polled  Parda, Bilodeau and Filipone felt the idea was too restrictive and complicated;  LeBorious, Nelson and Farmer were for the “majority” idea.  The topic will be addressed again when a full Commission is present.  

The stipend to the Board was discussed. The concept that monetary compensation is not necessary because a paid administrator is in place, as well as the feeling that a stipend adds credence and makes the members more accountable were debated.  With a professional administrator in place, there is a lot expected of the First Selectman as intergovernmental liaison.  Also each Board of Selectmen member is assigned 2 to 3 Boards and Commissions to oversee.  This topic will be addressed again in the future.

In some instances Board of Selectmen who serve on other Commissions/Boards are voting members.  This is an item that needs to be addressed, as it was expressed Board of Selectmen should be advisory members, but not voting members.  The Building Committee was an example of this scenario.  It was felt the Board of Selectmen members should serve in an ex officio capacity only.  

Discussions ensued regarding removal of a Board of Selectmen member. Mr. LeBorious will gather information from other towns regarding language and policies in this regard.  

The language of Mr. LeBorious’ “Draft Charter” versus revising the current charter was discussed.  It was felt maybe the Commission should use the Draft Charter as a guide and work with that language.  This will be an agenda item at the next meeting.  

It was expressed that the Board of Finance has mentioned an interest in coming before the Charter Revision Commission. It was agreed that several invitations have already been extended to the Board of Finance and they are free to provide in put in the public participation portion of any future meeting, as is everyone.

Items to discuss in the future on second review of draft Charter changes:
Board of Selectmen  
·       Iincrease to 7 members?
·       Voting parameters, i.e., majority of full membership?
·       Stipends, if any?  If so, amounts?
·       Removal of Selectmen procedure  information to be sought from other towns
·       Ex Officio member only of Boards/Commission – language to be drafted
Board of Finance  language within Charter to be stricken or kept pending decisions re: Board of Finance position in Town Government.

VIII.   Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn at 9:10 p.m.
                Made by Ms. Bilodeau, seconded by Mr. Filipone

Respectfully submitted


Cynthia D. Croxford
Recording Secretary

*Commission will receive a copy of the DRAFT Charter changes as set forth in tonight’s meetings discussions