Charter Revision Commission
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
December 12, 2005
I. Call Meeting to Order
Mr. Leborious called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT
Present: Richard Leborious, Chairman, Peter Nevers, Noreen Farmer, Edward Filipone (scheduled late arrival), Kathy Bilodeau, Joe Roberts, Ralph Saunders
Unable to attend (scheduled) John Parda (excused); Cliff Nelson (excused)
III. Added Agenda Items – None.
IV. Public Participation – None.
V. Written Communications
· Executive Director of Chamber of Commerce Letter re: status of Charter Revisions.
With consensus of the Commission Mr. LeBorious will fashion a response outlining the Commission’s decisions to date to change the form of government by maintaining the Town Meeting and adding a Town Administrator.
· Reminder Newsletter Insert was read out loud.
It was stated that the Commission is hopeful this flyer will garner public attention to the Commissions current endeavors.
VI. Previous Minutes – November 14, 2005
MOTION: To accept the regular meeting minutes of November 14, 2005, as submitted.
Made by Mr. Nevers, seconded by Ms. Farmer
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR. MOTION CARRIED.
VII. Set 2006 Regular Meeting Schedule
The Commission reached a consensus that it would retain its current meeting schedule of the second Monday, fourth Thursday through June, 2006.
VIII. Continued Review of existing Charter and potential revision(s), specifically focusing on the following Chapter(s) and related section(s):
o Existing Charter Chapter 7 Boards, Authorities, Commissions and Associations.
A Section will be added regarding Removal of members. When drafted the section will include language regarding removal for lack of attendance, i.e., three unexcused absences constitute removal, as well as for cause, i.e., conviction of a felony.
Several times in discussions concerns were raised with Statutory parameters currently in place and the need to reiterate information in the Charter that is covered by general statutes. The Charter should direct the reader and concern was expressed if all statutory parameters were removed, the reader would have no direction. Mr. Roberts has an article which he will bring to the next meeting regarding the law on State Statute versus Charter.
Detailed discussion also took place regarding Ordinances setting forth permanent Boards and Commissions. An ordinance cannot be adopted in contrast to the Charter. Whether to include these Commissions and Boards as the current Charter does was at issue. Extensive discussion also took place regarding permanent Boards and Commissions and who creates them or abolishes them and whether it should be Charter driven which sets the information in stone or Ordinance driven which would allow for changes via adoption of new ordinances.
The current difficulty with the Inland Wetland/Conservation Commission was used as an example. Currently it is one Commission per Charter, but in order to operate effectively in current times, it needs to be two Commissions. In the future, does this type of change need to constitute a charter change or an ordinance change. The Commission members will more fully digest this idea and discuss the concept again at the January, 2006 meeting.
Also at issue was concern of who these Boards and Commissions report to, especially in light of some budgetary parameters they need to abide by. The Commission needs to explore the concept of whether a Town Employee has to report to a Commission/Board when a Town Administrator is in place.
The Commission spent consider time on this Chapter and the end result is that it will be discussed again at the January, 2006 meeting.
o Incorporate Public Safety Chapter – No action taken to be addressed at the January, 2006 meeting.
MOTION: To adjourn at 9:10 p.m.
Made by Ms. Bilodeau, seconded by Mr. Nevers
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR. MOTION CARRIED.
****Attached to these minutes is the latest draft of preliminary Charter Revision Changes with work done through 12/12/05. Attachment A.
Cynthia D. Croxford
CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION WORK PRODUCT ONLY
DRAFT WORK THROUGH 12/12/05
PRELIMINARY PREAMBLE, CHAPTERS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
We the people of the town of East Windsor, under the constitution and laws of the state of Connecticut, in order to secure the benefits of local self-government and to provide for an honest and accountable Board of Selectmen government do hereby adopt this charter and confer upon the town the following powers, subject to the following restrictions, and prescribed by the following procedures and governmental structure. By this action, we secure the benefits of home rule and affirm the values of representative democracy, professional management, strong political leadership, citizen participation, and regional cooperation.
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER ONE
INFORMATION AND GENERAL POWERS
Preliminary Section 1-1 Incorporation
All the inhabitants dwelling within the territorial limits of the Town of East Windsor, as heretofore constituted, shall continue to be a body politic and corporate under the name of “Town of East Windsor” hereinafter called “Town” and as such shall have perpetual succession and may hold and exercise all powers and privileges heretofore exercised by said Town and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter, the additional powers and privileges herein conferred and all powers and privileges conferred upon towns under the general law of the State of Connecticut, hereinafter referred to as “General Statutes.”
Preliminary Section 1-2 Rights and Obligations
All property, both real and personal, all rights of action and rights of every description and all securities and liens vested or inchoate in said Town, as of the effective date of this Charter, are continued in said Town and said Town shall continue to be liable for all debts and obligations of every kind. Nothing herein shall be construed to affect the rights of said Town to collect any assessment, charge, debt or lien. If any contract has been entered into by said Town prior to the effective date of this Charter, or any bond or undertaking has been given by or in favor of said Town which contains provisions that the same may be enforced by any commission, board, department or officer therein named, which is abolished by the provisions of this Charter, such contracts, bonds or undertakings shall be in no manner
impaired, but shall continue in full force and effect and the powers conferred and duties imposed with reference to the same upon any commission, board, agency, department or officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, thereafter be exercised and discharged by the Board of Selectmen of said Town.
Preliminary Section 1-3 General Grant of Powers
In addition to all powers granted to towns under the Constitution and General Statutes, the Town shall have all powers specifically granted by this Charter and all powers fairly implied in or incident to the powers expressly granted, and all other powers incident to the management of the property, government and affairs of the Town, including the power to enter into contracts with the United States or any federal agency, the State of Connecticut or any political subdivision thereof, for services and the use of facilities, the exercise of which is not expressly forbidden by the Constitution and general law of the State of Connecticut. The enumeration of particular powers in this and any other chapter of this Charter shall not be construed as limiting this general grant of power, but shall be considered as an addition
Preliminary Section 1-4 Existing Laws and Ordinances
All general laws of the State of Connecticut applicable to the Town, and all ordinances and regulations of the Town, shall continue in full force and effect, except insofar as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter. All special acts or parts thereof, relating to the Town of East Windsor, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter are repealed. The provisions of all special acts of the General Assembly relating to the Town of East Windsor which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter are hereby retained.
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER TWO
Preliminary Section 2-1 General
A. Nomination and election of federal and state officers, including Registrars of Voters, and of such elective municipal officers, boards and commissions as are provided for in this Charter shall be conducted, and the Registrars of Voters shall prepare lists of electors qualified to vote, therefore, in the manner prescribed in the Constitution and general law of the State of Connecticut, except as hereinafter provided.
B. The election of municipal officers shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in odd numbered years. The terms of all municipal officers shall commence on the fourteenth day following the municipal elections unless otherwise stated in this Charter, and they shall hold office until their successors have been chosen and qualified. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, all elective Town officers, boards and commissions shall have the powers and duties prescribed by law.
****Commission work as of 10/27/05: Legal Opinion to be obtained regarding what constitutes eligibility and if physical residence is required.
Preliminary Section 2-2 Minority Representation
Except where otherwise stated in this Charter, minority representation on any elective or appointive board, committee or similar body of the Town shall be determined in accordance with the following provision: Whether the total membership of the board is odd or even, not more than the bare majority shall be members of the same political party.
Preliminary Section 2-3 Voting District
Unless otherwise established by ordinance or state law, there shall be two voting districts in the Town. The Board of Selectmen shall provide a suitable polling place in each district. The Selectman, Town Clerk, Registrars of Voters, and all other officers of the Town shall perform the duties required of them by law with respect to elections in the voting districts. All action taken under the provisions of this section shall be in accordance with the General Statutes.
Preliminary Section 2-4 Breaking a Tie
When any regular, special municipal election, primary election or any referendum vote conducted pursuant to the provisions of this Charter results in a tie, the tie shall be broken in accordance with provisions of the General Statutes.
Preliminary Section 2-5 Eligibility
No person shall be eligible for election to any Town office, board, commission or similar body who is not at the time of their election an elector of said Town. Any person ceasing to be an elector of said Town, shall thereupon cease to hold such elective office in the Town.
Preliminary Section 2-6 Board for Admission of Electors
The Town Clerk, or any assistants, Registrars of Voters, or any Deputies shall constitute the Board for Admissions of Electors in accordance with the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes §9-15a. (Recording Secretarial note: Need to confirm statutory reference is correct.)
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER THREE
ELECTED OFFICERS, BOARDS
Preliminary Section 3-1 General Powers and Duties
A. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, all elected Town officers and members of the Board of Education shall have the powers and duties prescribed by law. Meetings shall be held in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.
B. Copies of all minutes taken by each board and commission, and the recorded vote of each member thereof on all issues, shall be filed with the Town Clerk and the First Selectman within the time specified in the General Statutes. The Town Clerk shall maintain files of such minutes which shall be public records.
Preliminary Section 3-2 Elected Town Officers, Boards and Commissions
At each Town election the following officers and members of boards and commissions shall be elected for terms of two years and until their successors have been elected and duly qualified, except as otherwise provided herein. All terms shall commence as stated in Section ____ of this Charter. A Chairperson, Secretary and such other officers as deemed appropriate by each elective board and commission shall be chosen biennially at a meeting held within thirty days of the commencement of terms of members elected at each regular biennial Town election.
A. First Selectman - The term of office for the First Selectman shall be four years.
B. Board of Selectmen - Six members of the Board of Selectmen, together with the First Selectman, shall constitute a seven-member Board of Selectmen. For purposes of minority representation, the First Selectman shall be considered a member of the Board of Selectmen.
C. Board of Education - At each regular Town election there shall be elected a sufficient number of members to the Board of Education to maintain its number at nine for a term of four years each.
D. Board of Assessment Appeals - At each regular Town election there shall be elected a sufficient number of members to the Board of Assessment Appeals to maintain its number at three for a term of four years each.
E. Zoning Board of Appeals - At each regular Town election, there shall be elected a sufficient number of members to the Zoning Board of Appeals to maintain its number at five members and three alternates for a term of four years each.
F. Constables - At each regular Town election there shall be elected a sufficient number of constables to maintain seven constables for a term of four years each. Recording Secretarial note: to be determined if constables are necessary.
(Amended 11/93; 11/98)
Recording Secretarial note for Preliminary Section 3-2: Board of Finance removed. Police Commission removed need to name Town Administrator the Director of Public Safety. Also appoint a Citizens Police Advisory Board.
Preliminary Section 3-3 Elected State Officers
A. At the State election to be held in November 1994, and every four years thereafter, there shall be elected two Registrars of Voters, in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes §9-189a (Recording Secretarial note: Need to confirm statutory reference is correct.) for terms of four years. The term of office of the Registrars of Voters shall commence as stated in the General Statutes.
B. At the state election to held in November, 1994, and every four years thereafter, there shall be elected a Judge of Probate for the Probate District of East Windsor, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the General Statutes, for a term of four years.
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER FOUR
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
Preliminary Section 4-1 Board of Selectmen
There shall be a Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen shall be composed of the First Selectman, and six (6) members elected at-large. Except as otherwise provided in this charter, the legislative power of the town shall be vested in the Board of Selectmen.
The Board of Selectmen shall have the power to enact, amend or repeal ordinances and resolutions not inconsistent with this charter or the general statutes of the state providing for the preservation of good order, peace, health and safety of the town and its inhabitants; create or abolish by ordinance boards, commissions, departments or offices except those provided for in this charter.
***Reminder Note in the Town Meeting section, Commission wants to outline when the Board of Selectmen does not have to hold a town meeting, i.e., a simple ordinance – and also add language that allows people to appeal that decision and request a town meeting be held if the board of selectmen opt out of a town meeting. This was discussed at the 12/12/05 meeting.
The Board of Selectmen may contract for service and the use of facilities of the United States or any federal agency, the State of Connecticut and any political sub-division thereof, or may, by agreement, join with such political subdivisions to provide services and facilities.
The Board of Selectmen shall consider and endorse a plan of development in accordance with general statutes.
The Board of Selectmen shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the town by law.
The Board of Selectmen shall elect from among its members a Deputy First Selectman who shall act as First Selectman during the absence or disability of the First Selectman and, if a vacancy occurs, shall become First Selectman for the remainder of the unexpired term.
Preliminary Section 4-2 Coordination
The Board of Selectmen may, at its discretion, convene any or all town officials, boards, commissions or committees to review, plan or coordinate activities and operations of town government, and may require reports to be submitted to it from all appointed boards and commissions. At any such meeting the electors of the town may submit suggestions and criticisms for consideration by the appropriate official, board, commission or committee during a time set aside for public comment.
Preliminary Section 4-3 The First Selectman – Powers and Duties
The First Selectman shall be a voting member of the Board of Selectmen and shall attend and preside at meetings of the Board of Selectmen, represent the town in intergovernmental relationships, appoint with the advice and consent of the Board of Selectmen the members of citizen advisory boards and commissions, present an annual state of the town message, appoint the members and officers of Board of Selectmen committees, assign subject to the consent of Board of Selectmen agenda items to committees, and perform other duties specified by the Board of Selectmen.
The First Selectman shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of all Town regular and special boards, commissions, committees, and agencies. The First Selectman may appoint another member of the Board of Selectmen to serve in his place as an ex-officio, non-voting member. Notification of such appointment shall in writing to the affected body.
The First Selectman shall be recognized as head of the town government for all ceremonial purposes and by the governor for purposes of military law but shall have no administrative duties.
Preliminary Section 4-4 Compensation and Expenses
A. The annual salary of the First Selectman shall be determined by the annual town budget. In addition the First Selectman shall received the actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of office.
B. Other than the First Selectman, the Board of Selectmen shall receive no compensation, only their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of office.
Preliminary Section 4-5 Prohibitions
A. Holding Other Office. No Board of Selectmen member shall hold any other elected public office during the term for which the member was elected to the Board of Selectmen. No Board of Selectmen member shall hold any town office or town employment during the term for which the member was elected to the Board of Selectmen, except as provided in Section ____. No former Board of Selectmen member shall hold any compensated appointive office or employment with the town until one year after the expiration of the term for which the member was elected to the Board of Selectmen. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any current or former Board of Selectmen member to represent the town on the governing board
of any regional, other intergovernmental agency or organization.
B. Appointments and Removals. Neither the Board of Selectmen nor any of its members shall in any manner control or demand the appointment or removal of any town administrative officer or employee who serves under the supervision of another town employee but the Board of Selectmen may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the supervising employee anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees.
C. Interference with Administration. Except for the purpose of inquiries, and investigations under Section _____, the Board of Selectmen or its members shall deal with town officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of other town employees solely through the supervising town employee and neither the Board of Selectmen nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately.
****Recording Secretarial Note: Rich LeBorious to clarify Town Manager reporting.
Preliminary Section 4-6 Town Counsel
A. The Town Counsel shall be an Attorney at Law admitted to practice in the State of Connecticut and shall be retained by the Board of Selectmen.
B. The Town Counsel shall upon request from the Board of Selectmen, appear for and protect the rights of the Town in actions, suits or procedures brought against it or any of its departments, officials, boards, commissions or other agencies of the Town.
C. The Town Counsel shall be the legal advisor of the Board of Selectmen, and all Town officials, boards, commissions or other agencies of the Town, in all matters affecting the Town and shall, upon request from the First Selectman, The Town Administrator or from the Chairman of any of said boards, commissions or other agencies of the Town, furnish a written opinion on any question of law involving their respective powers, duties and responsibilities.
D. Upon request, the Town Counsel shall prepare or approve forms, contracts or other instruments to which the Town is a party or in which it has an interest.
E. The Town Counsel shall have the power, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, to appeal orders, decisions and judgments and, subject to the approval of said Board of Selectmen, to compromise and settle any claims by or against the Town.
F. If, in special circumstances, or for investigation purposes, the Board of Selectmen deem it advisable, they may provide for the temporary employment of counsel other than or in addition to the Town Counsel.
G. The Town Counsel shall act upon those matters to come before a Special Town Meeting as stated in Section ____________ of this Charter.
***At the 11/14/05 meeting it was the consensus that this section should be under the board of selectmen section – previously it was under f/k/a “appointed official” section.
Recording Secretarial note: Do we need to incorporate the language that town departments need to get approval of administrator before consulting attorney – does that apply to chairman of boards and commissions as well?
Preliminary Section 4-6 Vacancies; Forfeiture of Office; Filing of Vacancies
A. Vacancies. The office of a Board of Selectmen member shall become vacant upon the member’s death, resignation, or removal from office or forfeiture of office in any manner authorized by law.
B. Forfeiture of Office (Recording Secretarial note: RICH LEBORIOUS TO INVESTIGATE POLICIES OF SURROUNDING TOWNS)
C. Filling of Vacancies. A vacancy in the Board of Selectmen shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term, if any, at the next regular election following not less than sixty days upon the occurrence of the vacancy, but the Board of Selectmen by a majority vote of all its remaining members shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy until the person elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term takes office. If the Board of Selectmen fails to do so within 30 sixty (60) days following the occurrence of the vacancy, the election authorities shall call a special election to fill the vacancy, to be held not sooner than ninety
days and not later than 120 days following the occurrence of the vacancy and to be otherwise governed by law.
(Recording Secretarial note: NEED TO REVIEW THIS SECTION WITH CURRENT STATUTE PARAMETERS)
Preliminary Section 4-7 Investigations
The Board of Selectmen may make investigations into the affairs of the town and the conduct of any town department, office, or agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the production of evidence.
Preliminary Section 4-8 Procedure
A. Meetings. The Board of Selectmen shall meet regularly at least once in every month at such times and places as the Board of Selectmen may prescribe by rule. Special meetings may be held on the call of the First Selectman or of two or more members, upon no less than twenty-four hours notice to each member and the town clerk. Except as allowed by state law, all meetings shall be public. It shall determine its own rules of procedure. The presence of four members shall constitute a quorum. However, no motion, ordinance, resolution or otherwise, except to adjourn or to fix the time and place of its meeting, shall be adopted by less than four
B. Rules and Minutes. The Board of Selectmen shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall provide for keeping minutes of its proceedings in accordance with state law regarding public records. A period for public comment shall be included in each regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
C. Voting. Voting, except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the minutes. Four members of the Board of Selectmen shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner and subject to the penalties prescribed by the rule of the Board of Selectmen.
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER FIVE
Preliminary Section 5-1 Appointment
The Board of Selectmen shall appoint for an indefinite term, and may remove by majority vote, a Town Administrator, who shall be the chief executive officer and shall be chosen exclusively on the basis of education, administrative qualifications, character and experience. The Board of Selectmen shall establish the job description and qualifications for the Town Administrator.
The Board of Selectmen may appoint an interim Town Administrator during the absence, disability or resignation of the administrator. Said interim administrator may be an elected town official who may serve as interim Town Administrator until such time as a new Town Administrator is appointed for a period no longer than six (6) months. The Board of Selectmen may extend the interim appointment for three (3) months if needed. The provisions of Section ____ of this Charter notwithstanding, the appointee may be currently a town official or a former official whose term expired less than one year prior to this appointment. The Board of Selectmen shall determine the compensation for the Town Administrator, or any interim Town Administrator.
Preliminary Section 5-2 Duties of Town Administrator
The Town Administrator shall be directly responsible to the Board of Selectmen for the administration of all offices and agencies. The Town Administrator shall appoint, supervise and direct all town employees except those appointed by the Board of Education and the Board of Selectman or other elected officials.
The Town Administrator shall be the purchasing agent of the town subject to such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by the Board of Selectmen. The Town Administrator shall purchase all supplies, materials, equipment and other commodities required by any office or agency of the town except the Board of Education.
The Town Administrator shall keep full and complete records of his office and shall make periodic reports to the Board of Selectmen and attend its meetings with full right of participation in its discussions, and shall recommend to the Board of Selectmen such measures as may be deemed necessary or expedient.
The Town Administrator shall keep or cause to be kept complete books of account showing the financial condition and financial transactions of the town, including accounts of all funds and appropriations, and such other accounts and records, not specifically required by law to be kept by other officers, as may be prescribed by the Board of Selectmen. The Town Administrator shall keep the Board of Selectmen fully advised as to the financial condition of the town.
The Town Administrator shall prepare and submit to the Board of Selectmen an annual budget and exercise such other powers and duties as may be imposed on him by the Board of Selectmen.
The Town Administrator shall prepare and cause to be printed, as soon as possible after the close of the fiscal year, an annual town report.
Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, neither the town meeting nor the Board of Selectmen shall diminish by ordinance, vote or otherwise the powers and duties of the Town Administrator, except those powers and duties imposed on the Town Administrator by the direction of the Board of Selectmen under the provisions of this section. The Town Administrator shall exercise the authority and perform all the duties of the Town Administrator except as otherwise specifically provided in this Charter.
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER SIX
TOWN DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICES
(**renamed: f/k/a Appointed Officials)
Preliminary 6-1 Creation of Departments
The Board of Selectmen may establish town departments, offices, or agencies in addition to those created by this Charter and may prescribe the functions of all departments, offices and agencies. No function assigned by this Charter to a particular department, office or agency may be discontinued or, unless this Charter specifically provides, assigned to any other.
Preliminary 6-2 Direction by Town Administrator
All departments, offices, and agencies under the direction and supervision of the Town Administrator shall be administered by an officer appointed by and subject to the direction and supervision of the Town Administrator. With the consent of the Board of Selectmen, the Town Administrator may serve as the head of one or more such departments, offices or agencies or may appoint one person as the head of two or more of them.
***changes to this chapter were discussed at the 11/14/05 meeting - this Chapter was significantly overhauled.
***12/12/05 inquiry – Town Clerk Statutory can she be removed from this listing as set forth in the current charter? Commission to discuss further.PRELIMINARY CHAPTER SEVEN
BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS
*** Recording Secretarial Note: This Chapter has not yet been drafted. At the 12/12/05 meeting discussions took place and the Commission will revisit the Chapter at its January, 2006 meeting.