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June 26, 2008 Meeting Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION

Regular Meeting
June 26, 2008


***** Draft Document - Subject to Commission Review *****



The Meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Co-Chairman Butenkoff in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

ATTENDANCE:

Present:        Co-Chairman George Butenkoff, Members Donald Arcari, Claire Badstubner,  Edward Farrell,        Karen Gaudreau, Scott Riach, Charles Riggott, Madeleine Thompson, and Bonnie Yosky,

Absent: Donald Arcari, John Matthews, and Joyce Phillips.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:  

Under Item 3) Previous meeting minutes, comments and acceptance:  Approval of Regular Meeting dated May 22, 2008:

PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES/comments and acceptance:

MOTION: To ACCEPT the Minutes of Regular Meeting dated May 22, 2008 with amendments to page 2, REVIEW OF CRC MEMBERS INPUT FOR PROPOSED REVISIONS/(c) Discussion of top 5/1)  Split acceptance of Budget presentations - Board of Education vs. the Town and hold automatic referendums, but continue Town meeting process for public input:  within the motion, change CIP to CPR, and within the discussion, change cost of living to CPI.

Riach moved/Riggott seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:   Unanimous

MOTION: To ACCEPT the Minutes of Regular Meeting dated June 12, 2008 as written.

Gaudreau moved/Riggott seconded/

DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Gaudreau was not present at the previous Meeting.  Upon review of the Minutes she would like to revisit discussion of the following items:  1)  

Section 8-3:  Budget Preparation - ballot questions regarding the budget amount being too high, too low; 2)  moving timing of budget forward;  3)  Section 6 - 8:  Director of Finance:  is position in addition to the position of Treasurer, and appropriateness of some of proposed language for job description rather than charter;  4)  proposal for referral of employee contracts to Board of

Finance/Board of Selectmen/Town Meeting takes a management decision out of the jurisdiction of department heads and puts it out to the voters.

VOTE:           In Favor:       Yosky/Riach/Riggott/Thompson/Yosky
               Opposed:        No one
                Abstained:      Badstubner/Gaudreau

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION:   No one present.

WRITTEN INPUT SUBMITTED TO CRC: None

ADMINISTRATIVE HOUSEKEEPING/(a) Query members for other items:

See discussion below.

REVIEW OF CRC MEMBERS INPUT FOR PROPOSED REVISIONS:

See discussion below.

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(a)  Look at timing of budget process:

Commissioner Gaudreau referenced Section 8-3 Budget Preparation; she suggested it would be advantageous to move up the budget process at least a month or more to enable tax bills to be calculated and processed closer to July 1st annually.  Commissioner Gaudreau recommended the following motions:

MOTION: Regarding Section 8-3, Subsection (A) guidelines for budget submitted to all offices, boards, commissions and other agencies of the Town by the Board of Selectmen - change date of referral from January 15th to December 1st.

Gaudreau moved/Yosky seconded/VOTE:     In Favor:  Unanimous

MOTION: Regarding Section 8-3, Subsection (B) submission by all offices, boards, commission, and agencies to the office of the First Selectman  - change date of submission from February 15th to January 10th of each year.

Gaudreau moved/Farrell seconded/VOTE:   In Favor:  Unanimous


MOTION: Regarding Section 8-3, Subsection (C) the Board of Education shall furnish to the Board of Finance an itemized estimate of revenues and expenditures for the ensuing fiscal year - change February 15th to January 10th.     

Gaurdreau moved/Yosky seconded/VOTE:    In Favor:   Unanimous

Regarding Section 8-3, Subsection (D) Commissioner Farrell questioned that this section was needed, as the Capital Improvement Committee works on the Capital Improvement Plan much earlier; he would like the section deleted.


MOTION: Regarding Section 8-3, Subsection (D) regarding timing of the submission by the Board of Selectmen of the Capital Improvement Plan to the Board of Finance - delete entire Subsection.

DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Farrell noted the CIP process is done in the late summer or early fall as part of the guidelines for the budget preparation process.  He felt the Commission must stop making procedures part of the charter.

Farrell moved/Yosky seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous

MOTION: Regarding Section 8-3, Subsection (E) submission by the Board of Selectmen their annual budget recommendations to the Board of Finance - change April 1st to March 1st.

Gaudreau moved/Riach seconded/VOTE:    In Favor:   Unanimous

Referencing Section 8-3, Subsection (F) various Commission members questioned the need for this section, as discussion between the boards, commissions and department heads is part of the part of the budget preparation for each entity.

MOTION: Regarding Section 8-3, Subsection (F) involving the ability for the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen to meet with chairman and members of offices, boards, commissions and other agencies for an explanation of budget requests – delete entire Subsection.

Gaudreau moved/Farrell seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous

Commissioner Gaudreau referenced Section 8-4 Annual Budget Meeting, Subsection (G) which was previously revised by the Commission to split the budget between the Board of Education Budget and the General Town Budget, with the inclusion of questions if the budgets are too high, or too low.   She didn’t see a problem with asking the questions but would prefer to research if the questions could be included as a ballot question as well.   Commissioner Farrell indicated he had requested information from CCM regarding towns who have presented split budgets; he suggested that information was being put together for him but was not yet available.  

Discussion followed regarding the affect of splitting the budget.  The Commission postponed further discussion until the additional information is available.

Discussion returned to Section 8-4, First Paragraph regarding the timing of the Annual Budget Meeting.  The following motion was recommended:

MOTION: Regarding Section 8-4, First Paragraph - date of Annual Budget Meeting - change third Tuesday of May to the third Tuesday of April.

Farrell moved/Badstubner seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:   Unanimous

Co-Chairman Butenkoff referenced Section 8-5 Duties of Board of Finance on Other Financial Matters, Subsection (B) felt the new revision requiring a majority vote to send the budget to an automatic referendum was conflicting; he felt the vote was unnecessary if the referral to

referendum was automatic.   Commissioner Gaudreau disagreed, noting sending the budget to automatic referendum takes away the Town Meeting Form of government under which East Windsor operates.  Commissioner Yosky felt the referendum was important as many people are unable to attend a Town Budget Meeting.  Commissioner Badstubner felt the Public Hearing was important but she felt people won’t attend a Town Budget Meeting if the charter language mentions an automatic referendum.  Commissioner Farrell cited concerns with further language that limits the vote to three referendums and then reverts the budget back to the previous year’s budget.  He felt the 2012 budget would be the same as the 2008 budget; there would be no town growth.  Commissioner Yosky felt 2008 was a unique situation - the economy is bad.  Commissioner Riach felt next year would be worse because of the revaluation.   Commissioner Gaudreau noted taxes are not going up for may people;  there was a lot of misinformation being circulated.  

MOTION: To TABLE discussion of Section 8-5 Duties of Board of Finance on Other Financial Matters, Subsection (B) to the Commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting on July 10, 2008 to give Commissioners the opportunity to this section and propose revisions/alternative language.

Gaudreau moved/Riach seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:   Unanimous

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(b) Clarification of Ordinances:

Commissioner Yosky will make copies of current Ordinances available for Commissioners for the next meeting.

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(c)  Chapter 11 - Code of Ethics:

To be reviewed when Ordinances are available.

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(d)  Terms of First Selectmen AND (e) Town Manager - consideration of:

Most Commissioners did not want to revisit the position of Town Manager.  The Commission preferred to continue with a 4 year term for the First Selectman and the 5 member Board of Selectmen.  

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(f) - Clarification of Signature Authority:

Commissioner Yosky referenced the recent signing of a long term contract by the Chairman of the Police Commission; she felt such contracts should be signed by the First Selectman.  Commissioner Farrell agreed, noting signature authority for goods and services should be referred through the First Selectman as well.   Commissioner Gaudreau questioned if Commissioner Farrell felt department heads would need to go to the First Selectman for signatures for supplies, etc.?  Commissioner Farrell felt the First Selectman could then delegate that authority to the department heads.   Commissioner Gaudreau suggested department heads currently have that authority; that language shouldn’t be included in the charter.  Commissioner Farrell will work on appropriate language.   

BRAINSTORM FOR ADDITIONAL ITEMS, NO COUNTER POINTS:  Nothing presented.

SECOND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION:    No one was present.

GUIDANCE FOR NEXT MEETING:

The Commission requested discussion/review of the following topics:
        1)      Representative Form of Government
        2)      Review of charter language for separation of budgets and associated ballot                              questions.
        3)      Further review of Section 8-5 Duties of Board of Finance on Other                                       Financial Matters, Subsection (B)     
        4)      Clarification of Ordinances
        5)      Chapter 11 - inclusion of Code of Ethics
        6)      Review of language regarding signature authority

ADJOURN:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 8:07 p.m.

Gaudreau moved/Riach seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous       


Respectfully submitted,_______________________________________________

Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary, East Windsor Charter Revision Commission