TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION
September 11, 2008
***** Draft Document - Subject to Commission Review *****
The Meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Co-Chairman George Butenkoff in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.
Present: Co-Chairman George Butenkoff, Members, Claire Badstubner, Karen Gaudreau, Joyce Phillips, Scott Riach, and Madeleine Thompson.
Absent: Co-Chairman John Matthews, Donald Arcari, Edward Farrell, and Bonnie Yosky.
Guests: Kathy Pippin, representing the Board of Finance.
ADDED AGENDA ITEMS: None.
Commissioners Riach, Philips, and Riggott took a minute to sign Code of Ethics documents passed out by Commissioner Gaudreau.
PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES/comments and acceptance:
MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of August 28, 2008 as amended with correction of spelling errors.
Riach moved/Philips seconded/VOTE: In Favor: Unanimous
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - The public is encouraged to provide their thoughts as succinct as possible. CRC Members will not comment on the merits of an idea at this meeting but may ask questions to clarify the proposal. A time limit may be imposed.
No one requested to speak.
WRITTEN INPUT SUBMITTED TO CRC:
The Commission noted receipt of e-mail correspondence from Mr. Zawilinski and the anonymous author; no response offered.
ADMINISTRATIVE HOUSEKEEPING/(a): None.
ADMINISTRATIVE HOUSEKEEPING/(b) Query members for other items: None.
REVIEW OF CRC MEMBERS input for proposed revisions:
Various Commissioners hoped to be able to proceed with finalization of several of the previously proposed changes.
DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(a) Clarify if the ability to sign contracts for the Town lies with the Selectman, set specifics on the contract obligations, i.e. a cap on the amount of monetary obligation:
Commissioner Riach noted his review of Charters for Ellington, Somers, and Suffield gave the decision for signing contracts to either the First Selectman (Ellington) or the Board of Selectmen (Suffield). None mentioned a dollar amount for contract approval; none mentioned approval of the Board of Finance or approval at a Town Meeting.
Discussion returned to the Commission’s decision to go to automatic referendum, and its affect on the Town Meeting form of government. Discussion continued regarding the present process; Commissioner Philips felt if people want a referendum they should take on the responsibility of submitting a petition with the required number of signatures. The Town Meeting is still a form of government which is cherished in New England. Discussion continued with various Commissioners expressing their opinion. It was noted that the Commission has previously approved go to an automatic referendum with the budget.
Discussion then turned to requiring referendums for higher limit expenditures. Commissioner Gaudreau reiterated her previous proposal that any expenditure requiring a bonding issue, with the exception of anticipation bonds, should go to automatic referendum.
MOTION: That any bonding issues, other than anticipation bonds, should go to an automatic referendum.
Badstubner moved/Gaudreau seconded/
VOTE: In Favor: Badstubner/Gaudreau/Riach/Thompson
Abstained: No one
Review of the Minutes of August 28th, 2008 and the Charter revision attachments found the Commission has voted on this item previously; this second vote becomes a confirmation vote.
Discussion returned to signature authority, and review/revision of the language previously proposed by Commissioner Farrell. Some Commissioners questioned that too much power was being given to the Chief Executive. Commissioner Gaudreau reviewed the current procedures, and the signing authority of the First Selectman, and the First Selectman’s position as negotiator for union contracts. Commissioner Gaudreau felt discussion was
mixing the powers of the legislative branch and the executive branch which deals with employee contracts; she didn’t feel the Commission should be tying employees contracts to a Town Meeting. The current language micro-manages the First Selectman’s position too much. Discussion then turned to authority for signing purchase orders, the current process, and the delay referral to the First Selectman would cause. Commissioner Gaudreau referenced language from the Ellington Charter regarding Duties of the Selectman. The Commission mulled language revisions.
Chairman Butenkoff suggested Commissioner Gaudreau work with the Recording Secretary on language revisions.
MOTION: That the Recording Secretary and Commissioner Gaudreau work on wording and bring back a proposal for the next meeting.
Gaudreau moved/Philips seconded/VOTE: In Favor: Unanimous
DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(b) Regarding the Warehouse Point Library, the Ambulance Associating, and the Cemetery Association the Town needs to deal with these organizations on a contractual basis, and the parameters for those transactions needs to be set by Charter; AND DI SCUSSION OF TOP 5/(c) Review of Cemetery Association, possibly integrate with Public Works or Parks and Recreation. No employee contracts can be signed unless approved by the BOF/BOS and Town Meeting:
The Commission felt the management of these organizations should be defined by their respective ordinances; revision of the ordinances may be necessary to accomplish the goals originally proposed by Commissioner Farrell.
MOTION: To deleted Item 8b and 8c from the Charter Revision Commission Agenda.
Philips moved/Gaudreau seconded/VOTE: In Favor:
DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/d) E-mail of John Zawilinski dtd 7/27/2008; AND DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/e)E-mail, unidentified sender, dtd 8/10/2008 regarding Winsted charter:
See comments under WRITTEN INPUT SUBMITTED TO CRC:
DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(f) Report of the Ordinance Sub-Committee (including review of addition of the Code of Ethics):
Commissioner Badstubner reported she and Commissioner Yosky are trying to schedule time to work on this Item of Business.
BRAINSTORM FOR ADDITIONAL ITEMS, NO COUNTER POINTS:
Nothing new presented.
2nd PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: No one requested to speak.
GUIDANCE FOR NEXT MEETING:
a) Clarify if the ability to sign contracts for the Town lies with the Selectman, set specifics on the contract obligations, i.e. a cap on the amount of monetary obligation.
b) Review of present charter, and currently proposed changes, section by section for review of consistency, clarity, and compatibility.
c) Report of the Ordinance Sub-Committee (including review of addition of the Code of Ethics)
MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 8:07 p.m.
Gaudreau moved/Philips seconded/VOTE: In Favor: Unanimous
Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary, East Windsor Charter Revision Commission
FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION: