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October 23, 2008 Meeting Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION


Regular Meeting
October 23, 2008


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



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

ATTENDANCE/(Establishment of Quorum):

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

Absent: Co-Chairman John Matthews, Edward Farrell, and Joyce Phillips

Guests: Kathy Pippin, representing the Board of Finance.

A quorum was established with the presence of eight members.  Co-Chairman Butenkoff chaired the meeting this evening.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:             None.


PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES/comments and acceptance:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of September 25, 2008 as written.

Riach moved/Badstubner 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 has been provided, through the Selectman’s Office, with documentation regarding the incorporation of the creation of the Cemetery Association, and a copy of their current Bylaws.  

Commissioner Yosky reported she had discussed with First Selectman Menard if the


Cemetery Association was a permanent committee, and if so, why people were not appointed to the association by the Town as they are with other commissions?  First Selectman Menard had indicated the appointments by the association within themselves are the way it’s always been.  Commissioner Gaudreau then suggested the need to review why and whey the association was made a permanent committee.  Commissioner Yosky reported from her review that there is no ordinance establishing the association as a permanent committee. Discussion continued regarding why the association is reflected in the current charter as a permanent committee, when that change was made and adopted, and how the relationship with the association should be handled currently.

ADMINISTRATIVE HOUSEKEEPING/(a):        None.

REVIEW OF CRC MEMBERS input for proposed revisions:

See discussion below on proposed charter 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 obligations (Gaudreau/Hoffman):

The Commission reviewed the following language proposed by Commissioner Gaudreau.  The language would be a revision of Subsection 5-1 General, under Chapter V – The First Selectman:

“Unless otherwise provided by law, The First Selectman as the chief executive and Administrative Officer of the Town, shall, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, have the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts including but not limited to employment or collective bargaining agreements which obligate the Town for any and all financial responsibility.  As the Chief Contracting Officer the First Selectman may delegate signature authority for purchase orders to Department heads within budget guidelines”

The First Selectman shall be a participating member of the Board of Selectmen and shall preside at meetings of said Board.

        In the absence of the First Selectman, the Deputy First Selectman shall preside.

MOTION: To CHANGE Subsection 5-1 General, under Chapter V – The First Selectman to the language proposed above.

DISCUSSION:     Chairman Butenkoff questioned if a dollar limit should be included in this language?  Commissioner Gaudreau indicated the words “within budget guidelines” would limit the contract values; the Commission has recently revised the amount required to go before a Town Meeting to $30,000.

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

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(b) Discussion of response from First Selectman regarding status of Cemetery Association:

Commissioner Yosky suggested she needed more time to research when an ordinance was adopted making the Cemetery Association a permanent committee.  Reference to the current charter found the Cemetery Association is currently listed as follows:  Under Chapter VII – BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSIONS, AND ASSOCIATIONS,  as a permanent board under Subsection 7-4, (Appointed Boards and Commissions), and also listed as an association under Subsection 7-20, same chapter.

MOTION: To TABLE discussion on the Cemetery Association.

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

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/(c)  Review of present charter, and currently proposed changes, section by section for review of consistency, clarity, and compatibility – consider changes on proposed task list:

CHAPTER I:      INFORMATION AND GENERAL POWERS
        Section 1-1:    Incorporation (Page 6)
CHANGE:         Delete “A” and “@”, add back in quote marks in the following phrases within this Section:       ATown of East Windsor@;  ATown@;   AGeneral Statutes@.

This is a housekeeping item; the consensus of the Commission is in favor of this proposed change.

CHAPTER II: ELECTIONS
        Section 2-5:    Eligibility (Page 9 and 10)
CHANGE: Revise first sentence to:  “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 and elector and resident of said Town.

CHANGE: Revise second sentence to:  “Any person ceasing to be an elector and resident of said Town, shall thereupon cease to hold such elective office in the Town.

The consensus of the Commission is in favor of this proposed change.

        Section 2-6:    Board for Admission of Electors (Page 10)
        CHANGE: Delete specific CGS title; leave general reference:  Connecticut                                General Statutes ‘9-15a.

This is a housekeeping item; the consensus of the Commission is in favor of this proposed change

CHAPTER III:  ELECTED OFFICERS, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
        Section 3:1B:   General Powers and Duties (Page 10)

CHANGE: Revise Subsection B to read:  “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, and posted to website within the time specified in the General Statutes.  The Town Clerk shall maintain files of such minutes which shall be public records.”

This proposed change reflects the requirements of the newly passed Public Act.  Commissioner Gaudreau noted East Windsor posts minutes of meetings of boards, commissions, and committees on the Town website.  The consensus of the commission is in favor of this proposed change.

        Section 3-2:    Elected Town Officers, Boards and Commissions (Page 10)
CHANGE: Consider changing two years to four years in this paragraph as follows:  “At each Town election the following officers and members of boards and commissions shall be elected for terms of two four and until their successors have been elected and duly qualified, except as otherwise provided herein.  All terms shall commence as stated in Section 2-1 of this Charter.”  

This proposed change was made to eliminate the redundancy in the following sections of listing the terms of each commission separately.  The consensus of the Commission is in favor of this proposed change.

        Section 3-2A:   First Selectman (Page 11)
CHANGE: Strike entire paragraph:  First Selectman:  The term of office for the First Selectman shall be four years.1 (Footnote:  Effective term commencing November 1999).

The consensus of the Commission is in favor of this proposed change.

        Section 3-2B:  Board of Selectmen (Page 11):
CHANGE: Revise language to:  “Four members of the Board of Selectmen, who shall serve for two year terms, together with the First Selectman, who shall serve for a four year term, shall constitute a five member Board of Selectmen.”  (Continue with same last sentence.)     

The consensus of the Commission is in favor of this proposed change.

        Section 3-2C :   Board of Finance (Page 11):
CHANGE: Separate Board of Finance Alternates from Board of Finance Regular membership, change number of alternates from two to three as suggested by Kathy Pippin (BOF representative), term of alternates is two years rather than four for regular members.  Create separate paragraph.

During discussion of this item Commissioner Yosky reported she had spoken to First
Selectman Menard regarding the Commission’s proposed changes.  First Selectman Menard had suggested the Commission consider hiring an attorney who specializes in charter changes to do the final review.  Commissioner Gaudreau concurred, noting she had made that suggestion in August.  This attorney can guide the Commission in the proposed changes, and advise what takes precedence – the charter changes or the existing or revised ordinances.  The recording secretary was asked to send an e-mail to First Selectman Menard requesting she contact an attorney who specializes in charter changes for the purpose of review of proposed changes.

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

Butenkoff moved/Arcari seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous

The Commission RECESSED at 8:08 p.m. and RECONVENED at 8:15 p.m.

Returning discussion to the issue of 3 alternates for the Board of Finance and specifying the term of service Commissioner Yosky reported she has found Ordinance #95-1 which calls for 2 alternates serving for a 4 year term.  

The Commission decided not to act on this item at this time, as increasing the number of alternates to 3 would require an ordinance change.

        Section 3-2D:  Board of Education (Page 11):
        CHANGE: None.
        
        Section 3-2E:  Board of Appeals (Page 11):
        CHANGE: Delete “for a term of four years each” from this paragraph.

This is a housekeeping item.  The change to “four years” proposed under Section 3-2:Elected Town Officers, Boards and Commissions (Page 10) makes reference to a four year term under this section redundant.

Section 3-2F:  Police Commission (Page 11):
        CHANGE: Delete “for a total term of four years each” from this paragraph.

This is a housekeeping item.  The change to “four years” proposed under Section 3-2:Elected Town Officers, Boards and Commissions (Page 10) makes reference to a four year term under this section redundant.

Section 3-2G:  Zoning Board of Appeals (Page 11):
CHANGE: None.
                
Section 3-2H:   Constables (Page 12):
        CHANGE: Consider striking entire paragraph.

Commissioner Gaudreau noted that in reviewing the Connecticut General Statutes she
found that constables must be provided “by law”; the Commission needs to determine
if that phrase applies to the charter or something else.  Commissioner Gaudreau suggested the number of constables could be reduced, if that were the Commission’s choice.  Commissioner Arcari suggested he was in favor of eliminating the position of
constable as the people serving in that position are subjected to considerable liability when performing their duties.

Section 3-2I:   (NEW SECTION from 5/22/2008 revision) Planning and Zoning Commission (Page 12)
CHANGE: Consider taking our “for a term of four years each” at the end of the first sentence.  Renumber to Subsection H if the section regarding “Constables” is deleted.

Commissioner Gaudreau suggested she isn’t sure the Commission can make the Planning and Zoning Commission an elected board via a charter change.  She indicated the Connecticut General Statutes reference the Planning and Zoning Commission as being created “by ordinance”.   Any change would therefore have to be made via ordinance revision.

MOTION: To DELETE New Section 3-2I (making the PZC an elected board) as amended in May, 2008, and leave the language presently contained in the charter via Section 7-14 (under appointed boards, commissions, and committees).

        Gaudreau moved/Riach seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous
        
MOTION: To REFER the suggestion that the Planning and Zoning Commission be made an elected board rather than an appointed board to the Board of Selectmen for an ordinance change.

Arcari moved/Riggott seconded/
VOTE:   In Favor: Arcari/Badstubner/Riach/Riggott/Thompson/Yosky.
                Opposed:  Gaudreau
                Abstained: No one

Section 3-3A:  Elected State Officers (Page 12 and 13):
        CHANGE: Delete  specific CGS title; leave general reference:  Connecticut                               General Statutes ‘9-189a.

CHANGE: Revise the first sentence to read:  “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 the Connecticut General Statutes.”

        This is a housekeeping item; the Commission consensus of the Commission is in favor     of these changes.

        Section 3-3B:  Elected State Officers (Page 12 and 13):
CHANGE: Revise the first sentence to read:  “At the State election to be 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 Connecticut General Statutes, for a term of four
years.”  

This is a housekeeping item; the Commission consensus of the Commission is in favor     of these changes.

CHAPTER IV:  BOARD OF SELECTMAN
        Section 4-2B:   General Powers and Duties (Page 14):
CHANGE: Discussion amongst the Commission as to when this meeting (for the chairpersons of commissions or boards, etc.) should be held.

The Commission decided to leave this Subsection as presently worded.

        Section 4-2C:   General Powers and Duties (Page 14):
CHANGE: Revise wording of first sentence to read:  “The Board of Selectmen may recommend to special town meetings the creation, consolidation or abolition of boards, commissions, departments and offices, and may recommend to special Town meetings the adoption of a proposed ordinance proposed ordinances or the repeal of an existing ordinance.  existing ordinances.

        The consensus of the Commission is in favor of this change.

        Section 4-2D:   General Powers and Duties (Page 14 and 15):
CHANGE: Revise second sentence to read:  “General Statutes prescribe the manner in which minutes are filed and posted and notices of meetings and agendas are published.

CHANGE: Revise last sentence to read:  “No later than February fifteenth January tenth of each year, the Board of Selectmen shall meet with the Board of Finance to recommend those projects to be undertaken during the ensuing fiscal year and a method of financing the same.”

        The consensus of the Commission is in favor of these changes.

        Section 4-3:    Appointments (Page 15):
        CHANGE: None.

        Section 4-4:    Organization (Page 15 and 16):
CHANGE: None.

        Section 4-5:    Procedure (Page 16)
        CHANGE: Delete  specific CGS title; leave general reference:  Connecticut                               General Statutes ‘1-21.

This is a housekeeping item; the consensus of the Commission is in favor of this change.

        Section 4-7:    Vacancies in the Board of Selectmen (Page 17):
        CHANGE: Delete  specific CGS title; leave general reference:  Connecticut                               General Statutes ‘9-222.

This is a housekeeping item; the consensus of the Commission is in favor of this change.

        Section 4-8:    Compensation (Page 17):
        CHANGE: Revise paragraph to read:  “The members of the Board of Selectmen,                      its employees and appointed personnel shall receive such                                        compensation as may be determined by the budget submitted to and                        adopted at as a result of the Annual Town Budget Meeting or Special                  Town Meeting called for that purpose.”
        
Commissioner Arcari opposed the reference to a Special Town Meeting, as he felt it circumvented the budget process.  He felt the budget could be voted in at a Special Town Meeting before a referendum occurred.  The consensus of the Commission is in favor of this change.

        REVISION:       Revise paragraph to read:  “The members of the Board of Selectmen,                      its employees and appointed personnel shall receive such                                        compensation as may be determined by the budget submitted to and                        adopted at as a result of the Annual Town Budget Meeting or Special                     Town Meeting called for that purpose.”

CHAPTER V:  THE FIRST SELECTMAN:
        Section 5-1:    General (Page 17 and 18):
CHANGE: The Commission was considering new language with regard to signature authority.

See language revision made under Agenda Item 8(a):   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 obligations (Gaudreau/Hoffman):

        Section 5-2A:   Powers and Duties (Page 18):
CHANGE: Correct spelling in paragraph to read:  “The First Selectman, or designate designatee, shall be the official representative of the Town for all ceremonial purposes.”

        The Commission noted the spelling should be “designee”.

REVISION:       Correct spelling in paragraph to read:  “The First Selectman, or designate designee, shall be the official representative of the Town for
        all ceremonial purposes.”
        
MOTION: To ACCEPT THE CHANGES MADE UNDER CHAPTER I, Subsection 1-1, CHAPTER II, Subsections 2-5 and 2-6, CHAPTER III, Subsections 3-1B, 3-2, 3-2A, 3-2B, 3-2E, 3-2F, 3-3A, and 3-3B, CHAPTER IV, Subsections 4-2C, 4-2D, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-7, and 4-8, and CHAPTER V, Subsections 5-1 and 5-2A.

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

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/( d)  Report of the Ordinance Sub-Committee (including review of addition of the Code of Ethics) - (Yosky/Badstubner):

Commissioner Yosky reported she and Commissioner Badstubner have reviewed the material available and have found discrepancies.  She would like to wait until feedback is received from the attorney mentioned by First Selectman Menard.

MOTION: To TABLE THIS REPORT, Commissioners Yosky and Badstubner will prepare a list of questions for the attorney specializing in charter review.

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

BRAINSTORM FOR ADDITIONAL ITEMS, NO COUNTER POINTS:

Nothing new presented.

2nd PUBLIC PARTICIPATION:       No one requested to speak.

GUIDANCE FOR NEXT MEETING:

1)      Review chapters VI and VII.

ADJOURN:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 8:50 p.m.

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

Respectfully submitted,
________________________________________________________________________
Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary, East Windsor Charter Revision Commission

FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION:
E-mail correspondence regarding charter suggestions/changes can be sent to: KGaudreau@eastwindsorct.com    or   bkycrc@sbcglobal.net.