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January 8, 2009 Meeting Minutes

Regular Meeting
January 8, 2009

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

The Meeting was called to order at 7:02 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, Joyce Phillips, Scott Riach, Charles Riggott, Madeleine                         Thompson, and Bonnie Yosky.

Absent: Co-Chairman John Matthews, Edward Farrell.
Guests: Attorney Steve Mednick.

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

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:             None.

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.

ATTORNEY STEVE MEDNICK - Discussion of proposed revisions:

Attorney Mednick introduced himself and gave the Commission a summary of credentials over his 30 year career.  He noted he now exclusively represents municipalities, including charter review.

The following questions were discussed:

1)      Co-Chairman Butenkoff noted the Town of Ellington included 16 ballot questions in their charter vote; he questioned what an appropriate number might be.   Attorney Mednick indicated 16 questions were too many; the Commission should consider offering one or two overall questions.

2)      CHAPTER V1  - APPOINTED OFFICIALS/ Registrar of Vital Statistics.  

Commissioner Gaudreau had questioned if the Registrar of Vital Statistics should be listed in the Charter as an Appointed Official in addition to the Town Clerk?  Attorney Mednick suggested the Registrar of Vital Statistics is set forth in the Statutes; the Commission need only to list only the Town Clerk.

3)      How do we get a recall provision in the Charter?

        Attorney Mednick indicated it is not possible to have a recall in the State of Connecticut.

4)      CHAPTER V11  - BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS; Section 7-20:         Cemetery Association

        Co-Chairman Butenkoff gave Attorney Mednick a summarization of the recent incident of removal of Veteran’s and Firemen’s flags, and the subsequent questions which were raised regarding the Cemetery Association, its operation, and function in relation to the Town - which is groundskeeping of the six Town cemeteries.  

Documentation has been found which indicates this entity is an incorporated organization governed by its own bylaws and specifics set out in the Article of Incorporation. The Cemetery Association has its own endowment/investment income but comes to the Town during each budget season to request additional funds.  The current charter lists the Cemetery Association as a  permanent Town board appointed by the Board of Selectmen, and also notes the intent is that the Town cemeteries shall be maintained by the East Windsor Cemetery Association.

The Commission questioned if an entity was created by ordinance, and the charter then makes changes to that Commission or Agency, which takes precedence?  Attorney Mednick indicated State law governs the charter; the charter is a town’s constitution.  Discussion followed for some time, including questions regarding several issues – such as the purpose of fees paid to the Cemetery Association by residents, membership to the Board of Directors of the Cemetery Association, proof of ownership of Town cemeteries, what agreement does the Town have regarding services for its budget allocation?  Attorney Mednick will research this issue further and return his findings to the Commission.  Commissioner Gaudreau was asked to research ownership of  the Town cemeteries.

5)      CHAPTER V11  - BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS; Section 7-7:  Conservation Commission/Inland Wetlands Agency

        Attorney Mednick was given a copy of the memo from the Town Planner requesting the split of the Conservation Commission and Inland Wetlands Commission for further review.

6)      CHAPTER V11  - BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS; Section 7-15: Water Pollution Control Authority

        Attorney Mednick to research further.

7)      CHAPTER V11  - BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS; Section 7-6:          Civil Preparedness Advisory Council

        Attorney Mednick to research further.

8)      CHAPTER VIII  - FINANCE AND TAXATION:  Section 8-3:   Budget Preparation; and 9) CHAPTER VIII  - FINANCE AND TAXATION;  Section 8-4:  Annual Budget Meeting

        Attorney Mednick to review the Commission’s proposed changes and offer suggestions.

        Attorney Mednick indicated a Town needs to have a Treasurer by law.  He questioned if the Commission saw the Chief Financial Officer as a separate position to the Treasurer; the Commission felt the CFO position required expanded duties.  Attorney Mednick to review the Commission’s proposal and offer suggestions.

11)     If a committee/commission/board has been created by Ordinance, but specifics of those agencies are subsequently changed via Charter creation or revisions, which has precedence?  

Attorney Mednick indicated the charter takes precedence over the ordinance; the ordinance should be revised to reflect the language of the charter.  Both the charter and the ordinance should agree.  

Discussion followed regarding the Commission’s timeline for completion of this revision.
Commissioner Gaudreau to provide Attorney Mednick with a copy of the resolution establishing
this Commission.  Co-Chairman Butenkoff requested assistance with language for the ballot
questions.  Attorney Mednick requested a copy of the proposed charter changes.

PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES/comments and acceptance:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of December 11, 2008 as amended.

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



REVIEW OF CRC MEMBERS input for proposed revisions:

See discussion with Attorney Mednick above.

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5/follow up to discussion with Attorney Steve Mednick:
a)  Karen Gaudreau/Registrar of Vital Statistics; b)  Bonnie Yosky/Status of Civil Preparedness Director; c)  Karen Gaudreau/Status of Permanent Commissions; d)  Review of present charter, and currently proposed changes, Chapters 6 and 7 for review of  consistency, clarity, and compatibility:

See discussion above.


Nothing new presented.

2nd PUBLIC PARTICIPATION:       No one requested to speak.


Discuss research provided by Attorney Mednick.


MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 8:37 p.m.

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

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

E-mail correspondence regarding charter suggestions/changes can be sent to:    or