Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Town Resources
  • Agendas & Minutes
  • Forms, Documents & Permits
  • Pay Bill Online
  • GIS/Maps
  • Contacts Directory
  • Subscribe to News
  • Live Stream and Recorded Video
  • Charter & Ordinances
  • Employment Opportunities
  • RFPs / Legal Notices
  • 250th Anniversary
  • Casino Development Agreement
 
March 19, 2009 Special Meeting Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION

Special Meeting
March 19, 2009


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


The Meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Co-Chairman George Butenkoff in the Conference Room, Town Hall Annex, 25 School Street, Warehouse Point, CT.

ATTENDANCE:

Present:        Co-Chairman George Butenkoff, Co-Chairman John Matthews, Members Donald Arcari (arrived 8:16 p.m.),Claire Badstubner, Joyce Phillips, Scott Riach, Charles Riggott, Madeleine Thompson, and Bonnie Yosky.

Absent: Members Karen Gaudreau, and Ed Farrell.

Guests: Karen Boutin, Chairman, East Windsor Housing Authority (EWHA), and Attorney Ralph Alexander, representing EWHA.

PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES, COMMENTS, AND ACCEPTANCE 3/12/2009:

Minutes provided to Commissioners at meeting.     

MOTION: To POSTPONE approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting dated March 12, 2009 until the March 26, 2009 Meeting.

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

WRITTEN INPUT SUBMITTED TO CRC:         Nothing presented.

ADMINISTRATIVE HOUSEKEEPING/(a):        Nothing presented.

REVIEW OF CRC MEMBERS input for proposed revisions:     Nothing presented.

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5(b):  Review of currently proposed changes/review for consistency, clarity, and compatibility:

Karen Boutin and Attorney Ralph Alexander requested to speak in relation to the listing in the current Charter of the Housing Authority under Chapter VII - Appointed Boards and Commissions.   Attorney Alexander clarified for the Commission that the Housing
Authority is not like other boards and commissions appointed by the Board of Selectmen (BOS) via passage of an ordinance.   The Housing Authority is created under a separate section of the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.); each town has the ability to create a corporate body politic to which the BOS appoint local people to manage this entity.  Attorney Alexander further clarified the Housing Authority does not come under the control or power of the Charter.

Discussion followed regarding the revised language of the current Charter, which refers the Housing Authority to carry out its responsibilities as set forth in the C.G.S. and ordinance.  Attorney Alexander reiterated that the Town doesn’t create a Housing Authority.  Every town has a Housing Authority lying dormant, and the legislature left it up to each town to decide if there is a need for this type of housing, which often addresses the needs of the elderly.    Attorney Alexander suggested most towns don’t include a Housing Authority in their charters; his concern is that inclusion in the charter may cause confusion regarding the powers and control of the authority.  Co-Chairman Butenkoff advised Attorney Alexander in the future there will be one Town Meeting to vote on the conformity of existing ordinances with the Charter language.  Attorney Alexander was advised to review the current ordinance, and confer with the BOS if any changes are needed.

See additional comments below based on review of the Charter revisions.

DISCUSSION OF TOP 5(a) Town Treasurer - Request to discuss language proposal regarding make up of Pension Board reflected under Chapter VII, Subsection L:

Town Treasurer Cabral addressed the Commission regarding Subsection L - Pension Board, under Chapter VII - Appointed Boards and Commissions.  Town Treasurer Cabral reported discussion at a recent meeting of the Pension Board determined that they would like to add two (2) additional members to the Pension Board.   The new members would be citizens with financial experience who would be able to offer investment advice to the Board.   The members would be appointed by the BOS.  

Discussion followed regarding:  1)  if the new members must be taxpayers, and, 2) if the new members could be Town employees.

MOTION: To REVISE the language of Subsection L (1) - Pension Board, under Chapter VII - Appointed Boards and Commissions, as follows:  “The Pension Board shall include four members of the Board of Finance, one member of the Board of Selectmen, and  one member of each board or commission attached to a department which has ten or more employees eligible for the town pension plan, and two resident members to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen.”

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


DISCUSSION OF TOP 5(b):  Town Treasurer - Request to discuss language proposed regarding make up of Pension Board reflected under Chapter VII, Subsection L.

Additional Discussion:

PLEASE NOTE:  
1)      When presenting the approval motions for the proposed revisions please note language being deleted is shown in struckout type, while new proposed language is shown as italicized underlined type.

2)      The document under review is the Charter Revision 2009 Board of Selectmen Draft         I.

PREAMBLE (no page number):

Correct typographical error/spelling of “hereby”.

CHAPTER II - ELECTIONS, Subparagraph C - Town Elections.   Term of Office (Page 5):

Co-Chairman Matthews proposed that the language of this section be revised to allow for the modification of the terms of office for Town Officials or members of Boards and Commissions.  Co-Chairman Matthews felt there may be a reason down the road to change the terms of office; inclusion in this Charter revision of the language he proposed would allow for the term modification to occur without having to wait 18 months or more for another Charter change.  Co-Chairman Butenkoff agreed the change of term should be made via Charter rather than ordinance; Commissioner Yosky agreed.  

Discussion continued.   Commissioner Phillips moved the question; Co-Chairman Matthews seconded.

MOTION:         To REVISE the language of Subsection 2-1 General, Subparagraph C - Town Elections.  Term of Office, under CHAPTER II - Elections as follows: Nominations and elections of the following Town Officers or members of Boards and Commissions shall be conducted as prescribed by C.G.S. and shall take place at the regular Town election on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each odd numbered year and in the odd numbered years hereafter in accordance with their respective terms of office, which may be modified via duly enacted ordinance:......”(subsections identifying specific officials, boards, and/or commissions follow).

See vote next page.


Matthews moved/Phillips seconded/
VOTE:   In Favor:  Badstubner/Matthews/Phillips/Riggott/Thompson/Yosky
                Opposed:   Riach
                Abstained: Co-Chairman Butenkoff didn’t cast a vote.

CHAPTER II - ELECTIONS, Subsection 2-7 Vacancies (Page 9):

Correction of typical error - “or the replacement member” in place of “of the replacement member” in Subparagraph A).   Switch the order of Subparagraph B) and C) to keep the flow of thought consistent with Town entities being listed first, then followed by the Board of Education.

No motion made.

CHAPTER III - DUTIES OF ELECTED TOWN OFFICERS, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS, Subsection 3-2 Elected Boards and Commissions, Subparagraph B (Page 11):

Co-Chairman Matthews cited the language of Subparagraph B suggests meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.   He felt public participation should be held at all meetings.  Commissioner Yosky concurred, noting she felt it was important because people come to meetings to speak and can’t offer input without public participation.  

The recording secretary suggested it was her understanding that public participation could occur at regular meetings, but not special meetings where only those items listed on the agenda could be heard.  Discussion followed regarding the different types of meetings, including Town Meetings, workshops, etc., and procedures for same.

MOTION: To REVISE CHAPTER III - DUTIES OF ELECTED TOWN OFFICERS, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS, Subsection 3-2 Elected Boards and Commissions, Subparagraph B) as follows:  “Meetings shall be held in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.  All Regular meetings shall have time allotted for public comment.”

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

Also, under Subparagraph D) (page 12) correct “minute of the meeting” to the plural “minutes of the meeting”.  

CHAPTER V - THE FIRST SELECTMAN, Subsection 5 - 1 General (Page 19):

Co-Chairman Matthews felt the current proposed language gives too much authority to the First Selectman “for any and all financial agreements”.  He questioned where checks and balances came in?  Commissioner Phillips noted the Commission considered this

section several times; they felt the language “with the approval of the Board of Selectmen” offered that balance.  Co-Chairman Matthews suggested financial agreements can be for hundreds of thousands of dollars; he is looking for the addition of wording that limits the First Selectmen’s authority to those items approved under the current budget.  

Discussion continued regarding language options.

MOTION: To REVISE CHAPTER V - THE FIRST SELECTMAN, Subsection 5 - 1 General, as follows:  “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 agreements within the approved annual budget 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 the approved annual budget guidelines.”

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

CHAPTER VI - APPOINTED OFFICIALS, Section 6-1 Authority to Establish Town Departments and Agencies, Subparagraph A) (Page 21):

Co-Chairman Matthews felt this Chapter, as written, does not provide the ability to abolish a Department or Agency.  The Commission concurred with the following proposed language revision, which also includes revision of the Section Title:

MOTION: To REVISE CHAPTER VI - APPOINTED OFFICIALS, Section 6-1 Authority to Establish Town Departments and Agencies as follows:  “Section 6-1 Authority to Establish and Abolish Town Departments and Agencies: Subparagragh A)” -  “The Town, acting within the powers and duties enumerated in C.G. S. and this Charter, may establish, or abolish, by ordinance, such departments necessary to carry out and organize the functions of government.   The express intent of this Charter is to allow the Board of Selectmen and the Special Town Meeting the ability to organize the government in order to achieve a balance of efficiency and service to the people of the Town.”

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

CHAPTER VI - APPOINTED OFFICIALS, Subsection 6-6 Appointed Officials Required by the Charter, Subparagraph D, Town Treasurer (Page 24):

Co-Chairman Matthews felt the Board of Finance should be involved in appointment and determination of qualifications for the Town Treasurer, as this is a unique position which often works closely with the Board of Finance.

MOTION: To REVISE CHAPTER VI - APPOINTED OFFICIALS, Subsection 6-6 Appointed Officials Required by the Charter, Subparagraph D, Town Treasurer, as follows:  “The Board of Selectmen, and the Board of Finance, shall appoint a Town Treasurer who shall be qualified by training, experience, education, and professional certification as determined by the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance.”

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

CHAPTER VI - APPOINTED OFFICIALS, Subsection 6-8 Other Appointed Officials, Subparagraph B) (Page 28):

Commissioner Phillips suggested the following language revision:

MOTION: To REVISE CHAPTER VI - APPOINTED OFFICIALS, Subsection 6-8 Other Appointed Officials, Subparagraph B) as follows:  “The First Selectman or designee shall serve as Welfare Officer for the Town and also shall be in charge responsible for the administration of all welfare activities of the Town.”

Phillips moved/Matthews seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous

LET THE RECORD SHOW Commissioner Arcari arrived at 8:16 p.m.

CHAPTER VII - BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSION, AND ASSOCIATIONS, Subsection 7-1 General Powers and Procedures, Records Requirements for Appointive Boards and Commissions, Subparagraph A)2) (Page 29):

Deletion of the word “and” at the end of Subparagraph 2).

CHAPTER VII - BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSION, AND ASSOCIATIONS, Subsection 7-2 Appointed Boards and Commissions, Subparagraph E) Economic Development Commission (Page 33):

Revision of the word “brining” to “bringing”.

CHAPTER VII - BOARDS, AUTHORITIES, COMMISSION, AND ASSOCIATIONS, Subsection 7-3 Additional Appointive Boards and Commissions Established by Ordinance (Page 36):

Revision to reflect the capitalization of “Special Town Meeting”, and the word “City” to

be replaced with the word “Town”.

Co-Chairman Matthews questioned where in the Charter is any reference to the Police Commission?  Co-Chairman Butenkoff clarified that the Police Commission is an elected board, which can not be removed by the BOS.  Discussion followed regarding the method of creation of the various boards.  It was noted that where boards have been created by Ordinance the Ordinance over-rides everything else; if the need arises the Ordinance could be changed more quickly than waiting for a charter change.  

CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-2 General Authority and Powers of the Board of Selectmen, Subparagraph A) (Page 38):

MOTION: To REVISE CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-2 General Authority and Powers of the Board of Selectmen, Subparagraph A) as follows:  “The Board of Selectmen shall have the authority to require that every Official, office, board, commission, agency or department, including the Board of Education, submit information to either the Board of        Selectmen, the Board of Finance or, in the case of capital improvements, to the Capital Improvement Advisory Committee, in accordance with budget guidelines Section 8-4 of the Charter, setting forth the best practices and procedural requirements for the development of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year”.

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

Co-Chairman Butenkoff called for a RECESS at 8:33 p.m.; the Commission RECONVENED at 8:35 p.m.

CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-4 Budget Procedures, Subparagraph B) Annual General Fund Budget Estimates, Subsection 2) (Page 41):

Entities listed in the singular shall be revised to the plural; no motion.

CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-4 Budget Procedures, Subparagraph C) Deliberations on the Town Budget, Subsection 3) Miscellaneous Provisions Pertaining to Deliberations by the Board of Finance and the Board of Education, Subparagraph (a) Budget a Public Record, (Page 45):

Deleted “RTM” from the final sentence.

CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-4 Budget Procedures, Subparagraph C) Deliberations on the Town Budget, Subsection 3) Miscellaneous Provisions Pertaining to Deliberations by the Board of Finance and the Board of Education, Subparagraph (b) The Budget Message, (Page 45):

Co-Chairman Matthews recommended inclusion of “the pension funding position” as well as the Town’s debt position to reflect the complete debt position of the Town.

MOTION: To REVISE CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-4 Budget Procedures, Subparagraph C) Deliberations on the Town Budget, Subsection 3) Miscellaneous Provisions Pertaining to Deliberations by the Board of Finance and the Board of Education, Subparagraph (b) The Budget Message, as follows: “The Town and Board of Education Budgets shall include a budget message.   The budget messages shall contain the recommendations of the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Education concerning the fiscal policy of the Town and the Board of Education, a description of the important features of the budget plan, an explanation of all major increases or decreases and changes in budget recommendations as compared with prior years, and a summary of the proposed budget showing comparisons similar to those required in the budget proper, itemized by principal sources of revenue and the main heads of expenditure.   With respect to the Town Budget, said message should also summarize the Town’s debt position, and pension funding position, and include such other material as the Board of Selectmen deem desirable.”

Matthews moved/Phillips seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous

CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-5, Submission of the Budgets to Referendum, Subparagraph A) Initial Budget Referendum, (Page 47):

MOTION: To REVISE  CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-5, Submission of the Budgets to Referendum, Subparagraph A) Initial Budget Referendum, as follows:  “The budget as approved by the Board of Finance shall be submitted to the voters of the town at a Budget Referendum to be held on the first  second Tuesday of the month of May.

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

CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-6, Duties of the Board of Finance on Other Financial Matters, Subparagraph B), (Page 49-50):

MOTION: To REVISE  CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-6, Duties of the Board of Finance on Other Financial Matters, Subparagraph B), as follows:  “Supplementary Appropriation.  Upon request of any office, board, commission or similar body that additional funds in excess of what had been provided in the approved annual budget or, if funds are required for

which no provision was made in the budget, the Board of Finance, after inquiry into and review of the request, may approve one or more appropriations not to exceed thirty thousand ($30,000.00) dollars.  Said funds may be taken from any cash surplus available or from the contingency fund.   The amount requested and approved shall not exceed thirty thousand ($30000.00) ($30,000.00) dollars for any one office, board, commission or similar body in any one year without Town Meeting approval”.

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

CHAPTER VIII - FINANCE AND TAXATION, Subsection 8-6, Duties of the Board of Finance on Other Financial Matters, Subparagraph C), (Page 50):

The word “binding” corrected to “bonding”.  No motion made.

CHAPTER X - TOWN MEETING, Section 10-6, Annual Budget Meeting, (Page 57):

The phrase Annual Budget “Meeting” is changed to Annual Budget “Referendum” in the Section title and in the paragraph language.   No motion made.

CHAPTER X - TOWN MEETING, Section 10-8, Actions Requiring a Town Meeting, (Page 57):

Language of Subparagraph A) revised as follows:  “Adoption of the Annual Budget as herein before provided, or any  Any resolution making an appropriation of more than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) not included in the Annual Budget.”  No motion made.

CHAPTER XI - CONFLICT OF INTEREST, Section 11-4 Chapter XI Repeal, (Page 60):

MOTION: To DELETE Section 11-4 Chapter XI Repeal as a Code of Ethics has been adopted.

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

LET IT ALSO BE NOTED:
1)      that throughout the document where C.G.S. appears it will be reflected as “C.G.S.” rather than “C. G. S.”

2)      Numerical order of sections changed as required.

The Commission was advised the First Selectman had suggested potential ballot questions should be presented to the public during the Public Hearing scheduled for March 26th.  The Commission initially considered the following ballot questions:

        1)      Do you approve the budget going to automatic annual budget referendum?

        2)      Do you agree that if the budget fails after the third referendum the budget                     falls back to the previous approved/current budget?

No further discussion occurred as Co-Chairman Butenkoff felt it was difficult to prepare ballot questions until public input was taken.

GUIDANCE FOR NEXT MEETING:

Co-Chairman Butenkoff suggested the following for the Public Hearing presentation:

1)      Read preamble
        2)      Present the charter, summarizing the major changes
        3)      Note the charter is being presented as the constitution of the Town.
        4)      PowerPoint presentation

Commissioner Yosky also noted the First Selectman had requested a list of recommended changes.   An example of a recommendation would be review of the Cemetery Association.

ADJOURN:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 9:30 p.m.

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

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