The Charter Revision Commission (CRC) has proposed a group of proposed charter revisions for the voters’ consideration at the November 2 municipal elections. This article highlights a couple of the proposed revisions:
The CRC recommends that the First Selectman and the Board of Selectmen be elected for 4 years in office, instead of 2 years in office as they are now. The First Selectman and Board of Selectmen are the only elected positions in Town which do not already have a four-year term of office. The relatively short two-year term of office has made it difficult to attract well qualified candidates for First Selectman. Increasing the First Selectman’s term of office to four years, instead of two years, would both make the position more attractive to potential candidates, and promote continuity and better operations for Town management. The CRC considered staggered terms for the selectmen, but that would mean 2 members would always be elected with the First Selectman, and 2 members would never be elected with the First Selectman, so we are asking voters to approve 4-year terms for the entire board with all members elected at the same time.
The CRC also recommends clarifying the relationship of the Town and its WPCA. The WPCA’s position is that the Town has no role in hiring the people working at the WPCA, the Town has no role in evaluating the job performance of the people working there, and the Town has no role in negotiating the contract with the union representing the employees. The WPCA’s position is that people working at the WPCA are not subject to oversight by the Town, and not subject to any personnel policies adopted by the Town. But it was the Town that established its WPCA. The Town has potential legal liability for the conduct of people working at the WPCA. The Town also has potential legal liability for its oversight of its WPCA. People who work at the WPCA are eligible for pension/retirement benefits and health insurance benefits which are only available to Town employees. The WPCA facility is on land owned by the Town. Accordingly, the CRC recommends the charter continue to grant to its WPCA the powers available by Connecticut statute, but also state that people working at the Town’s WPCA are Town employees subject to the Town’s “Employment and Human resources” policies.
You can find more information about the proposed charter revisions at the town website.