The Board of Selectmen (BOS) recently discussed forming a Charter Revision Commission composed of interested residents whose job is to review the town's existing charter.
The selectmen are the appointing committee, noted Town Clerk Karen Marsden, who in the past, has guided some Charter Revision Commissions in their work.
Clinton's Town Charter, which was recently updated in 2004 and again in 2009, outlines the rules of government for the town including the duties and powers of its elected officers, elections, budgets, term limits of offices, and the process of town meetings.
State mandates ask that towns conduct a review of their charter at least every five years. There can be no more than 15 and no less than five members. No more than one-third of the members can hold public office.
Charter Revision Commissions can look at all sorts of possible changes from big things such as changing a town's form of government to small things such as cleaning up the document's archaic language.
After all edits are completed, the commission presents a draft form of their revisions to the selectmen for their review. The BOS can adopt all of the commission's changes, part of them, or none at all. During this time there will be public hearings held to gather feedback from residents. In the end, a referendum or vote is scheduled where residents can approve or deny any changes.
If the commission and selectmen determine that sections of the charter should be changed, those questions go to the public. In order to get the questions on the November ballot for the next election, all questions need to be approved and in the town clerk's hands by September 13.
At least two public hearings are to be held, noted First Selectman Willie Fritz. One is usually held in the beginning of the process so the commission members can glean information from the public. The second one is held near the end of the process so the public can be informed of the requested changes.
If you are interested in serving on the Charter Revision Commission, contact the at .