The Charter Revision Committee has been chosen (), they will hold their first meeting this week, and they will post their agendas and minutes on the town's website.
Now what they need to do is figure out what changes, additions, deletions and modifications the Clinton Town Charter may need.
The committee will hold at least two public hearings - one in the beginning of the process to gain community input; and one near the end to announce their recommendations.
Look to Patch for the dates of the public hearings which have not yet been scheduled.
The committee's recommendations will go to the Board of Selectmen for their input and review. The selectmen will also hold a public hearing.
The timing of any proposed changes to the charter is crucial. In order for the proposed recommendations to be added to the November presidential ballot, the town clerk needs the questions in her hand by September 13. The questions, whether grouped together or listed individually, need to have a majority vote by voters in order to be adopted into the charter.
To begin the process on what might need changing, Town Clerk Karen Marsden offered a few suggestions to the committee including:
1. Changing the first selectman's term to a four-year term instead of a two-year term. (A three-year term is not feasible due to the schedule of state vs. municipal elections.)
2. Changing the Board of Selectmen's terms also from a two-year to four-year term but staggering it. For example, one Democrat seat would be for four years, and one Republican seat would be for four years and the other two seats would be for two-year terms for the first election. Then all Board of Selectmen members would run for the four-year term as their terms expire.
3. Changing the process of placing the unsuccessful candidate for first selectman on the list to be seated on the Board of Selectmen depending upon number of votes he or she receives in relation to other candidates. In other words, the unsuccessful candidate for the office of first selectman would not be seated as a member of that board.
4. Changing the charter so no candidate can be seated for multiple elected positions.
5. Changing the number of members on the Board of Finance (currently a six member board with two alternates) to either five members or seven members, all four-year terms, and no alternates thus eliminating a tie vote.
6. Changing the number of members on the Planning & Zoning Commission (currently a nine member board with three alternates) to a seven member board with no alternates.
7. Changing the charter to reflect that all alternate positions on all boards be eliminated. According to Marsden, these positions often cause problems when a regular member returns and a vote is needed. The alternate must be the one to vote and the regular member cannot vote.
The above items are suggestions only by the town clerk.