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Council Prepares For New Charter Review Process, Seeks Residents To Serve

The Legislative Council is in the preliminary stages of initiating a new charter review process.

Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob reported to her colleagues February 19 that she is issuing a letter to all town boards, commissions, and departments soliciting input regarding issues in Newtown’s constitutional document that may need to be revised, amended, or struck, as well as any issues that need to be considered for addition.

On February 12, a new charter charge committee of the council met and elected George Ferguson as chair. Anthony Filiato, Joe Girgasky, and Daniel Honan round out that committee.

The same evening, the Charter Interview Committee met and elected Paul Lundquist as chair. Robert Merola, Phil Carroll, and Ms Jacob will also serve on that panel.

According to her letter, Ms Jacob noted, “The purpose of this commission will be to fix gross errors in the charter, to consider changes that will streamline municipal and school operations and those changes necessary for the proper operation of town government as well as to rewrite the body of the charter to clean up contradictions and make it easier to read.”

She asks town managers, staff, board and commission leadership to respond outlining any aspects of the town charter that affect their duties and report back before March 15 with any changes they would like considered should such a commission be seated. 

The council chair also provided a copy of the changes recommended by various boards and commissions when a previous charter review process was started and not completed in 2012.

Ms Jacob said that any resident interested in serving on a new Charter Revision Commission may contact Mr Lundquist to express their willingness to serve, and to get scheduled for a possible interview with his committee.

He can be reached via e-mail at lundquist.paul@gmail.com.

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