Charter Revision Commission Meeting on March 9

New standards of conduct for the town, suggestions from the Board of Finance to clarify its responsibilities, and the power of the town meeting to change proposed Board of Selectman and Board of Education budgets will be among the topics discussed at the Charter Revision Commission’s next regular meeting, Thursday, March 9, 6:30 pm, in the Town Hall Annex.

A complete agenda and minutes from past meetings are posted on the town website. The first part of each meeting is designated for public comment, offering residents the opportunity to express their ideas and effect change on how our town is governed. Residents may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or letters with written suggestions to the Commission (Ridgefield Town Hall, 440 Main St.).

The Commission is soliciting input for charter changes from residents and members of town boards, commissions, committees, and agencies throughout March and April. It will consider and evaluate these proposals, and then publish a draft of proposed changes. Residents can comment on those proposals in public hearings in May. The commission will then present a final report to the Board of Selectmen. Following selectmen approval, residents will vote on proposed changes in November’s election.

The Town Charter is comparable to a state’s constitution or an organization’s by-laws. Because it defines the basic authorities and operating rules of the town, it directly affects each resident. State law determines how and when the town’s charter can be changed.

Charter changes run the gamut, from significant shifts in the structure of town government to small edits that clarify wording. In the last charter revision cycle, proposed changes included separating the Inland Wetlands Board from the Planning and Zoning Commission (which was approved by voters), and converting the positions of the town’s treasurer and tax collector from elected to appointed (both of which were rejected by the voters).

To read the charter, or for more information on the current commission or past charter changes, go to the town’s website. For reminders of upcoming charter revision public hearings, sign up for ‘general government notifications’ on Ridgefield Alerts.



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