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ASSISTANT TOWN lI.T1'oRN&Y QImAL.D 11:. "ARRnL, SR. CO~"ORAT10N COUNSEL

, ADAM IIIAIn%ARIS OEI""RTMENT OF LAW

WALL.INfiFORc iOWN HAI.L 48 SOUTH MAIN !:TItEI!T WAL.LINGf"ORb. CT 084512. TEL.Ii:PHONE (203) 2514.2,lAO "',AX (203) 294- 2112

MEMORANDUM TO:

Michael Brodinsky, Chairman, Wallingford Town Council Members of the Wallingford Town Council William W. Dickinson, Jr., Mayor

FROM:.

Janis M. Small, Town Attorney

RE:

Charter Review Commission .

DATE:

wHdIDW~sbc!;jlobal.n8t

January 18, 2008

Pursuant to your request, the JoJlowing is an outline for the establishment of a Charter Revision Commission:

1. The creation of a Charter Revision Commission and the procedures for consideration of revising the Town Charter are governed by Connecticut General Statutes §7-187 et seq.;

2. The initiation of Charter Revision requires a two-thirds vote of the entire Town Council [§7-188(b)];

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(a) Within thirty days ofthe vote to initiate Charter Revision, the T o w n ' CUneil shall appoint a commission of no fewer than five (5) nor more than fifteen (15) electors;

(b) Not more than one-third (YJ) of the commission members may hold any

other pUblic office in the Town; .

(c) Not more than a bare majority can be from one political party; [§7-190(a)}; (d) For your information, in the .past, each Town Council member has selected one member and the Mayor chose two members;

4. The Town Council directs the Commission to consider any recommendations it has [§7-190(b)]; 5. The Commission, in addition to considering .any issues raised by the Town Council,

may consider any other issues it deems desirable or necessary [§7-190(b»); 6. The Town Council is required to specify the deadline for the Commi$SlQQ..tQ-$ijJ~Itjt~~

draft report. The deadline shall not be later than 16 months from the date of t , the Commission [§7-190{b )J;


Michael Brodinsky, Chairman - Memorandum January 18, 2008 Page Two

7. The Commission must hold at least two public hearings: (a) One prior to the beginning of any substantive work; (b) One after draft report is completed but not submitted to the Town Council w~lich allows the. Commission the opportunity to change the report after the final public hearing but before submission to the Town Council; and (c) The Commission may hold additional public hearings as it deems necessary [§7 -191 (a)] 8. The CommissIon .submits its draft report to the Town CierI< who then forwards it to the Town Council [§7-191(b)J; 9. The Town Council shall hold at least one public hearing on the draft report. The last public hearing on the draft report must be held within 45 days of the date of submission to the Town Clerk [§7-191 (b)]; 10. Within 15 days after the last public hearing , the Town Council shall make recommendations, if any. to the Commission for changes in the draft report [§7-191 (b)]; 11. If the Town Council does not make any recommendations for changes within the 15 days, the report shall become final and the Town Council will act on the report [§7-191 (c)l; .

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12. If the Town Council makes recommendations for changes, the Commission shall confer with the Town Council and the Commission may amend the report or reject the Town Council's recommendations [§7-191 (c)]; 13. ·In either case, the Commission shall make its final report within 30 days after receiving the Town Council's recommendations [§7-191(c)J; 14. Within 15 days after receipt of the final report, bya majority of the entire membership , the Town Council may: (a) approve the proposed changes; (b) reject all the proposed changes; or (c) reject separate provisions and accept others. [§7-191(d)] 15. Within 30 days after approval, the proposed amendments shall be published in full at least once in the newspaper [§7-191 (d)J;


Michael Brodinsky, Chairman - Memorandum

January 18, 2008

Page Three

16. By a majority vote of its entire membership, the Town Council shall determine whether the proposed amendments shall be· submitted to the electors at a regular or special election (no later than 15 months after approval)[§7 ·191 (e)J; 17. The Town Council shall prepare the proposed amendments for the ballot and may submit them in the form one or several qlJestions [§7-191(f)];

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18. Approval by the electors is as follows:

(a) At regular election, by a majority of electors voting thereon; or (b) at a special election by a majority which equals at least 15% of the electors as determined by the last-completed active registry list of the town at a special election [§7 -191 (f)]; 19. If approved by the electors, the amendments are effective 30 days after the election unless the proposed changes included a different effective date [§7-191 (f)] . ADDITIONAL COMMENTS 1. The Commission will need a secretary to handle minutes, agendas, etc. and provide the commission with assistance. It should be expected to be a paid position for SOmeone with public meeting experience. If the Town Council does not have someone in mind, I suggest you approach the secretaries who handle land use commission meetings.

2. The Town Attorney's office is available-to assist the Commission . I will be the primary contact for the Commission. Specific issues raised by the Commission may be assigned by me. ,to other attorneys in the office.

3. The Commission will need a designated office with space to maintain its records. If there is no particular offIce availab.le, the Town Clerk's .office ,must ,be designated in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

JMS/bjc cc Barbara A. Kapi, Town Clerk


Letter to Michael Brodinsky, Chairman of the Wallingford Town Council