Charter Revision: Typos fixed! Font changed!

30May08

Charter panel sends proposal to council
RICHARD WEIZEL
Article Last Updated: 05/30/2008 05:04:43 AM EDT

STRATFORD — The Charter Revision Commission Thursday completed its four-month task to recommend changes to what Town Council leaders have called a “flawed charter document” and ensure greater checks and balances in the mayoral form of government and eliminate glaring inconsistencies.

The nine-member panel voted unanimously to forward its final draft to the Town Council, which must now consider whether to accept the proposal for inclusion on the November ballot or send it back to the commission with recommended changes.

“We had very little time to accomplish a great deal of work, and I believe we did that without making drastic changes and maintaining a strong mayoral system, but ensuring greater checks and balances in an improved and more workable charter document,” commission member John Florek said.

“I know there are some people who think we made too many changes, and others who say we didn’t do enough,” Florek said. “But we did what the council asked us to do.”

Some of the recommended changes include:

* Creating a clear line of succession in the mayor’s absence or unavailability by having the Town Council chairman temporarily take over as mayor. In the current charter, it is unclear whether that would be the responsibility of a Town Council member or the chief administrative officer.

* Providing veto-power to the 10-member council, with a two-thirds majority vote, of the mayor’s selection of town attorney and appointments to some volunteer boards and commissions. The mayor currently has sole authority to appoint the town attorney and make all appointments to boards and commissions.

*Stripping the mayor of his authority to veto council resolutions, while still allowing him veto power of proposed ordinances.

* Allowing the mayor to own or maintain his partnership in a private company, while not being actively involved. Currently, the mayor is not permitted to have any connection to outside business interests.

* Omitting antiquated verbiage in the charter that does not comply with state or federal statutes.

However, one major proposal denied by the commission in a controversial 5-4 vote last month was revisited Thursday night, but with the same result.

The proposal, originally made by Commissioner John Fahan to give the Town Council veto power, by a two-thirds vote, of top mayoral appointments such as police and fire chief, CAO, human resources director, finance director and several other directors, was again rejected Thursday night by the same 5-4 vote.

The motion was made this time by Commissioner Karen Rodia, following an unsuccessful attempt by Commissioner Ben Proto to introduce a “compromise” version. Proto voted against the original motion.

Proto’s compromise, to require that the mayor notify the Town Council and make public his appointments of directors a week before they are hired — but not providing the council with veto-power — was blasted by both supporters and opponents of the original motion.

“This has no teeth. It would not accomplish what is necessary — to provide the council with some input into the hirings of directors,” Fahan said.

Commissioner Jon August, an opponent of the original motion, said Proto’s compromise made little sense.

“We’ve had this debate before, and I think this is just feel-good legislation that is not needed,” August said.

Some panel members said their job may not be over.

“I think there’s a good chance the council will ask us to reconvene to reconsider some of the motions we rejected,” Fahan said.

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20 Responses to “Charter Revision: Typos fixed! Font changed!”

  1. 1 1george1

    Much ado about NOTHING!

    With a FONT change, does that make it a WHOLE NEW CHARTER? 😦

  2. 2 jezebel282

    The failure of this commission to remove the at-will status of town employees and to give the Council oversight of hiring/firing practices means that for at least 6 more years we taxpayers will have to swallow any selection the next mayor makes. The next mayor can appoint Moe, Larry and Curly as Chief of Police, Town Clerk and Finance Director and there is nothing to stop him/her.

    It also means that anyone who disagrees with a policy can be walked out of the building in less than ten minutes.

    This commission also failed to create an independent Town Attorney. The Mayor will remain the sole client of the next Town Attorney while we pay the fees.

    How many examples did this commission need?

  3. Sadly, the CRC failed miserably! The once beautiful town we knew is now gone forever. You did not fail Jezebel, because you tried more than anyone else. All of those who sat home are the failures.

  4. 4 jezebel282

    Thank you, Cyclops.

  5. 5 1george1

    Jeze and Cyclops,

    Welcome to my world.
    I don’t expect you to do what is needed to be done.
    What?
    Archimedes and the lever.

  6. 6 jezebel282

    Not to diminish the news about Debicella and Harkins, but…

    The Council will vote to put the “revised” Charter on the ballot in November. They will vote to keep the Political Town Committees in absolute power here.

    They will not remove “at-will” from the Charter forcing us to endure political appointments for a generation.

    They will not create an independent Town Attorney forcing us to abide by opinions generated for the pleasure of the mayor rather than rendered for the citizens.

    This is an example of a failure of leadership and responsibility.

  7. 7 1george1

    Jeze,

    The Town Council is an example of SELF INTEREST.

    Forget the age of Enlightenment.
    Custer was a leader….
    Hitler was happy to take responsibility ….

    The revised charter may in fact be a whole NEW Town Charter?
    Neither Sue Bysiewitz nor Dick Blumenthol will interpret.
    They defer to …. the Town Attorney and if challenged to the Courts.

    The Town Attorney can will and block populist rights.
    Or if the Town Attorney loses, he can appeal, building billing.
    Meanwhile, the Town Attorney opinion is LAW!

    “At Will”
    “No recall”
    “No initiative”
    “No referendum”
    “NONE of the GRANDFATHERED RIGHTS. None!”

  8. 8 jezebel282

    From George,

    JF – This is the case you would make for budget referendum.
    However, the public would just vote up and down, yes or no.

    GEO: Is it or is it not their money? Yes or No.

    JF – They would not enter into what Woodrow Wilson called a
    ”Common Counsel” in his Constitutional Government in the
    United States 1908.

    GEO: Woodrow Wilson was a 1 worlder – League of Nations
    Cousin to Teddy Roosevelt.
    Rockefellers gave land to the site for UN Building.
    Rockefellers backers, control all the world’s oil / gas / coal and are
    actively working on controlling ALL drinkable water.

    JF – In other words, you unusually do not have a deliberative
    assembly (Town Council) acting too quickly when it comes
    together into one place and talks the matter out and hammers
    out resolutions/ordinances (ideally) based on a variety of opinions
    and viewpoints.

    GEO: The Town Council are hand picked by DTC + RTC to run for
    office and elected unanimously as the candidates.
    There are always 1 exception in each party to cause primaries.

    “deliberative assembly (Town Council) acting” ??
    John if you attend Council meetings and were up front your would
    admit the respective caucus meets in advance of the meeting night
    and choreographs the meetings.
    They meet with their counter parts and split topics and appointments.

    “acting” is too often the correct term
    “deliberative assembly” as applied to Town Councils normally relates
    to rubber stamping however you were suggested you vote.

    Eric and Karen were the only ones to actively question Jim Miron.
    I was there.

    I did not attend avery meeting.

    There were about 50 people who applied for the Charter Revision
    Commission. I do not believe there was a single member who was
    independent of political party desires and A G A I N S T the RIGHTS
    of the GENERAL POPULATION’S ABILITY to CHECK and BALANCE !! 😦

  9. 9 jezebel282

    From George,

    JF: Politicians may or may not proclaim one thing or other when
    campaigning but when the sit down for the first time and put
    their minds along side individuals with different views and
    experiences they ideally

    GEO: Ideal is far different than the reality …..
    The political parties reward allies and attack / punish enemies.
    The political parties always try to control both sides of every
    election and appointment

    JF: will come to an understanding of the practical and disinterested
    conviction (non-political) of the opposite viewpoint.

    GEO: “This IS Stratford.”
    Pretty words and ideal sentiments.
    The reality is the decks of marked cards are stacked, and dealt from
    the bottom …. in every political venue to CONTROL MONEY.

    JF: Out of this we get legislation they all can agree upon that has
    been aired out and debated for the general welfare of all.
    This cannot happen in a referendum.

    GEO: Maybe yes, maybe no.
    However, who are YOU to PLAY GOD with the PEOPLE’S RIGHT and
    EXISTING PROCESS to PETITION GOVERMENT for REDRESS of GRIEVANCES
    stolen by CHARTER REVISION?

    JF: I believe in the people George.
    GEO: It appears, that you believe in the PARTY above the PEOPLE!

    JF I also, however, believe in representative government
    and making it better.

    GEO: IRAQ is more likely to have representative government
    than Stratford.

    JF: After all, I should believe that if I am interested in government
    the way that I am.

    GEO: Despite pointed rebuttals, I respect honest political positions.
    I suspect your positions are “more” niave, than venial (or worse).

    JF: Sorry. George but I had to finally reply to you on budget referendum
    you always nag me about..

    GEO: I respect that you answered me.
    However, I know a lot more about this town and its’ history than you.
    The LAWYERS and PARTY need to eliminate the budget referendum and
    all referendums so they could escalate plundering the TOWN …
    Proto and Florek were 1990s attorneys, whose client list and political
    allies include people who do not have anyone’s best interest at heart.
    florek, proto, kelly, bishop are all amiable and sociable …
    gavin and malloy among others are brilliant ….

    some people have debts …. political and otherwise.
    I view past existing Referendums as a 1st Amendment issue that you and
    your fellow CRC stole and buried …..
    if that is nagging or worth nagging about … so be it …

  10. I am back for a moment. Like I said we our a government of Men. Regular folk should get involved in the DTC and RTC like Ron M. has suggested in the past. That way perhaps things will change. Yes I am an an idealist but based on the fact things can change, otherwise we can just throw in the towel which I for one refuse to do.

  11. Effective government only works with an active an informed public. “Active” means more than just budget referendums. Our legislative and executive bodies are all for naught if the people do not elect good people to government. A people must ultimately provide and decide good governance. Politicians can sense and proclaim change but can only do so if they are sincere and the voting public elects them knowing they are sincere.

    One may be more knowledgeable than the next guy in government. But knowledge is not worth anything if an individual does not apply their knowledge to do the right thing despite all the obstacles and pressures one may face.

  12. 12 jezebel282

    John,

    “But knowledge is not worth anything if an individual does not apply their knowledge to do the right thing despite all the obstacles and pressures one may face.”

    I agree. I think we should go back to a knowledgeable and responsive Town Manager.

  13. “GEO: I respect that you answered me.
    However, I know a lot more about this town and its’ history than you.”

    I know many respect the intimate knowledge George and Jez and others have about this Town. That being said, if I did not have some idea of what was going on I would not have proposed a straight salary for Town Attorney going back to at least 2007.

    On a different note, that Xmas tree thing is way beyond a joke.

  14. 14 jezebel282

    John,

    “I know many respect the intimate knowledge George and Jez ”

    Me? I’m just a regular ole avatar….

  15. 15 1george1

    JF: One may be more knowledgeable than the next guy in government.
    But knowledge is not worth anything if an individual does not apply their knowledge to do the right thing despite all the obstacles and pressures
    one may face.

    GEO: The above is exactly why GAVIN + MALLOY frustrate me.
    Absolutely BRILLIANT.
    Priorities askew …
    The attorneys …. they are indoctrinated to LIE.
    Much of their value is related to LIABILITIES and LIE ABILITIES!

    JF: “I know many respect the intimate knowledge George and Jez ”

    GEO: I am leary of using the word “intimate,” linking GEO + JEZE?
    I get anxious when they talk about “trimming the FAT” or the
    “600 pound gorilla in the room.”
    Sunbathing at long beach, I retreat to my van, if a “whaler” approaches.
    I wonder what they mean talking about my “well rounded” knowledge?
    I always had a “tire around” my stomach … a “tire around” my neck – seemed
    appropriate. Only Dempsey had the decency to be concerned ….

    I got the distinct impression Jimbo, Henrick, Moore, Gavin. Julian, Alvin
    and a few DTC / RTC Chipmonks were disappointed I was not murdered
    or have an accident killing or harming innocent people?

    —-

    JEZE: I agree. I think we should go back to a knowledgeable and
    responsive Town Manager.

    GEO: You mean those who were chosen by the Town Councils, who
    are chosen by Town Committees?
    Harkins is not dumb.
    His intelligence is at least close to Barnhart, Feeney, and a lesser degree
    Branyan (who studied to be a rocket scientist)
    The attorneys are not dumb.
    Gavin and Malloy are not dumb

    They are all responsive to their political allies.

    The only things which would checkmate the political parties are:

    1 – Having a populist ability for REFERENDUMS to:
    > A > Limit spending – ratify – deny “budgets” “contracts”
    > B > Limit & fix terms
    > C > Directly legislate and repeal
    > D > Limit years and number of Boards, Commissions, Dept heads E > Ability to impact Department Heads and Managers.

    2 – Having Constitutional authority to arrest and prosecute POLICE, LAWYERS,
    JUDGES/JUDICIAL, EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, CORPORATE.
    (See movies INSIDE JOB – CAPITALISM LOVE STORY – 3 DAYS of the CONDOR –
    ALL the PRESIDENT’S MEN – SNEAKERS – ENEMY of the STATE – Fahrenheit 911)

  16. 16 ronmoreau

    Jez,

    “I agree. I think we should go back to a knowledgeable and responsive Town Manager.”
    Isn’t that what got us into this mess we’re in today?
    Polluted property all over town. Raybestos, AVCO…. Not to mention what’s in our back yards?
    Pensions awarded at two,three times their pay at more than most people retire on?
    When was the town manager form of government adoped?
    Stratford established in 1649.
    More damage has been done to Stratford since the town manager form of government than the previous 250 years.
    With a Mayor we have ONE person to hold accountable.

  17. 17 ronmoreau

    More damage has been done to Stratford since the town manager form of government (was adopted),than the previous 250(+) years.

  18. 18 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “More damage has been done to Stratford since the town manager form of government (was adopted),than the previous 250(+) years.”

    I partially agree. The benefit of the Town Manager was that at least we could throw his bosses out every two years. I also believe that for lo those many years, there was a conscious effort to keep almost everything in the dark (Don’t start, George!). That has changed (in a small way) due to things like social media and those nasty blogs.

    If the Council cannot remediate this latest budget from Harkins and produce a realistic one with no tax increases or (gasp!) a reduction, we can throw each of them out this November.

  19. 19 1george1

    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/upgrade-now/#comment-19260

    (Next time just post the link, George)

  20. 20 1george1

    ReTHUGlians all…

    KANAMIDS
    FERENGI
    SITH
    OCEANIANS


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