With discussions before the council on Monday, it appears a new Southington Charter Revision Commission may be formed before the end of the month. The commission could be tasked to do a number of things and take a look at the entire charter or specific aspects, but one thing is for sure - any decision made could impact the way the community operates.
Do you know how the process works?
Southington Town Council Chairman John Dobbins said the goal of a new commission would be to target inefficiencies in government and establish a recommendation regarding best practices moving forward.
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Before any change would be made to the charter, however, there is a lengthy process that still needs to play itself out. Take a look at the town's current charter revision policies:
CHARTER REVISION PROCEDURE - 2013
1. The appointing authority for charter revision for the Town of Southington is the Southington Town Council.
2. Charter revision is initiated by a two-thirds vote of the Council (the appointing authority).
3. Within thirty (30) days of the initiation of charter revision the Council must appoint a charter Revision Commission.
4. Commission of Charter Revision Commission:
A. The commission shall be composed of no less than five (5) electors nor more than fifteen (15) electors; and
B. No more than one-third of the members of the Commission may hold public office in the Town of Southington; and
C. There shall be no more than a bare majority of members from any one political party.
5. The Council may specify when the Commission is to make the report, but the report, including proposed charter changes, must be filed not later than one (1) year from the date of the appointment of the charter Revision Commission.
6. After submission of the Commission’s report to the Council, the Council must hold a public hearing on the report within forty-five (45 ) days thereafter.
7. Within fifteen (15) days after the public hearing before the Council, the Council shall make recommendations to the commission for such changes in such report as it (Council) deems desirable; if no recommendations have been made within said fifteen (15) days, the report of the Commission is deemed final.
8. Within thirty (30) days after receiving recommendations from the Council, the Commission must make its final report.
9. Within fifteen (15) days of the date of the final report, the Council, by majority vote of its entire membership, shall act on the report.
10. Within thirty (30) days after the approval of charter revision, the proposed changes must be published.
11. The Council, by majority vote, shall decide on whether the changes shall be brought to the electorate at a regular election or a special election, provided such election shall not be held later than fifteen (15) months after the approval of the proposed changes by the Council.
Reference for above format is Section 7-187 et seq. of the Connecticut General Statutes (Home Rule Act).
Looking for more on why the town is considering charter revision? Read the article "Sparks Fly As Democrats Express Concerns With Charter Revision" for more information.
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