There are five Charter Revision questions on the ballot this Nov. 8. The one that has received the most attention is whether the first selectman of New Canaan should be the chairman of the Board of Finance or not. Currently, thefirst selectman, with the Board of Selectmen, appoints the Board of Finance members, chairs the meetings and casts a tie-breaking vote. Speaking from over 20 years’ experience in operations and compliance in the financial services industry, this is not optimal from an operational standpoint. Segregation of duties is fundamental for the proper management of an organization, whether a company, a town or a non-profit. Dividing the responsibility allows for better control and reduces the risk of mismanagement. Public companies separate the CEO and chairman of the Board roles for this very reason. Amending the Town Charter so that the “Board of Finance will choose its chairman from its regular members” will greatly enhance the division of responsibility within the Board.
Segregation of duties is best practice, and New Canaan should be the best. Please join me with a ‘Yes’ vote on Question 3.
Lisa B. Platt