Meet the New Canaan Charter Revision Commission



Members of a newly formed commission charged with studying the governing document of New Canaan—with an eye on recommending updates for a town-wide vote on Election Day 2016—on Wednesday voted a former delegate to the state legislature as their chairman.

John Hetherington of Valley Road will serve as chairman of the Charter Revision Commission, following a unanimous vote at the group’s first meeting, held at Town Hall.

See the gallery above for some background on each of the commission’s 10 members, as they introduced themselves in turn at the meeting.

After commissioners been sworn in by Town Clerk Claudia Weber, Town Council Vice Chair addressed the group. Asked during an interview after the meeting about the importance of the task before them, Karl said: “The importance is that these folks who know New Canaan like the back of their hand are going to look at the Charter, the DNA of the town, and review anything that should be changed or revised, and it hasn’t been done in 10 years.”

Commissioners agreed to set a schedule whereby they would meet twice per month with an eye on getting a draft proposal to the Town Council next April. They planned an Oct. 7 meeting ahead of a public hearing on Oct. 21. Ultimately, any updates recommended to the Charter will be made following multiple public hearings and reports, as required by state law—on would appear on the ballot for the November 2016 general elections.

Among changes that the group might study as a starting point—as recommended by a committee of the Town Council five years ago, following interviews with the heads of town departments and municipal boards and commissions (see pages 185-188 of this council meeting’s public packet) are finding a more cost-effective way to post certain public notices (than the current practice), whether to increase the size of the Board of Selectmen from three to give, whether finance board members should be elected or appointed and whether a “public safety officer” should be hired to coordinate services among police, fire and EMS.

One thought on “Meet the New Canaan Charter Revision Commission

  1. Looks like an outstanding group to handle this important task. Thank you all for volunteering and giving the Town your time

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