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February 25, 2018  |  

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Do This Right

Published Nov 01, 2017 • Last Updated 11:58 am, October 31, 2017

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I encourage Clinton to vote “No” on charter revision—and this from a supporter of charter revision. I also urge the 1,200 folks who signed the Charter Revision Coalition petitions to also vote “No.” The action of the majority of Board of Selectmen (BOS) members has led me and many others to this recommendation. A BOS majority was against the town manager form of government; it voted down this provision in July.

After the strong support for the charter coalition petitions, forcing a vote on the proposed revisions, the BOS changed its mind. The board discussed on Sept. 6 allowing a vote sometime after the election, but tabled the issue to allow the new BOS to manage the process. Then at its Sept. 13 meeting, one day after all BOS members but one lost in the primary, it decided to place the charter proposal on the Nov. 7 ballot, with its known flaws. To their credit, Selectman Carol Walter and First Selectman Bruce Farmer voted against this move.

Due to an editing oversight, no effective date was provided, so by state statute, if passed, the charter would have to go into effect 30 days after passage. This is clearly impossible as it often takes six to nine months to find a qualified town manager. This BOS approved a town manager job description with no required professional qualifications, so in the two weeks left in its members’ terms, the lame duck BOS could appoint a town manager, possibly one of its own, and give that manager a contract with a buyout clause so we would have to pay them off. Let’s take the time to do this right by voting “No!”

Phil Sengle
Clinton

Republican Phil Sengle is a candidate for the Board of Selectmen.

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