August 5, 2020
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Published Oct. 23, 2019

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I’m writing this letter with the perspective of being on the last two charter commissions. The main change in the new charter is a change to the town manager form of government. The current Board of Selectmen (BOS), headed by First Selectman Christine Goupil, re-convened the Charter Commission to get this change put in front of the town to vote on at referendum. This was done, knowing that if it passed, Christine would be the last first selectman of the town.

Some have questioned why the new manager will not be in place on Nov. 19. This was done purposefully, as anyone who was involved knows, including all current BOS members, to enable the new Town Council to pick the manager. By transitioning this way, no one could say that it was a setup. There will be a short time in which the manager position will be vacant and it is my belief that an independent interim manager should be brought in during this time to help facilitate the transition.

The manager is only one of the many changes that the current BOS has put in place. Some other projects include the train station, the sidewalk at the new Morgan, the sale of Unilever, and the development of the old Morgan site. Under Christine’s management, the town has saved around $758,000 on loan restructuring. The team has also brought governance of the town to the forefront by putting in processes that may have been taken advantage of in the past.

The main purpose of the town manager position is to provide continuity across elections. I believe that Christine Goupil, along with the rest of the Democrats, will provide the link to the new town manager that is needed to continue the growth in our town.

Art Kuever