Charter Review Committee


July meetings as follows:
    • June 24, 4-6:30
    • one meeting to replace July 1 to be determined
    • July 8, 4-6:30
    • July 15, 7-9 PM
    • July 22, 4:00-5:15 
  • Town Hall
  • Old Water Dept.
    59 Town Hall Square
    Falmouth, MA 02540

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes


30 Recommended Charter Changes

in “Preliminary” Form

      During May and June the CRC has developed 30 preliminary recommendations to the Board of Selectmen for changes in Charter language. Please see the document linked below for a brief statement of the purpose of each change and the resulting proposed edits to the Charter.

      A Public Forum on June 13 created a 2-hour discussion between about 20 citizens and the CRC provided reaction to these preliminary decisions. You are still welcome to email ideas to the committee and also use the public comment portion of our meeting agenda.

      The CRC will revise the 30 items as needed to create a set of final recommendations for the Board of Selectmen in July.

      The Board and the CRC will hear comment in preparing articles for the November, 2019 Town Meeting. After the Town Meeting review and action on warrant articles, the last step is the Town election ballot in May, 2020.

General Work and Schedule

of the Fourth Charter Review Committee

To Falmouth Citizens:

The Charter Review Committee gathered ideas and concerns from officials and the public about the the Falmouth Home Rule Charter and identified areas in which revision could result in a more effective and responsive framework for local town government.

The eight areas that we identified for study are:

      1.   Gender-neutral Language re Selectme
2.    Finance/Budget Related Topics
3.   Guidelines on Appropriate Level of Detail in Charter Language; Implementation of        any Changes
4.    Clarifying and Aligning Terminology; Change in Definitions; Related Charts and            Lists
5.    Defining Appropriate Executive Authority for Efficient Management
6.    Managing  Effectiveness of Committees
7.    Coordinating and Aligning Planning Processes
8.    Making Certain Other Language Changes (Stand-alone areas)

We are embarking now on the more demanding work developing “provisional recommendations” for language changes. These will be added to the linked document below, “Developing Charter Recommendations.” We will be gathering community input and reactions from officials before creating the final recommended language. That will be sent in July to the Board of Selectmen for their review and action. These ideas move to the 2019 fall town meeting for action and then to a public vote as ballot questions in spring 2020.

A final report to the Board of Selectmen (see area 1 above) will include the recommendations for Charter changes and also other suggestions for improvement that need to be considered that don’t require specific Charter changes.

In collecting ideas and concerns, we:

  • developed ideas from our own study of the Charter and charters of similar towns
  • invited the public to send us email at
  • solicited ideas from every Town board, commission and committee that we could reach (over 30)
  • held 12 conversations with various town employees and groups (see minutes)
  • distributed on paper and electronically a survey and summarized the 91 responses (see CRC Summary and the raw data linked below)
  • conducted a public forum on December 19 (see minutes and the FCTV taping)
  • developed an “Evolving List of Questions” (see the link below) currently numbering 44 items. Some clearly relate to Charter language; others may need revision of policies and practices; some will not be pursued.

Many thanks for your attention to this process.

Sincerely, Peter Clark, Chair, for the Committee