Charter Review Committee


Meetings

    • October 21,   7pm
    • November 4,  4pm
    • November 12  6pm (only if Needed
    • November 25  4pm
    • December 2    4pm 
    • December 15  7pm
  • 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 

Following the Charter Change Numbers: 26 to 24 to 11

     As you will see in the November Warrant, the Board of Selectmen has moved 11 articles (#s 24-34) onto the November Warrant based on the recommendations from the 4th Charter Review Committee (CRC).

     We, like most committees in town, serve to advise the Board of Selectmen (BoS), rather than having direct authority to make things happen.

     The list of 26 recommendations made to the BoS at the July 22 meeting is in one of the documents linked below. Following that 7/22 meeting the CRC combined 3 that dealt with terminology. At the September 16 BoS Hearing and vote on articles, 24 draft articles came from the CRC.

     The 11 articles in the Warrant incorporate 16 of the 24 recommendations we made:

     The BoS chose to combine 5 recommendations that related to terminology into Article 24; this simplifies the numbers of warrant articles; and since every article passed at Town Meeting becomes a ballot question in May 2020, it simplifies the number of ballot questions.

     Similarly they combined 2 others into Article 31

     5 others were accepted but will be delayed until November 2020, partly because they have less immediate impact on the operation of government and partly it reduces the complexity of numbers

     3 others were turned down with a request that we revise the language for  possible Nov, 2020 consideration.

     At the October 7 meeting of the BoS, explanations were approved as presented by the CRC. One alteration was the decision to discuss and act at the 10/28 meeting on the matter of affirming the continued roles and work of four committees that under Articles 32 ad 31 would not remain named in the Charter.

     Article 31 sets two criteria for committees that qualify to be named in the Charter. We looked at the characteristics of there than 40 governmental bodies listed and not listed in the Charter (elected v appointed; the legal source of their authorities; the responsibilities they carried; and others). We felt that the key issues were whether or not their authority came from the BoS or the State and whether they preformed any functions that were independent of the BoS and Town Manager. We decided that if they were appointed by the BoS and served to advise the BoS, then they need not be named in the Charter, since the Charter gives the authority to create and empower clearly to the BoS.

     We found that there were four  committees (Beach,  Human Services, Recreation, and Waterways) that did not meet these criteria.

      Four committees are named that historically had long standing before the Charter and had somewhat different authority and responsibility. The Charter gave clear authority over all department employees to the Town Manager rather than to oversight committees, and the committees became advisory to the BoS.

      We felt the four had been named because of that earlier history rather than because their authority under the new Charter was uniquely different from the majority of committees, such as Solid Waste Advisory, Wastewater Management, Bikeways, Cable, Affordable Housing, Affirmative Action, and others.

      We see no change in the day-to-day operation of these committees. The BoS plans to discuss and act on 10/28 on affirming the continued roles they play.

     Articles 24-34 are designed to make the Charter clearer and more consistent . The CRC welcomes any questions by email or by attending a meeting to speak at the open comment period.

Many thanks for your attention to these matters. Peter Clark, Chair


Documents