Charter Review Committee


Meetings


  • 2nd and 4th Monday of every month 
  • Town Hall
    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

General Work and Schedule
of the Fourth Charter Review Committee

To Falmouth Citizens:

The Charter Review Committee has been at work examining the
provisions of the Falmouth Home Rule Charter for about 6 months and identifying areas in which revision could result in a more effective and responsive framework for local town government.

We are embarking now the more demanding work of culling out the most significant ideas and developing recommended language changes. These proposed revisions 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.


The current Committee’s work marks the fourth review since the
Charter became effective on January 1, 1991.

In the issue/question-collecting phase we:
• developed ideas from our own study of the Charter
• invited the public to send us email at charterreview@falmouthma.gov
• 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)
• and during all of that, developed an “Evolving List of Questions” (see the link below) currently numbering 43 items. Some clearly relate to Charter language; others may need revision of policies and practices; some will not be pursued.

Because any Charter amendment must eventually go to a ballot vote in
2020, only a relatively small number of these areas of concern will move to final recommendations. As we move to the development of revised language in the next months, we will change the website material to show that progress. There will very likely be both a follow-up survey and public forum in the spring.

Many thanks for your attention to this process.

Sincerely, Peter Clark, Chair, for the Committee


Public Survey Results

The Charter Review Committee received 51 responses to the paper survey and 40 through Survey Monkey.

Many thanks to those who responded. We understand that the survey does not present any statistically accurate picture of the opinion of the town population. It was intended as one of a number of methods to collect ideas from citizens who wished to comment.

Our informal Public Survey Results is at the link below. Quantitatively, in relation to every article of the Charter more respondents felt that the current structure is “working well” than that it “needs improvement”. A clear pattern is that town meeting members who responded on paper expressed a higher satisfaction with the Charter than other respondents.

Before looking at the narrative summary of comments, please read the five “General Notes.”

We have also attached through two links below the raw data from paper responses and the raw data from Survey Monkey.

Documents