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Bethel Selectmen to consider proposed Charter changes tonight

The Bethel Board of Selectmen will consider a report from the Charter Revision Commission when they meet tonight.  The Selectmen will also set a date for the public hearing. 

There are several proposed modifications to the town's governing document such as adding another non-binding advisory option of 'just right" to ballots.  The Commission unanimously agreed to recommend the use of purchasing cooperatives, prohibit Board of Finance members from serving on other Boards concurrently and raising the referendum trigger for capital utility projects to $2 million. 

The group also is recommending making the Public Utility Commission a 7-member board.  Some titles are changed including Comptroller to Finance Director, Civil Preparedness Director to Director of Emergency Management and Data Processing Department to Information Technology Department. 

The proposed revisions also include removing references to water and sewer from Public Works Department and clarifying duties, add a new section for the Department of Public Utilities, and adding a section covering resignations and removals of appointed Board members. 

There are technical changes from just "his" to "or her" in the terms in office, that meetings can be held at any town owned building, and notifications can be made in mediums consistent with state requirements. 

Other proposed revisions are that the Board of Finance should hold a public hearing not less than 7 or more than 14 days before the Annual Town Budget Meeting, that the meeting be held during the first 14 days of April and that the budget referendum be held 10 to 15 business days after the budget meeting.  All construction plans would have to be complete before a referendum is held according to one of the proposed additions.  The last change would be that a special referendum by petition be held 10 to 15 business days after certification. 

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