The Newtown Charter Revision Commission is recommending that the Board of Finance be eliminated. Initial discussions were that Finance become an appointed advisory board, but members were divided. There was a larger consensus around eliminating the board.
A Charter Revision Commission member, who is a former Legislative Councilman, noted that the Council, as the town’s fiscal authority, can ignore the Board of Finance and often does. A bipartisan financial advisory board could be set up by the Legislative Council if the proposed revision is approved.
The Commission's next meeting will be virtual and is set for Monday at 7pm.
The Board of Finance was the town’s original fiscal authority and eliminated in 1975 with the creation of the Legislative Council. It was re-created as a fiscal authority in the 2001 Charter revision, with changes to some of the duties of the Legislative Council so that they did not conflict or overlap.
First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said during a Board of Finance meeting recently that the Board should set financial policy in town, such as debt service and budget growth, and it should have teeth in setting that policy, with the council needing a supermajority to override those policy decisions. But he says the Board of Finance should not be involved in budget transfers or even in the budget process.