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Ballot questions on Charter changes approved by Newtown officials

The Newtown Legislative Council has approved two ballot questions on proposed changes to the town's governing document.  The questions were based on nearly a year and half of work by the Charter Revision Commission.  Residents will decide on the changes when they go to the polls on Election Day, November 8th.  One question singles out the revision that would eliminate the Board of Finance and the other seeks approval on all other amendments.  The Charter Revision Commission says there are few other substantive changes.  Explanatory text will be drafted at a later time, working with Town Attorney David Grogins.  Grogins says the Board of Finance as it currently exists was a mistake, added to a 2001 referendum by petition and the wording created an advisory body and not a fiscal authority.  There was debate over separating out the proposed Charter change on Board of Education vacancies, creating a new process for determining the successor when a BOE vacancy occurs.  The motion was voted down.

The first question reads: “Shall the Charter be amended to provide the Sections 2-125, Sections (a) and (b) ‘Board of Finance’ be deleted from the Charter and all powers thereof to be vested with the Legislative Council.”

The second question approved during the August 17 council meeting is: “Shall the remaining Charter Amendments adopted by the Legislative Council on July 20, 2022 be approved?”