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Charter Revision Commission to Hold Public Hearing

There will be a public hearing tonight at 7 p.m. at which North Branford and Northford residents can state their concerns about the town’s charter.

The (CRC) has been in the works for months as the North Branford Town Council first decided to form the commission, decide on the number of members and finally .

The CRC is made up of seven members including two council members, and , along with residents Kenneth Imperato, Roger Munck, R. Steven Onofrio, Penny Seaman and Pat Young. At the organizational meeting on March 27, Candelora was elected to chair the commission.

“The CRC was formed basically by the Town Council to have a discussion about and review North Branford’s charter,” said Candelora. “We want the public’s input on our charter, which is our government, our body of rules and regulations and our ordinances.”

Residents have the opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns or ideas about the town’s charter, which is available in its entirety on the town’s website, at a public hearing, which will be held tonight at 7 p.m. at . The charter revision process is dictated by state legislation and must begin with a public hearing.

According to recent state legislation, the CRC can review one specific item of a town’s charter or the entire charter.

North Branford last went through the charter revision process in 2004 when the town switched from a ‘Town Meeting Budget Hearing’ to the ‘,’ which is one item the Town Council has expressed interest in having the CRC examine.

“The public hearing gives residents a chance to get on record in front of the Charter Revision Committee with anything they can offer to better the process,” said Candelora.

After the public hearing, the Town Council is slated to give the CRC the go-ahead for the actual review of the charter at the . The CRC will meet on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. beginning May 3.

Because charter revision is mandated by the state, the CRC must work within a specified timeframe. At the end of the allotted time, the proposed revisions will be brought to the Town Council to be approved.

The charter also has to be examined and written by attorneys, which can be “costly,” according to Candelora. He said three members of the CRC are attorneys–Onofrio, Seaman and Young, who was involved in preparing the town’s first charter.

“Because of the costs and time it takes, you have one shot [at Charter Revision] and want to do it well,” said Candelora. 

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