The people of Fairfield will be asked to form a Charter Commission when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

The purpose of this ballot question is to develop a commission to assess the possible revision of our existing charter or establish a new charter. These results will be brought to the people for a public hearing and then a vote at next year’s 2016 general election to approve any potential changes.

As it stands, Fairfield has a weak town council form of government. This slows down the business of the town and affects economic development because some of the town’s business has to wait until the yearly town meeting in May.

The Charter Commission will need to reflect on how best to promote democratic participation in town affairs by asking, “Should town government be dependent on the town meeting as it is now or should the issues facing the town meeting be streamlined with greater power given to the council while retaining certain citizen approval?”

All in all, the Charter Commission will focus on empowering elected leaders to make decisions on the more complicated issues of town affairs, as they have been elected to do. The result would be a town charter that promotes good governance and the more efficient management of town affairs, and encourage civic engagement, while improving the democratic process in town affairs.

I strongly support the establishment of the Charter Commission, which will happen if a majority of residents vote yes on the municipal ballot’s Question 1 on Tuesday.

Robert Sezak

Fairfield


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