November referendum on East Hartford charter

·2 min read

Jun. 25—EAST HARTFORD — The Town Council unanimously approved the Charter Revision Commission's recommendations for the town's governing document on Tuesday, and set a date for a November Election Day referendum for all the proposed changes.

The proposed charter revisions include the hiring of a "chief administrative officer," who would assist the mayor in managing daily town operations.

Charter revision

REPORT: The Charter Revision Commission delivered its final recommendations to the charter on June 13, and the Town Council voted unanimously June 21 to accept them and set a referendum.

REFERENDUM: Voters will decide on the proposal Election Day in November.

PAST: East Hartford's charter was last opened and revised in 1983 and 2004.

Town

Council would discuss specific duties of the chief administrative officer and wages for the position after approval of the referendum.

Another major proposed revision for the charter would allow elected officials to transfer and modify functions of town departments without additional charter revisions.

Smaller revisions include eliminating the Personnel Appeals Board, clarifying the line of succession for the mayor's office, adding the IT department to the charter, and removing the 20% voter turnout threshold for ballot questions.

Council Chairman Richard Kehoe said all proposed revisions would fall under one ballot question, a decision that was debated.

"There was some thought among (Charter Revision Commission) members that there ought to be multiple questions ... the Council felt it was simpler to explain all the changes and have one vote up or down," Kehoe said.

Kehoe said Election Day voters could expect to see at least one additional question, a state constitution amendment that would allow for early voting.

Kehoe said the Town Council would discuss two proposed bond referenda in August: one for road improvements and another for fire department equipment. Bond amounts would be discussed at that time.

Kehoe said dates for the bond questions could be set in late August. If approved, the votes on those questions would likely also be held on Election Day this year.

Joseph covers East Hartford and South Windsor. He joined the JI in July 2021. Joseph graduated from the University of Connecticut and he is an avid guitarist and coffee enthusiast.