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Weston Panel Eyes Making Positions Appointed

WESTON, Conn. – The Weston Charter Revision Commission seems to be leaning toward the view that the tax collector and town clerk should be made appointed positions.

The commission has been tasked with going through the charter and coming up with a consensus on sections that should be changed, updated or made more readable. At a meeting Wednesday night, Town Clerk Donna Anastasia, Tax Collector Charity Nichols and Police Commission members Rick Philips and Beth Gralnick gave the commission their views on charter revision.

Nichols was critical of having her position become appointed. “I don’t see the benefit in the tax office for having appointed officials,” she said. She asked if the position would fall under a union if it became appointed. And if it did, she asked if that would make firing the office holder more difficult he or she was not performing satisfactorily.

Anastasia agreed with Nichols. “I believe the position should be in the hands of the people who live here because you really do work for the people.” If the position were to become appointed, the appointee would not have to be a resident.

For their part, the commissioners felt it was in the town’s best interests to make the positions appointed. “Why is it that these offices are the only elected officials?” Commissioner Dick Bochinski asked.

Since both Nichols and Anastasia told the commission they did not consider their positions political, Bochinski asked, “Why continue to have these as elected jobs?”

Commissioner Ken Edger said if either the town clerk or tax collector were to move from Weston, it would leave the town scrambling to fill the position temporarily, and from a candidate pool limited to town residents. Commissioner Dennis Tracey said he was “very concerned that if one of these positions were to open up, we will not find someone to serve the town or to even run.”

The commissioners made clear that their discussion did not reflect on the current employees’ performance. They said they were pleased with the jobs the two have done but simply want to make sure future candidates are the best qualified.

The commission is expected to meet again next month, although a meeting date has yet to be set.

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