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Weston Town Clerk Says Voters Should Fill Post

WESTON, Conn. – Weston Town Clerk Donna Anastasia reacted to recommendations in a draft Charter Revision Commission report Wednesday that proposes her job, along with Tax Collector Charity Nichols' job, be turned into appointed positions if approved by voters.

The 30-year-old town charter , which has been being reviewed by the commission for six months, currently states in sections 5.3 and 5.4 that the town clerk and tax collector be elected positions.

However, the report released earlier this month contains substantive changes with recommendations to make the positions appointed ones at the conclusion of Anastasia’s and Nichols’ current terms, if approved by voters.

Anastasia, a Republican halfway through her third, four-year term, previously spoke to the commission Oct. 18 , and continued to provide the commission with evidence and testimony Wednesday.

“I don’t want to see this office become an appointed position,” she said. “If it becomes an appointed position, it will be a political job.”

Anastasia said she spoke to Nichols, who was not at the meeting at Weston Public Library, but also asked why the two positions were being considered for appointment.

During her tenure, Anastasia said has used several grants and volunteers to streamline the town’s birth records, land records and meeting minutes for public use. In addition, Anastasia said recording procedures have changed and it is difficult to keep up with only a minimal staff.

“We need more than two employees in this office,” she said.

If her position was vacated and appointed, she said, most of the people would not have the experience to do the work.

“There is a high risk there,” she said.

Anastasia said residents from both parties have expressed concern about the proposed change.

“An appointment would take the vote away from residents and would have to worry about who the administration is going to hire,” she said.

Members said in the report that appointing the positions could show improvements in professionalism, continuity and accountability.

The change would allow a larger pool of regional applicants and strike the positions from the Election Day ballot and eliminate “serial changes,” based on which party prevails at the polls, according to the report.

Nina Daniels, a Republican member of the commission, said the recommendations are not about individuals but principles, while Susan Moch, a Democrat, said no one’s job is being put in jeopardy.

“No one is trying to threaten your job, but decide what would best serve the town,” Moch said.

Commission co-chair Ken Edgar, a Democrat, said the charter is being written for potentially 30 years into the future.

“This is not a referendum on your job,” he said.

Dennis Tracey, the commission’s Republican co-chair, said there will be more public hearings to discuss the changes. The next one is scheduled for April 24.

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