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Public Takes Shots at Weston Charter Revisions

WESTON, Conn. – Weston residents took exception to some of the changes proposed to the town charter Thursday when the Board of Selectmen heard public comments on the charter.

The Charter Revision Commission initially called for the town clerk and tax collector positions to be appointed instead of elected, then left the town clerk position elected. But Margaret Rivera argued at the hearing that the tax collector position should remain elected also.

“To remove the power to elect them from the people they are serving is not in the best interest of the voters,” she said. “Citizens visit tax collectors frequently. They collect money from us, and direct accountability to the public is important.”

Frank Billone said the machine ballot for budget expenditures should contain four line items to separate operating and capital budgets for the town and Board of Education. “Without unbundling capital and operating budgets, it will be difficult to understand where the cuts should be made,” he said.

Harvey Bellin objected to the quorum requirement for reducing the budget at the Annual Town Budget Meeting. He said small numbers of voters at annual budget meetings won’t meet the required quorums and special interest groups can remove their supporters to prevent a quorum, “so a line item automatically passes without any vote.”

The Board of Selectmen called the public hearing to hear residents' opinions on the charter revisions. It now has 15 days to consider the matter. It can allow the revisions to stand as written and send them to the voters in November, or it can ask the Charter Revision Commission to make specific changes.

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said the board would discuss the public comments at its next meeting on Thursday, June 21.

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