Charter Review Commission (Ad-Hoc)

Overview

In January 2021, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) launched a process to revise the Madison Town Charter by appointing a bi-partisan Charter Review Commission (CRC) that consisted of seven resident volunteers. In accordance with the Connecticut General Statutes, the CRC was established to review the current Town of Madison Charter, and propose revisions to be submitted to the Town Clerk for review by the BOS. The CRC was charged to produce an impartial legislative tool that is practical, clear, concise and upholds a commitment to government transparency. The charter review process spanned over 18 months, and resulted in a final set of revisions that were approved by the BOS to be submitted as questions to the voters of Madison on the November 8, 2022 ballot.

Throughout its deliberations, the CRC considered recommendations for changes to the Town Charter from the BOS as well as other elected and appointed boards and commissions, Town staff, public input, and work completed by the Ad-Hoc Government Study Committee (GSC) established by the BOS in advance of launching the CRC process. A Report of Findings was issued by the GSC to the BOS in August 2020 and is available on the Town website as background to the charter review process.

A municipal charter is the basic document that defines the organization, powers, functions and essential procedures of Madison’s Town government. Charters are granted by a higher authority – Madison’s Town Charter was granted through a referendum passed by eligible voters, the Town’s legislative body, in November 2006. The process to change a charter is dictated by state statute and requires the creation of a Charter Review Commission (CRC). The BOS established a commission in January 2021.

Madison’s Town Charter was approved at referendum in November 2006. The state of Connecticut requires towns to review their charters at least every 10 years. Proposed revisions after a previous charter review process failed at referendum in November 2015. In 2021, the CRC was charged with proposing amendments to the Charter to address the following needs:

  • Modernize to reflect current nomenclature, regulatory changes, public access needs, timeline constraints, and lessons learned from the recent public health emergency related to COVID
  • Clean up language to remove errors, omissions, statutory repetitions
  • Eliminate items regulated by state statute or more suited to be addressed through Town ordinance or Town policies
  • Clarify roles for Elected and Appointed Boards / Commissions to remove ambiguities
  • Update Town Meeting thresholds for dollar amounts, quorum requirements, etc. to generate more public interest in Town meetings and align thresholds with the Town’s current electorate and budget size
  • Address community concerns about participation and effectiveness of Madison’s Town Meeting form of government
Draft Charter, Clean without markup
explanatory text, Town of Madison Proposed Charter Revisions, Ballot questions #2 and #3
Draft Charter, Redline, Marked Version
  1. Committee

In accordance with the Connecticut General Statutes, an Ad-Hoc Charter Review Commission is hereby established to review the current Town of Madison Charter, and make revisions to be submitted by April 30, 2022 to the Town Clerk. The final product of the Commission should produce an impartial legislative tool that is practical, clear, concise and upholds the commitment to government transparency. The Commission shall consider recommendations from the Board of Selectmen as well as other elected and appointed boards and commissions, Town staff, public input, and to evaluate and consider the work completed by the Ad-Hoc Government Study Committee.

The committee will consist of seven members whose terms will expire upon acceptance or rejection of its final report by the Board of Selectmen.

  • Joseph MacDougald, Chair
  • Mark Casparino
  • Liz Daly
  • Matthew Gordon
  • Robert O'Connor
  • David Osterman
  • Joan Walker


Visit the Agenda Center for meeting minutes

  1. Drafts
contact the charter commission members