The Charter question as it will appear on the November 7, 2023 ballot:
“Shall the Charter be revised to clarify and make it easier for the public to understand, have access to and hold more accountable Stamford’s government by the following: (a) create more opportunities for the public to participate in government; (b) clarify, define and make more understandable certain common terms in the charter; (c) require clear reporting and accountability for legislative, legal and fiscal matters; (d) include recognition of diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) as an important goal for the City; (e) end the practice of allowing members of decision-making boards and commissions to remain in office beyond the expiration of their term; (f) clarify the requirement that certain appointed executive officials live in Stamford, subject to a waiver provision; (g) allow the Board of Representatives to obtain legal services, as necessary, as do other local legislative bodies in Connecticut (h) create new charter boards and commissions to promote the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act/DEI, mental health, housing and harbor management; and, (i) reorganize the budget process to permit residents to voice their opinions and concerns in a pre-budget public hearing, require publication of a budget calendar and ensure compliance with state law?”
What is Charter Revision?
Stamford’s City Charter is the governing document for our City government – our City constitution. It sets up the structure of our government and division of powers. By state law, every 10 years a town must review its charter for potential changes.
When do we Vote on Charter Changes?
Stamford’s Charter requires that the Board of Representatives “endeavor to schedule the referendum on any proposed charter amendments or revisions to coincide with a general election at which either the mayor, state officials or federal officials are to be elected.” The 2023 municipal election does not include any of these officials and is historically the lowest turnout year (20%). The 2024 Presidential election would qualify under the Charter and also yields the largest voter turnout (80%).
Tuesday, August 29th the Board of Representatives held a Special Meeting on the final report from the 19th Charter Revision Commission. The Board of Reps decided which provisions from the Commission will go onto the ballot. Watch the video here.
Charter Provisions Red Line Final Report submitted 8/22/23 to the Board of Representatives.
Submittal letter of the final Charter report.
19th Charter Revision Commission – in February 2022, a select committee of the Board of Reps interviewed and selected 15 Commissioners to review the City Charter and make recommendations to the Board of Reps based on a list of charges.
31st Board of Representatives Charter Commission Committee – in December 2021, a special committee of the Board of Reps, appointed by the President of the Board, was established to interview and select the 15 Commissioners of the 19th Charter Revision Commission, oversee the process of issuing the charges, and accept the draft and final report from the Commission.