NORWALK, Conn. — There’s a move afoot to appoint a new Charter Revision Commission, although some Norwalk Common Council members were unaware of it Tuesday.
“There’s no discussion on it, really, not that I’ve been apprised on, right now,” Minority Leader Michelle Maggio (R-District C) said. “I think that probably everybody wants to get the revision crew a breather and then go back at it hard, but it didn’t have the support. Unfortunately, with all the level-headed, easy going people on there, they were able to agree on (revisions), it wasn’t something that everybody was ready for.”
The Common Council appointed a Commission last year, laying out guidelines that included a look at extending the mayoral term from two years to four, and looking at extending Council terms. The Commission came up with four questions, which were approved for the ballot in the fall election. Only one passed.
The mayoral term failed; making the Charter language gender neutral, where it refers to Council members, passed.
Also failing were the proposed elimination of city offices that no longer have any function, and a pay raise for Council members.
“My position has not changed,” Mayor Harry Rilling said after Tuesday’s Council meeting. “I indicated that I think we should consider another Charter Revision Commission. I have spoken to an individual who I thought would be good to serve on it. I got a tentative agreement, now I just have to approach the Council and see if there’s a desire for it. It’s up to the Council to appoint the Charter Revision Commission and it takes, I believe, a two-thirds vote in order to do that. So, I said, earlier that I would support a Charter Revision Commission and we’ll talk more about it.”
This hoped-for leader isn’t someone who was on last year’s Commission, he said.
“We have begun some discussions,” Majority Leader John Kydes (D-District C) said. “We’ve got so much going on with the budget that we are focused on other things right now. We started the conversation last night and we’re going to pick it up shortly.”
The Commission, should it be appointed, would make up its own mind about what to do, Rilling said.
“Sometimes it’s better not to give any parameters,” Rilling said. “Because if you give parameters sometimes it suggests that the deck is stacked. So I think you look at the Charter revision, you appoint people who you think are going to do a good job and a thorough job, and you let them go through with the motions and let them do what they think is appropriate.”