Prospect Charter up for revisions

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PROSPECT — For the first time in 15 years, Prospect is dusting off the town Charter for possible revisions.

The Town Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to move forward with forming a Charter Revision Commission.

“We all feel it’s time to give the charter another review,” council member Theresa Graveline said.

The town hasn’t formed a Charter Revision Commission since 2000. Before that, a commission last reviewed the Charter in 1987.

“So, it was time to just take a look,” council Chairman Tom Galvin said. “Maybe not change anything, but maybe take a look at what could be changed.”

Galvin said the Charter is a living and breathing document, but has only been changed once in the last 28 years.

“The town has changed much more in the past 15 years than probably in the prior 30,” he said.

Galvin said during the budget process this year some procedural questions were raised, but the Charter wasn’t clear on how to proceed. So, he said, there is some language in the charter that needs to be clarified. He added that much of the language in the Charter is the original language from 1967.

The council has until Oct. 1 to name the members of the commission, and is expected to appoint the commission at its Sept. 15 meeting. The process is expected to take about a year or so. Any potential revisions put forth by the commission will have to be approved by the council to send to a public vote. Officials are targeting having any revisions on the ballot for the November 2016 presidential election.

Galvin said the Charter will be combed through to see if anything needs to be changed. It’s possible, he said, no revisions will be proposed.
Either way, Galvin said, it’s good to go through the exercise.

“We always want to take a look and make sure we’re protecting the assists of the town; we’re doing the right things by the town,” Galvin said.