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Posted on: September 10, 2019

8 Local Questions Appearing on the November 5, 2019 Ballot

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EXPLANATORY TEXT FOR LOCAL QUESTIONS ON

NOVEMBER 5, 2019 BALLOT

 

QUESTION 1.

Shall technical amendments to Sections 2, 12A, 16, 19(a), 38, 39A, and 42 be approved?

EXPLANATORY TEXT AS TO THE CONTENT AND PURPOSE

The proposed revisions to Bristol Charter Sections 2, 16, 38, and 42 replace the title of the director of personnel or personnel director with the director of human resources to conform with the Charter Revision changes adopted in 2018 to that office title.  Additional amendments create subsections to separate paragraphs by adding a letter, such as (a), (b), (c), and (d) in Sections 12A and 39A.  Section 19(a) removes a requirement of the registrars of voters to provide an alphabetical voter list to the town clerk as it is already included in their statutory duties and the town clerk has access to the statewide Connecticut Voter Registry system.

QUESTION 2.

Shall the building official duties as the clerk of the zoning commission and zoning board of appeals, and zoning enforcement officer be removed?

EXPLANATORY TEXT AS TO THE CONTENT AND PURPOSE

The proposed amendments to Bristol Charter Section 44A eliminate from the building official’s job description the duties to serve as the clerk of the zoning commission and zoning board of appeals, and the zoning enforcement officer.  This would allow those duties to be paired with other land use positions, such as the assistant city planner or city planner.

QUESTION 3.

Shall the treasurer be changed from an elected to an appointed officer, and a technical revision and removal of a gender reference be approved?

EXPLANATORY TEXT AS TO THE CONTENT AND PURPOSE

The proposed changes to Bristol Charter Section 18 would change the treasurer from an elected official to an appointed official.  In order to facilitate the change to an appointed position, a list of qualified candidates would be prepared by the director of human resources for the mayor’s nomination and the city council’s approval. 

A second proposed revision to Charter Section 18(c) replaces the title of the personnel director with the director of human resources to conform with the Charter Revision changes in 2018 that changed that office title.  An additional amendment in Section 12 removes a gender reference of “he or she” and replaces it with the specific elected official title of “council member”. 

QUESTION 4.

Shall the role of the board of police commissioners be clarified as an advisory and policy board to the police department?

EXPLANATORY TEXT AS TO THE CONTENT AND PURPOSE

The proposed amendments to Bristol Charter Section 45 would clarify that the duties of the board of police commissioners are advisory or policy related, rather than supervisory.  The board would confer with the chief of police with respect to general management of the department and review and comment on the department budget.  The revisions would also require that if the chief of police or other non-bargaining members of the police department were removed from office there would have to be just cause in order to conform with the Connecticut General Statutes.

QUESTION 5.

Shall the role of the board of police commissioners be revised and the factors and weights removed from the promotional process in the police department? 

EXPLANATORY TEXT AS TO THE CONTENT AND PURPOSE

The proposed revisions to Bristol Charter Section 46A would transfer to the chief of police the responsibilities of evaluating each candidate for promotion in the police department and making the appointment to that vacancy. The specifically stated factors and weights would be eliminated from the Charter in the promotional process.  The person(s) who passed the examination would be rated by the board of police commissioners and placed on an eligibility list.  The chief of police would also make an independent evaluation and the person with the highest rating would be appointed.

A second change to the wording “the rank of Captain” would be replaced with “non-bargaining positions” to allow for other non-bargaining positions to be created in the police department. Proposed technical revisions would replace the title of the director of personnel with the director of human resources to conform with the Charter Revision changes adopted in 2018 that changed that office title.  Additional proposed technical revisions would replace the title of chief to chief of police.

QUESTION 6.

Shall the role of the board of police commissioners be revised and certain requirements removed in hiring the chief of police?

EXPLANATORY TEXT AS TO THE CONTENT AND PURPOSE

The proposed amendments to Bristol Charter Section 46B reduce the role of the board of police commissioners in appointing a chief of police.  Rather than appointing the chief of police, the board shall provide input in establishing the criteria for qualifying candidates based on certifications required by state laws and regulations and forward their candidate recommendations to the mayor. 

Certain requirements of the chief of police relating to residency, experience, education and specific job duties would be removed from the Charter and in its place the director of human resources with input from the board of police commissioners would establish the criteria for qualifying candidates as chief of police.

QUESTION 7.

Shall the operational responsibility and fiscal oversight of the sewer department be clarified?

EXPLANATORY TEXT AS TO THE CONTENT AND PURPOSE

In 2018 Bristol Charter Section 48A was amended to transfer the duties concerning sewage from the director of public works to the water department.  To facilitate the transfer of all of the functions relating to sanitary sewers, sewage treatment, sewage disposal, and the water pollution control plants, additional changes would clarify that the water department, superintendent of the water department, and the board of water commissioners have the operational responsibility and fiscal oversight of the sewer department.

QUESTION 8.  

Shall the City of Bristol approve the City Council Resolution dated August 13, 2019 that adopts the Connecticut City and Town Development Act, which grants additional authority to aid and promote industrial and other forms of economic development?

The Connecticut City and Town Development Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) authorizes local governments to assume a broad range of powers, outlined below, to stimulate economic development. The City of Bristol may, for a period of five years, exercise these powers once two actions have been taken. First, the City Council must approve a resolution continuing the Act for the City of Bristol.  Second, the voters of Bristol must also approve the resolution by public referendum.

Powers Authorized Under the Act:

a)  To acquire and lease development property; b) to construct, rehabilitate, maintain, and equip development property; c) to sell, lease, or otherwise grant interest in development property; d) to accept property or services; e) to prepare plans for development property; f) to make loans or advances to development property sponsors; g) to protect municipal interests in development property; h) to acquire legal interest in defaulted development property; i) to borrow money and to issue bonds and notes; j) to charge and collect facility-use fees (lease payments on development properties applicable to operating, maintenance, insurance, and other expenses, including amounts necessary to cover debt service and interest payments on municipal development bonds); k) to enter into contracts; l) to make and collect administration fees; m) to promulgate regulations; n) to sue and be sued; and o) to employ personnel.

 

Explanatory Text for Local Questions
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