Falmouth voters asked to elect new Charter Commission

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FALMOUTH — Under its charter, the town must create a new Charter Commission every 10 years to review the provisions that govern how the town operates.

That’s why voters are being asked June 12 to approve both the formation of a Charter Commission, and to elect six people to serve on the panel.

Amy Lamontagne, the assistant town manager, said the last Charter Commission was created in 2008, so it’s time for Falmouth to take a fresh look at the rules that regulate how each department and body of the town works.

The last time around, the Charter Commission focused on bringing the charter in line with how government is conducted in the 21st century, according to the final report.

In addition, the 2008 commission also set a series of “broad goals” it wished to promote, including “enhancing checks and balances, fostering increased participation, openness and transparency in town government (and) improving communications between the town and its citizens,” among others.

This week Lamontagne said the Charter Commission, which will be rounded out by three Town Council appointees, will hold its first meeting in July, with the hope that any proposed charter changes would be ready for the November general election.

Council Chairman Caleb Hemphill said he hopes the “electorate will validate an excellent slate of candidates” to serve on the Charter Commission, adding that all six are experienced in town affairs.

The uncontested candidates are outgoing Councilor Karen Farber, David Goldberg, William Lunt III, David McConnell, Richard Olson and Rachel Reed.

“I trust that they’ll do what’s asked and provide an excellent review,” Hemphill said.

Hemphill said he doesn’t have any specific charter clauses he would like to see changed or amended, and he has complete faith in those who will be conducting the charter review to do what’s necessary.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.