Minutes of the Meeting

Charter Review Commission

28 March 2002

The sixteenth meeting of the Charter Review Commission began at 7:40 P.M. in the Police Station Conference Room on Thursday, March 28, 2002. All members were present.

Motion was made, seconded, and so voted to accept the minutes as amended.

Peter and Sav have worked a sentence to fit the question of possible reasons for "Removal from office". It reads:

"In light of the recent events in Lincoln, RI, the committee would like to insert some reference to the disqualifications for Town Council members, Administrator, and Department heads, for such things as violations and convictions of civil or criminal laws, illness or any other prolonged absence".

In regard to Conflict of Interest and Ethics, the wording should be as follows:

"All elected and appointed officials and employees of the Town of Jamestown, as the same are defined in State Law, shall be subject to, and comply with, the Code of Ethics legislation of the State as set forth in Title 36, Chapter 14 of the Rhode Island General Laws, and the regulations, rules, and opinions promulgated by the Rhode Island Ethics Commission, as the same may be amended from time to time". As the conflict of interest changes in the State, so it changes in our Charter.

Section 210 - Peter and Sav will clean up the wording in section 210.

Section 403 needs more study and will probably resurface when we discuss new article "candidates".

Section 405 - Board of Assessment Review. We discussed the possibility of the addition of an auxiliary member to serve in case of a tie vote, or personal conflict. The Town solicitor is to be questioned in regard to majority of party on the Board.

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted, pending approval of the Town solicitor, to add an alternate member to the Board of Assessment Review, to ensure accurate decision making; the language for the same being up to the Town solicitor.

Section 407 - We discussed changing the title of Civil Defense Director to Emergency Management Director. We also thought that this person need not have to be required to be a resident.

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted to eliminate the residency requirement.

We discussed changing some of the wording under the building official to read that "the building official shall be responsible for the custody and proper maintenance of the engineering records, including surveys, plans, maps, and the like pertaining to Town property and projects."

Section 410 - Town Engineer

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted that the section be shortened to read:

"There may be a Town Engineer nominated by the Town Administrator with the approval of the Town Council. The engineer shall be a registered professional engineer, licensed to practice in this State."

Section 415 - Public Works

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted that residency requirement was not necessary.

Section 416 - Parks and Recreation

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted that the residency requirement was not necessary.

Section 417 - Police

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted to increase the qualifications of the Chief of Police to at least five (5) years administrative or supervisory experience above the rank of patrol officer.

We also discussed the addition of giving an advantage of 5 points to a resident for patrol officer in qualifying exams. Residency should be of five years or more. This needs more study to compare with other Town Charter requirements.

Section 418 - Fire - There had been a feeling of "donít touch it, leave it as it is". However, there had also been discussion of the Chief being a "paid Department head". At the present, the Town doesnít have much control over management of the fire department.

It was decided that we make a recommendation to the Council that the fire Chief be considered as a Department head. This was based on discussion with the present Chief and a former Chief.

Section 419 - Finance

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted to remove the residency requirement for this position.

Peter and Mike will study the wording in this section to clarify it.

Section 420 - Personnel - This needs more in depth study. Sav will extract information from other Charters for shorter language and comprehensive coverage.

Section 421 - Town Planner

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted that it will read: "There shall be a Town planner."

Sav will research additional language as to plannerís responsibilities.

Section 501 - The start-up language will be removed.

Section 503 - Vacancies

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted to add to this section: "Should none of those vote getters be willing to serve, then the Council shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy."

Section 504 - Conflict of Interest

* A motion was made, seconded, and so voted to change the title of this section to "Conflict of Interest and Ethics".

Sav will work on the language in this section; possibly adding school committee members to the Conflict of Interest section.

We by-passed sections 506, 509, and 602 for future study.

A motion was made, seconded, and so voted for adjournment at 9:55 P.M.

Dates for our next meetings will be:

Tuesday, April 9 - 7 PM - Police Station

Tuesday, April 16 - 7 PM - Police Station

Tuesday, April 23 - 7 PM - Police Station

Tuesday, April 30 - 7 PM - Police Station

Tuesday, May 7 - 5 PM - Police Station

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy L. Mason

Nancy l. Mason

C.R.C. Secretary