Minutes of the Meeting

Charter Review Commission

30 April 2002

The twentieth meeting of the Charter Review Commission began at 7:00 P.M. in the Police Station Conference Room on April 30, 2002. All members were present.

There were a few minor corrections made to the written minutes of the meeting of April 27th, in the discussion of the Finance section. The deletions were made and the wording corrected. A motion was made, seconded and so voted that the minutes be accepted as amended.

The committee was briefed on the topics we need to complete. These are:

Personnel Board

Board of Assessment Review

Town Sergeant

Proceedings, Rules and Regulations


Violations of the Charter

Conservation Commission

Water and Sewer Board

There was a discussion of the proposals for Article X - Section 1003 - Communications and Public Access. The feeling was that, as presented, this section was too detailed and could be covered under Section 1001 - Qualifications and Duties.

Section 207 (under Article II - The Town Council) - Proceedings - states:

The Town Council shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations regarding the conduct of its meetings, and all votes shall be public. The Town Council may meet in executive session in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws - Title 42 - Chapter 46 - Open Meetings (Amend of 11-3-92-II).

In regard to rules and proceedings for Boards and Commissions - this section #1001-b should read:

"It shall be the responsibility of the Town Council to develop and promulgate rules and procedures for all Boards, Commissions, and Committees, and to ensure their compliance with the State Open Meetings Laws - Title 42, Chapter 46 - and Public Records - Title 38."

* Motion was made, seconded, and so voted to accept the wording above.

(1003) Conflict of Interest and Ethics

* Motion was made, seconded, and so voted that this section should read:

"All boards and committees shall follow the guidelines for Conflict of Interest and Ethics as defined in Section 209 of this Charter."

Under the Section regarding the Amendment of the Charter (R.I. Constitution, Article XIII, Sec. 8):

Separability of Provisions of Charter

* Motion was made, seconded, and so voted that this should read:

"If any provision of this Charter is held invalid, the other provisions of the Charter shall not be affected thereby. If the application of the Charter, or any of itís provisions, to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application of the Charter, and itís provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby."

Section 1203 - Form of Ballot and Procedures

* Motion made, seconded, and so voted that this should read:

"It shall not be necessary for the full text of the Charter or of amendments to the Charter to be printed on the ballot. Any digest or description thereof or any question or statement which substantially expresses the purpose or identifies the subject matter to be voted upon shall be sufficient. When any question is to be submitted to the voters, the Town Council shall approve the statement of the question as it shall appear on the ballot. A copy of the full text of the Charter or amendment shall be posted in each polling place and such other places as may be designated by the Board of Canvassers. All proposed amendments shall have a public hearing. Should two (2) or more amendments be adopted at the same time having conflicting provisions, the one receiving the largest affirmative vote shall prevail. The sections of any amendments added to this Charter shall be appropriately numbered by the Town Clerk and inserted in their appropriate places."

Under the section of the Charter Review Committee

* Motion was made, seconded, and so voted that the phrase re: number of members be removed. It should read: "The Town Council shall appoint a Charter Review Commission to review this Charter whenever it is deemed necessary, but not longer than six years from the date of the previous review. Said Review Committee shall, within nine (9) months of its appointment, submit to the Town Council a report with recommendations for amendments or deletions.

Section 423 - Town Sergeant

* Motion was made, seconded, and so voted that this section should read:

"The Town Council shall appoint a qualified elector and resident of the Town as Town Sergeant. The Town Sergeant shall perform all of the duties and have all of the powers and authority of a Town Sergeant as provided by the laws of this State, and as may be provided by the Town Council by ordinance. The Town Council may revoke the appointment of Town Sergeant at any time."

Section 420 - Personnel Board

Most of the start-up language has been removed.

"There shall be a Personnel Board appointed by the Town Council. No member shall hold or be a candidate for any other public office or position and shall not be, or have been, for at least two (2) years prior to appointment, a member of any national, state, or local committee of a political party. Members of the Personnel Board shall be qualified electors and residents of the Town of Jamestown.

The duties of the Personnel Board shall include the following:

1. To prepare personnel policies and procedures for consideration by the Town Administrator, including

a. developing job descriptions and qualifications

b. defining conditions of employment

c. preparing a personnel handbook

2. To review the personnel policies and procedures annually with the Town Administrator who shall report to the Town Council any changes and additions.

3. To assist Town officials with the recruitment of volunteers for boards, commissions and committees."

* Motion was made, seconded, and so voted that the above language be accepted to be made part of the Charter under the Personnel Board.

There was a discussion in regard to the possibility of including the Conservation Commission in the Charter. It is included in many other Charters in the State. The consensus was that it was not necessary to include it. It seems to be functioning extremely well without being mandated by the Charter.

There shall be a new Article - Financial Provisions. This article shall include the information in sections

and new paragraphs covering the Financial Town Meeting and fiscal year.

Section 419 - Finance was changed to read:

"There shall be a department of finance headed by a Finance Director. The Finance Director shall be nominated by the Town Administrator with the approval of the Town Council. The Finance Director shall have knowledge of municipal accounting and taxation standards, and shall have had experience in budgeting and financial control.

The Finance Director shall act as Town Treasurer, Town Tax Collector, and Town Purchasing Agent.

The Finance Director shall exercise those powers and perform those duties prescribed for these offices now or in the future by the constitution and laws of the State, not inconsistent with this Charter. The Finance Director shall also have such additional powers and duties

as may be assigned by the Town Administrator.

Duties shall include:

a. to supervise and be responsible for the disbursement of all monies and have control over all expenditures to ensure that budget appropriations are not exceeded;

b. to maintain a general accounting system for the Town government and each of the offices, departments and agencies; in accordance with state and national accounting standards.

c. to keep books for and exercise financial budgetary control over each office, department and agency;

d. to keep separate accounts for the items of appropriations contained in the Town budget.

e. to require reports of receipts and disbursements from each receiving and spending agency of the Town government.

f. to prepare a monthly statement of all receipts and disbursements in sufficient detail to show the exact financial condition of the Town.

g. to prepare, as of the end of each fiscal year, a complete financial statement and report.

h. to have custody of all investments and invested funds of the Town government, or in possession of such government in a fiduciary capacity, and have the safekeeping of all bonds and notes of the Town and the receipt and delivery of Town bonds and notes for transfer, registration, or exchange.

i. To review all contracts, orders, and other documents by which the Town government incurs financial obligations to ascertain that monies have been appropriated and allotted and will be available when the obligation shall become due and payable;

j. to review for approval before payment all bills, invoices, payrolls, and other evidences of claims, demands or charges against the Town government and determine the regularity and correctness of the same;

k. to oversee the computerized financial and management information systems of the Town.

* Motion was made, seconded, and so voted to accept the language proposed under Financial Provisions as presented above.

Water and Sewer Board

We began a brief discussion of a possible Water and Sewer Board. The Council now sits as the Water and Sewer Board one evening a month. At present, there are two (2) committees that assist the Council. They are:

The Water Resource Protection Committee

Water Study Committee

The Water Study Committee is responsible for studying alternative methods to increase productivity and holding capacity for long term plans for the water system.

The Water Resource Protection Committee is responsible for acquiring real estate or any interest therein which protects or preserves water resources in Jamestown. They work together with the Finance Director, Town Planner, a member of the Conservation Commission, and four members of the community.

Our group will review the provisions of these above committees and begin our next meeting on Tuesday, May 7, with this discussion.

Motion made, seconded, and so voted to adjourn at 10:00 P.M.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, May 7, 2002 at the Police Station.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy L. Mason

Nancy L. Mason

C.R.C. Secretary