Reminder: Caucus in One Week

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The caucus will be preceded at 7:30 by the monthly BDTC meeting.

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How to Replace a Selectman

Yesterday, Liz Krueger resigned as a member of the Board of Selectman. Today an article appeared in the JI that states the Republican Town Committee “has the right to choose a replacement to fill the seat.”

Not quite. The town charter (ch. 2, sec. 2.5, par. A, or page 9 here) states,

A vacancy occurring in the office of First Selectman or on the Board of Selectmen, the Registrars of Voters, the Judge of Probate and the Justices of the Peace, shall be filled pursuant to the processes set forth in the General Statutes.

Chapter 146, sec. 9-222 of the Connecticut General Statute (see here) reads,

When a vacancy occurs in the office of first selectman or in the office of selectman it shall be filled within thirty days after the day of its occurrence by the remaining members of the board of selectmen. Said remaining members may appoint one of themselves to fill a vacancy in the office of first selectman, if they so desire, and shall then fill the ensuing vacancy in the office of selectman as herein provided. If such a vacancy in the office of first selectman or of selectman is not so filled within thirty days after the day of its occurrence, the town clerk shall, within ten days thereafter, notify the elective town officers enrolled in the same political party as the first selectman or selectman, as the case may be, who vacated the office, or all elective town officers, if such first selectman or selectman who vacated the office was not enrolled with a political party, and it shall be filled by such elective town officers within sixty days after its occurrence. Any person so appointed shall serve for the portion of the term remaining unexpired or until a special election called as hereinafter provided upon petition of a number of electors of such town equal to five per cent of the names on the last-completed registry list thereof, but not fewer than fifty such electors. Such petition shall be filed no later than fifteen days after the appointment by the remaining selectmen or such elective town officers, as the case may be. Such a special election shall forthwith be called by the town clerk upon the filing of such a petition with him and shall be held in accordance with the provisions of sections 9-164, 9-450 and 9-459. The term “town officers”, as used in this section, shall not include state representatives or town officers who serve on town boards whose members are not all elected at one town election for the same term.
Thus, the sequence of events is
  1. Selectman resigns.
  2. Remaining members of the Board of Selectmen have 30 days (until January 3, based on the date of Liz’s resignation) to fill the vacancy with anyone they choose. The board currently has two Democrats and two Republicans, so minority representation rules don’t come into play. The board could agree on a Republican, a Democrat, or someone unaffiliated with either party.
  3. If the BOS can’t agree on a replacement, the Town Clerk, starting January 4, has ten days (until January 13) to notify the elected Republican town officers of their right to appoint Liz’s replacement.
  4. The Republican town officers then have 20 days (until February 3) to appoint someone (20 days because the language says the appointment must be made within 60 days of the resignation).
  5. As soon as Liz’s replacement is appointed, voters have 15 days to submit a petition requesting a special election. Five percent of the electorate (approximately 170 voters) are needed to call a special election.
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Caucus Date Set

The biennial caucus of the Bolton Democratic Town Committee will be held January 16, 2018, at 8 pm at the Notch Road Municipal Center in Bolton. The caucus will be preceded at 7:30 by the regular monthly BDTC business meeting.

The caucus is held to determine the slate of town committee members who will serve for the next two years. Terms run from March 7, 2018, through March 6, 2020.

The caucus is open to all registered Democrats in Bolton.

For more information, please contact BDTC Chair Christopher Davey.

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Thank you, Gwen!

Tonight’s Board of Selectmen meeting (7 pm, Town Hall) is the last for the current board. The new board, led by Sandra Pierog, will take office next week.

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Gwen Marrion

Tonight’s meeting is thus the last for Gwen Marrion, who is retiring after four years of service. Fortunately for Bolton, Gwen doesn’t plan to disappear from public life. She remains president of the Bolton Land Trust and plans to refocus her efforts there.

Gwen and her husband, Tom, have lived in Bolton for thirty years, and Gwen has been active in town almost since their arrival. Her work on behalf of the Inland Wetlands Commission, the Heritage Farm, the Open Space Acquisition and Preservation Committee, the 2008 charter revision commission, the Bolton Land Trust, and, most recently, the Board of Selectmen has been exemplary, and Bolton is much the better for it.

Thank you, Gwen, for your service to the town. We’re sorry to see you retire from BOS but excited to see what you do next!

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On the Removal of Campaign Signs

Yesterday, as I drove around Bolton taking down the Democrats’ campaign signs, I was struck once again by how beautiful our town is.

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My path led from Bolton old to Bolton new. From our historic Town Green and the pre-revolutionary stone walls of Heritage Farm past much newer buildings and the promise of buildings yet to be. Up winding lanes past pond and marsh. Down straighter thoroughfares on which colonial-era houses mingle with neighbors of far more recent vintage. Past farmland tilled for generations, and past sites of commerce undreamed of by Bolton’s earliest residents.

I count myself lucky to live here. Like so many, I came for the schools but quickly realized Bolton offers so much more. I marked them off as I drove around: the Hop River Trail, Bentley Memorial Library, Herrick Park, Pesce’s Farm, Bolton Lake, Fish Farm, Tinker Pond.

img_1820.jpgAll of these places (and many more) form the tapestry that is Bolton. Threaded through that tapestry, bringing to life its scenes, are the people who built these places or made them possible, the people who frequent them today, the people who care for them, and the people who dream or worry about their future.

This past Tuesday, 1,500 of us made our way to Town Hall, a biannual pilgrimage to express, not with weapons and epithets but with marks on paper, our frustrations and hopes. In voting we further enriched the tapestry that is Bolton. Not because of any particular outcome but because voting itself is an act of hope, a reminder to ourselves and to our neighbors that what we have is worth continuing, worth preserving, worth building on.

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The removal of campaign signs is both an end and a beginning. Having served their purpose, these bald appeals for votes are overnight rendered little more than litter across the landscape. Their removal, the symbolic end of the campaign, restores Bolton’s familiar landscapes and vistas.

This clearing of the fields, as it were, also signals that the time has come to begin anew, to sow the seeds of rejuvenation, to roll up our sleeves and begin with our neighbors the hard work of making democracy work in this small town we love so dearly.

Thank you, Bolton. We are humbled and honored and excited to begin the hard work that lies ahead.

—Christopher Davey, Chair of the Bolton Democratic Town Committee

 

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For Your Consideration

As Bolton heads to the polls Tuesday, we ask that you consider carefully which party’s candidates are truly #BetterForBolton.

On one side is the party that has held the office of First Selectman and enjoyed majorities on BOS, BOF, BOE, and P&Z for almost all of the last twenty years.

Are you okay with their lack of accountability and transparency regarding state reimbursement for the Bolton High School renovation project? Do you mind that as much as half a million dollars of taxpayer money has been put at risk?

Are you okay with campaign materials that get the date of the election wrong or, worse, that exaggerate their top candidate’s qualifications?

Are you okay with candidates who won’t answer voters’ questions in a timely and straightforward manner?

We’re not. We believe Bolton can do better, that as citizens we deserve leaders

  • who are more transparent and accountable;
  • who understand that little things matter;
  • who are accessible—whether online, by phone, or in person at Town Hall—and who will respond to you not in days or weeks but in minutes or hours.
  • who make it easier for you to get the information you need and who let you know what they know, when they know it.

We think the choice is obvious: Sandra Pierog and the Democratic candidates are #BetterForBolton. On Tuesday, please vote Line A for Sandy and the Democratic team!

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This Week in Bolton (11/6–11/10)

Another busy week is in store for Bolton.

Tonight, November 6, the Heritage Farm Commission meets at 7 at the Notch Road Municipal Center, Room 9. The agenda is here.

Tuesday, November 7, is Election Day! Polls are open at Town Hall from 6 am to 8 pm. You can find a sample ballot here. For a list of Democratic candidates with links to their bios, look here. Schools will be closed Tuesday, so please be extra careful when driving around town!

Wednesday, November 8, the Planning and Zoning Commission meets at 7:30 at Town Hall. Two public hearings are scheduled. The first concerns a revision to the town zoning regulations to allow light manufacturing in areas zoned for “general business.” The second is a subdivision application for a four-lot open space conservation development at 114 Brandy St. (As of this writing, the agenda had not been posted to the town website.)

Thursday, November 9, the Board of Education meets at 6:30 in the BHS Library. The agenda includes a vote on a new AP U.S. government and politics textbook and a presentation on mastery-based learning at the high school.

Friday, November 10, Town Offices are closed in observance of Veteran’s Day. Schools are open, however, with BCS having a wonderful school-wide assembly to honor veterans.

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