Windsor sets session on charter

Published 9:27 pm Monday, September 21, 2009

WINDSOR—Concerns from several town residents, including one council member, pertaining to changes in a proposed new town charter for the Town of Windsor have prompted council members to schedule a work session to discuss the issues.

The session will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the council chambers.

“I feel it is best to look at both the new and the old charter, and take in consideration the concerns of the citizens,” said council member Rita Richardson.

Windsor resident Macon Edwards, who spoke against one provision in the new document, said he did not understand the desire to replace the town administrator with a town manager.

“We as citizens of the town elect our council and our mayor, who we expect to guide us and keep the town on the right track. With an administrator, the council works as a team, and this has been good. But with a town manager, it seems that too many decisions would be made by one person. According to the powers and duties allowed him in the new charter, the council would have much less input.”

Robert Beale agreed with Edwards. “We need to stay with an administrator,” he said. “Our town needs a team, not one person making so many decisions.”

Walter Bernacki and Kim Gore, echoed the feelings of Edwards and Beale.

“I have enjoyed the way this town has been governed,” said Bernacki, adding that a manager would have too much power, and a town the size of Windsor had no need for a manager.

Town spokesman John Rowe said in a telephone interview that there is very little difference in the positions. The job would be that of the chief executive officer of the town, whether it be manager or administrator.

Gore also said she believes the provision in the new charter that gives the mayor a vote, was going too far.

“The way it is now, the mayor votes only to break a tie, and that is the way it should stay.”

During comments by council on the new charter at the September town council meeting, council member Rita Richardson said that council was not ready to vote on the measure.

“We have two members absent tonight, and this is something the entire council needs to address.”

William “Buck” Jones and Wesley Garris were not at the meeting.

Richardson then expressed her concerns about giving the mayor a vote. “I think we should let it stay like it is,” she said. “This is a tradition that we’ve always had, and we should not change it.”

Mayor Marvin Crocker said it was hard to vote “even to break a tie.

“The mayor is sort of in the middle, whatever he does,” he said. “He always has to be somewhat guarded on his vote.”