BRISTOL - The City Council has appointed a new Charter Revision Commission for 2019, with six of the seven members returning from previous commissions.
New to the commission this year is Isaiah Miller, 19, a Democrat and Bristol Central High School graduate, who is currently an economics major at Wesleyan University where he is also a linebacker for the football team.
“In 2018, Isaiah was chosen by the Bristol Exchange Club for their prestigious ‘Youth of the Year’ scholarship, due not only to his outstanding academic record, but also for his commitment to community service,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu.
She said his youth and community involvement will make him a valuable member of the second Charter Revision Commission of her tenure, where he is “excited to put his passions for public policy and community service to good use.”
“I think it is so important to involve young people in the process to hear their perspective,” said Councilor Mary Fortier.
“Isaiah is one of those millennials that everyone is talking about,” said Councilor Peter Kelley. “We need them to come back and establish their families and careers in Bristol, and involving them early can only help.”
Returning members include three Republicans: Attorney Jon Fitzgerald; retired local educator Hal Kilby; and Jon Mace, controller at Gaylord Hospital.
Three Democrats will also be returning to this year’s commission: Laurie Scotti, a vice president at Lincoln Financial; retired educator Jack Krampitz; and Michelle Roalf, an office manager with McKenna Orthodontics, who is active in the school community.
The first meeting of the commission is expected to be scheduled over the coming weeks, at which time the members and the mayor will discuss priorities for the commission’s work.
“We anticipate there are probably going to be four or five big issues coming forward, as well as some usual housekeeping items that they will need to take care of as well,” she said. “They are directed to draft a report on or before June 28, 2019.”
“This is an opportunity for members of the public to weigh in if there are parts of our governing document that you think are unwieldy, or could be more transparent,” she said, noting that applies to city department heads as well.
“We always encourage members of the public to attend charter revision meetings and participate by sharing their thoughts on ways to improve the way government works in Bristol,” Zoppo-Sassu said. “Charter revisions are always voted on by the public for final approval, so the more input we have on crafting prospective changes the better.”
The 2018 commission got questions on the ballot that resulted in charter changes including staggering the terms for the Board of Education members, prohibiting sexual harassment of city employees and putting management of the city’s water and sanitary sewers in the same department. Changing the title of the city’s personnel director to director of human resources and creating a committee to advise the HR director, designating the City Council and the Finance Committee meeting together as the “Joint Board,” and clarifying the procedures the city follows when it borrows money were also changes.
The City Charter is available online by going to the Town & City Clerk’s section on the city website .
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.