Fairfield Selectmen approve charge for strategic plan committee
FAIRFIELD — The Board of Selectmen is looking toward Fairfield’s future.
Wednesday, the board approved the charge for a steering committee to develop a town strategic plan. The board hopes to start appointing people to the committee at its April 19 meeting.
“We held this open for two or three meetings now,” First Selectman Mike Tetreau said. “I think this is a good framework.”
Selectman Ed Bateson proposed minor changes to the charge, all of which were adopted unanimously. One change was to decrease the size of the steering committee from a minimum of five people to a minimum of three. The steering committee is expected to serve during the development of the strategic plan, while others are brought in during different phases and discussions.
Bateson said he was worried about being “locked in” to the size or makeup of the group, but Tetreau said since the committee is wholly a Board of Selectmen committee, they can make changes at any time. “It’s 100 percent within our jurisdiction to make changes as we go forward,” Tetreau said.
The steering committee will hire a planning consultant to assist in developing the plan, which is expected to take one to two years. A strategic plan for a town is a report that defines what a town wants to be in the future, combining economic drivers, government structure, social issues and initiatives like private-public partnerships and infrastructure improvements.
Since it is the town’s first attempt at such a plan, the charge states it is “more important to take the needed time to get it right than rush to meet an arbitrary deadline.” The selectmen will be updated on a quarterly basis, and other town boards as appropriate.
The committee will be expected to look at the practices in other towns to determine what can be applied in Fairfield, and involve all “stakeholders” via interviews, surveys and public hearings. The committee is expected to maintain a webpage and use various social media channels.