Fairfield is updating its charter for the first time since 2006

Fairfield is revising its town charter.

Fairfield is revising its town charter.

File photo / File photo

FAIRFIELD — Residents will have a chance to share the changes they want to see in the town charter, as officials look to update it for the first time since 2006.

The recently established Charter Revision Commission will host a virtual public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 6. The public can also send their comments before or after the meeting to Pru O’Brien at PO'Brien@fairfieldct.org with Charter Revision Commission in the subject line.

“Charter revision is the fundamental process by which you can have a say in our democracy on a local level,” First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said. “It happens infrequently, so I hope you will take the time to get involved now.”

The town charter is Fairfield’s governing document that outlines the town’s form of government, elections and budget process as well as guides Fairfield on the duties of boards, commissions and elected and appointed officials.

Kupchick encouraged all residents to participate.

“When I gave my first State of the Town address in January of 2020, just 60 days after I was sworn into office, I shared with our community that charter reform was long overdue,” Kupchick said. “The town charter is our own version of a constitution by which most aspects of our town government is guided.”

Fairfield’s last charter revision was conducted 15 years ago in 2006. Kupchick said it is “generally recommended” that municipalities review their charter every 10 years.

Sensing the need to update the charter, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a resolution to establish a Charter Revision Commission on Aug. 30. Seven residents serve on the commission, including three republicans, three democrats and one unaffiliated member. According to the commission rules, only two appointees were allowed to be members of an existing municipal board or commission.

The group consists of Chair Bryan Cafferelli, Vice Chair Chris Brogan, Marlene Battista, Jay Gross, Pamela Iacono, John Mitola and John Wynne.

“I want to thank these residents for stepping up to serve on this very important commission,” Kupchick said. “The members of the commission were chosen based on experience and, or a deep understanding of our town government.”

Over the next year, the charter revision commission will listen to the public, boards, commissions and town departments to craft proposals based on potential updates. Kupchick said all proposals will be considered by the Board of Selectmen and then the approved ones will be placed on the ballot for residents to vote on in November 2022.

Fairfield has retained the assistance of Steven Mednick, an attorney Kupchick said has many years of experience assisting towns with their charter revision.

Mednick will work with the Charter Revision Commission throughout the 15-month process.