Modest increase or 'overhaul' possible for Advisory Council
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Wed., Jan. 23, 2013
On Tuesday, Jan. 22, the South Windsor Town Council held a public hearing on the proposed amendment to the South Windsor Code of Ordinances, Ordinance #83, Article IV, Advisory Council, section 26-101. This section deals with the composition of the town's Advisory Council, saying is shall consist of the chief of police, fire chief, superintendent of schools, director of public works, and “not less than three private citizens representing divergent interests within the town.” The section also stipulates that the council shall elect one of the private citizens as its chairman.
“The proposal is to increase the number of private citizens to seven,” said Town Councilor Saud Anwar, who recommended the proposal. The purpose of this is to enhance the capacity of first responders to do their job by involving more members of the community.
Mike Sullivan took the opportunity to speak on the proposal. He observed that no previous efforts have been made to include the public, and though he applauds the idea, he wanted to know why this has not been done before. “Was it too complicated to include three members of the public, and was there no interest, no need, or no confidence in what the public might bring?” he asked. He wanted to know how bringing the number to seven will help the council and the advisory board.
Police Chief Matthew Reed also spoke at the hearing. “Mr. Sullivan is correct - in years past, I don't know if the town has met its full requirement in terms of the ordinance here,” he said, saying there is no civil preparedness agency in town. “I think it's appropriate that this be modified somehow. I just think this change is too little. I think it needs an overhaul.”
Reed wanted not only citizen involvement, but clearly outlined responsibilities for participants, such as a Community Emergency Response Team. “I think we can make some bigger changes,” he said.
Because Anwar had to leave early on medical business, the council tabled discussion and a vote for a later meeting.