Dedham Selectmen Outline New Charter Commission
The board looks to have a committee together by March.
For the first time since the mid-1990s, the Town of Dedham will look into how it can update the Town Charter.
Selectman Sarah MacDonald, who has helped lead the charge for several years to form a Charter Commission, reignited her call late during the selectmen's meeting on Thursday evening.
The board agreed to appoint one member of the commission apiece and agree to another two members to make a seven-person commission, bypassing a "labor intensive" process to gather signatures.
"I for one am excited that it is an option," MacDonald said.
Selectmen voted to approve the creation of the commission at the meeting.
The board plans to select members by early March. Selectmen soon will post a call for applications for the two at-large seats in the meantime.
The last Charter Commission finished its work in 1995 and put in place a town administrator position with more authority than an executive secretary, the predating position.
The commission, once formed, will meet for a mandatory 18 months before disbanding.
"There is a lot on their plate and it is a lot of work, so we just need to be mindful of that," MacDonald said.
In choosing how many members would be on the board, selectmen agreed that they needed more than five because of the amount of work, but didn't want nine members, as the previous commission had.
"It is a lot of work. It is a large commitment," said board chairman Jim MacDonald. "I also think our charter has come a long way."
The town has added a finance department and reorganized the Department of Public Works since its last charter update, Jim MacDonald said.
"We've done a lot of work on the charter, but I think it is always good to review," the chairman said. "It's long, long overdue."