The agenda, or “Call”, for the October 26, 2020 RTM meeting is comprised of 18 items affecting all areas of town governance. Those items are summarized for you in this article.
To attend and participate in the full RTM meeting and the district and committee meetings, which are all public meetings, you can explore the following links:
Zoom Details for full RTM Meeting on Monday, October 26, 2020, 8:00 pm
Sign-Up to Speak on any Call Item
Explanatory Comments on Call Items
More documents, including redlined labor contracts and other materials, are available here.
Appointments (Items 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
The Appointments Committee has put forward 8 candidates for the full RTM to approve. This includes 1 candidate for the Historic District Commission and 7 candidates for the Greenwich High School Security Vestibule Building Committee. Items 1 and 2 of the call refer to candidates who have withdrawn from consideration from the Historic District Commission and the Board of Health, respectively. It is unusual, but not unheard of, for nominations for appointments to be met with any controversy or debate in the RTM and very rare for the RTM to reject an appointment.
Town Charter Amendments (Item 4)
Item 4 is the second read of a proposed change to the Town Charter that seeks to increase the number of members on the Board of Human Services from seven members to nine members. According to the Explanatory Comments: “The Board believes that it would operate more effectively with two (2) additional members since the current seven (7) members are typically assigned to three (3) or four (4) committees/groups. The Board has also expressed the need for more community visibility concerning the goals and activities of the Department of Human Services.”
RTM Rules Amendments (Items 6, 18)
Item 6 is the second read of proposed changes to the responsibilities of the Finance Committee, as detailed in the appendix of the RTM Rules. Changes include review of the Town’s Capital Projects and Operating Budgets.
Item 18 is a resolution to amend the Rules of the RTM regarding the Second Rule procedure. According to the Explanatory Comments, “Some RTM members have pointed out that petitions that do not seek to amend the charter or adopt ordinances or rules, such as a petition to adopt a SOMR, do not have binding effects and therefore do not require a second reading. Other members have pointed out that petitions which develop into complicated matters can always be subjected to a second reading by referring them back to a committee or by postponing them to a future meeting. After discussion, the L&R Committee voted to amend the Second Reading Rule to limit its applicability to charter changes, enactment or revision of ordinances and revisions of the RTM Rules. Petitions would still be subject to the Second Reading Rule if they had any of these effects.”
Ordinance Amendments (Items 5, 7)
Item 5 is the second read on an amendment to the Town’s ordinance applying to speed limits and regulations (Ch. 7, Art. 1, Sec. 7-9) for vessels in the Town’s waters. The amendment would establish a Slow-No-Wake zone between Great Captain Island and Cormorant Reef in the outer harbor of the Greenwich Harbor area.
Item 7 is also a second read on amendments to the definitions section of the Town’s existing nuisance ordinance to address blighted structures on properties. This is likely to be referred to a special committee and returned to the RTM in December.
Acceptance of Donations (Item 8)
Request by the Fire Chief to accept 2 donations totaling $5100 to be added to the mechanical and supplies account.
Labor Contracts (Items 16, 17)
Contracts for GMEA and LIUNA return to the call after consideration by the Education Committee, Finance Committee, Labor Contracts Committee and Town Services Committee. The RTM is the final vote on labor contracts after they have been negotiated and approved by union membership.
The Labor Contracts Committee (LCC) works with the Town’s labor negotiator to aid the RTM in making an informed decision because the rejection of certain contracts can result in sending a contract into arbitration. Arbitration carries some risk as the outcome could result in a contract that is more costly to the town than the negotiated contract. Instead of rejecting a contract and forcing the Town into arbitration or approving it outright, the RTM often postpones the item indefinitely, a parliamentary procedure that effectively “sends a message” that the RTM disapproves of the terms while allowing the contract to go into force.
As of this writing, the Labor Contracts Committee has voted to postpone indefinitely Items 16 and 17, and the Budget Overview Committee (BOC) has voted to reject the contract. Education voted to postpone indefinitely and Finance voted to reject the contracts.