GREENWICH — Amid the backdrop of a race for the Board of Education that has focused on the issue, a committee exploring a proposed charter change to restructure school board elections is continuing its work.
The panel has set a date of Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. for a public hearing. Chairman Barry Rickert said the goal is to have a committee vote in October and then to bring its recommendations to the Board of Selectmen, clearing the first of many hurdles it will take to get a charter change on the ballot for a public referendum.
Any change in election structure could be years away.
The current committee is not determining whether or not the rules should be changed — that was decided by a previous panel. The current group is tasked with how to make it happen.
The process is a complicated one. Changes to the school board’s structure do not currently require a referendum. Unlike other boards, school board rules can be changed by a simple vote of the Representative Town Meeting.
First Selectman Peter Tesei charged the committee with devising a road map toward referendum. It likely will require a separate, initial change to the Town Charter.
“We need answers on the timing of how much notice we need to add an item like this to an election,” Rickert said. “We also need to know if the state revises its statutes to allow for non-partisan Board of Education if we have to go to referendum again.”
The proposed charter change would make top vote-getters in each school board election seat winners, regardless of political affiliation, doing away with current policy that prevents a party from holding a majority on the board.
The hearing scheduled for September is…
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