Enfield Seeks Improved Review Process


On February 12, 2007, Enfield Mayor Patrick Tallarita and Town Manager Matthew Coppler convened a meeting of the Council of Chairs at Enfield Town Hall.

The meeting was called to discuss ways to improve the Town's land development and building development process.

The Council of Chairs is an ad hoc group that consists of the chairs and vice chairs of town boards and commissions. This includes the Town Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency, Historic District Commission, Revitalization Strategy Committee, Conservation Commission, and Economic Development Commission. The Executive Director of the North Central CT Chamber of Commerce was also invited.

In addition to the chairs and vice chairs, town staff liaisons attended. They included the Town Manager and Assistant Town Manager, the Director of Planning and the Director of Economic Development.

Mayor Tallarita asked each of the chairs to address the following topics:

  • What is the biggest issue facing your commission/board?
  • Is member attendance an issue on your board/commission?
  • Is Town staff responsive to your board/commission needs and requests?
  • Are there any improvements that are needed in your meeting facilities?
  • What are the top two changes you would make to or for your commission/board that you feel would improve your process?
  • Do you need more in-house training for your board/commission members?

These questions provoked a spirited dialogue and it created a better understanding of the concerns of board and commission members as well as communications between the boards.

Staff was asked to make brief presentations to the Council of Chairs. The Town's Director of Economic and Community Development gave a presentation on the topic of economic development and the land use boards. He used various reports and studies to emphasize the importance of having a review process that is clear, rational, and reliable.

The Council of Chairs venue is a good forum to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the boards and commission and the expectations of the companies.

The meeting of the boards and commissions and staff will lead to changes in the way boards and commissions receive their meeting information, more training, and an improved system of filling vacancies.

The overarching purpose of the meeting of the Council of Chairs is to assist the volunteers in performing their important regulatory duties and to discuss ways make this complex process responsive to business needs.

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