CHAPTER 99*
MUNICIPAL CHARTERS AND SPECIAL ACTS

      *See Conn. Const. Art. X and Sec. 2-14.

      Cited. 147 C. 60. If charter empowers legislative body of municipality to adopt and amend its own rules of order in exercising certain legislative function, such body need not act by ordinance or resolution. 148 C. 33, 44. Cited. 149 C. 631, 747. Home Rule Act covers entire field of charter drafting or amendment by municipalities so far as that is allowed to be done by them without action of general assembly. Act controls previously enacted special laws which are inconsistent with it, and methods it prescribes may be employed irrespective of any existing charter provisions. Home Rule so far as it relates to charter changes may be exercised only in accordance with provisions of general statutes. When section 2-14 is read in connection with Home Rule Act, it becomes clear that legislature intended to provide two separate methods - one with, and one without, action by general assembly - for inaugurating and securing adoption or amendment of a municipal charter. 150 C. 24. Cited. 152 C. 676. Cited. 156 C. 260. Plaintiffs as taxpayers had no standing as individuals to challenge the constitutional and legal existence of city of Danbury in action for declaratory judgment. Doctrine of de facto municipal corporations discussed. Id., 347. Cited. 171 C. 74. Cited. 172 C. 60. Cited. 174 C. 282. Cited. 178 C. 81. Cited. 180 C. 243. Cited. 182 C. 93. Cited. 185 C. 88. Provisions do not authorize a municipality to restrict the candidacy of unclassified state employees for elective office. 192 C. 399. Does not authorize municipal recall elections. 195 C. 524. Home rule act cited. 196 C. 623; 197 C. 554. Cited. 201 C. 377. Cited. 208 C. 543. Home rule act, Secs. 7-187-7-201, cited. Id. Home rule act cited. 216 C. 112. Home rule act Secs. 7-187-7-201 cited. 219 C. 217; 225 C. 378. Home Rule Act, Sec. 7-187 et seq. cited. 234 C. 513. Home Rule Act Sec. 7-187 et seq. cited. 242 C. 678.

      Secs. 7-187-7-201 home rule cited. 16 CA 213. Home Rule Act cited. 42 CA 599.

      Omission of zoning powers from enumeration of specific powers granted towns under this chapter compels conclusion that legislature did not intend that any action under this chapter should alter the declared law under the general zoning enabling act. That law is that zoning commissions have the exclusive power to enact and change zoning regulations and zone boundaries. 25 CS 378. Cited. 28 CS 286; 298; 413. Cited. 36 CS 74. Cited. 40 CS 539.


Table of Contents

Sec. 7-187. Definitions.
Sec. 7-188. Initiation of action for adoption, amendment or repeal of charter or home rule ordinance.
Sec. 7-189. Form of petition.
Sec. 7-190. Commission: Appointment, membership, duties, report, termination.
Sec. 7-191. Charters, charter amendments and home rule ordinance amendments: Hearings; draft and final report; public notice; referendum; effective date; filing of copies with Secretary of the State; file maintained by State Library.
Sec. 7-191a. Adoption of home rule ordinance.
Sec. 7-192. Existing provisions not affected. Amendments to charters. Amendment or revision of home rule ordinance. Supersedence of certain special acts by municipal ordinance. Termination of certain parking authorities and boards of health.
Sec. 7-192a. New tax not authorized by general statutes prohibited. Provisions affecting elections and electors not to be adopted.
Sec. 7-193. Required provisions. Organization of government.
Sec. 7-194. Powers.
Sec. 7-195. Consolidation of governments.
Sec. 7-196. Form of petition.
Sec. 7-197. Consolidation commission.
Sec. 7-198. Duties of commission.
Sec. 7-199. Referendum.
Sec. 7-200. Consolidation of school districts. Charter revisions in consolidation process.
Sec. 7-201. Receipt of funds. Appropriations.

      Sec. 7-187. Definitions. Whenever used in sections 7-188 to 7-193, inclusive:

      (a) "Appointing authority" means the body having authority to appoint a charter commission, charter revision commission or home rule ordinance revision commission, which shall be the board of selectmen of a town not having a council or board of directors, the council or board of directors of a town having such a council or board, the common council or other body empowered to make ordinances of a city or the board of burgesses of a borough;

      (b) "Commission" means any such charter commission, charter revision commission, or home rule ordinance revision commission;

      (c) "Home rule ordinance" means any ordinance or resolution which has been adopted by a municipality prior to October 1, 1982, in substitution for a special act relating to its government, which ordinance or resolution may contain the provisions of such special act with or without amendments and which ordinance or resolution shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution of the state or the general statutes;

      (d) "Municipality" means a town, city, borough, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 1; 1959, P.A. 678, S. 1; P.A. 81-451, S. 1, 10; P.A. 85-253, S. 1, 10.)

      History: 1959 act added home rule ordinance commission; P.A. 81-451 added definitions of "commission", "home rule ordinance" and "municipality" and rephrased definition of "appointing authority", effective October 1, 1982; P.A. 85-253 redefined "home rule ordinance" to include resolutions.

      Cited. 150 C. 26. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 196 C. 623.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 190 C. 39.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-188. Initiation of action for adoption, amendment or repeal of charter or home rule ordinance. (a) Any municipality, in addition to such powers as it has under the provisions of the general statutes or any special act, shall have the power to (1) adopt and amend a charter which shall be its organic law and shall supersede any existing charter, including amendments thereto, and all special acts inconsistent with such charter or amendments, which charter or amended charter may include the provisions of any special act concerning the municipality but which shall not otherwise be inconsistent with the Constitution or general statutes, provided nothing in this section shall be construed to provide that any special act relative to any municipality is repealed solely because such special act is not included in the charter or amended charter; (2) amend a home rule ordinance which has been adopted prior to October 1, 1982, which revised home rule ordinance shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution or the general statutes; and (3) repeal any such home rule ordinance by adopting a charter, provided the rights or benefits granted to any individual under any municipal retirement or pension system shall not be diminished or eliminated.

      (b) Any action pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be initiated by a resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the appointing authority of such municipality, or by petition filed with the clerk of such municipality for submission to the appointing authority and signed by not less than ten per cent of the electors of such municipality, as determined by its last-completed registry list; provided, in the case of a consolidated town and city having a town clerk and a city clerk, such petition shall be filed with the city clerk.

      (c) No signature on any petition filed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be valid unless it has been obtained within ninety days of the filing of the page of the petition on which it appears. Any elector signing such a petition may cause his signature to be removed at any time prior to the filing of such petition with the clerk. The clerk with whom the petition is filed shall proceed forthwith to determine its sufficiency by comparing the signatures thereon with those contained in said registry list and shall certify its sufficiency or insufficiency to the appointing authority.

      (d) After a resolution has been so adopted by the appointing authority or a petition has been so certified as sufficient, as the case may be, the appointing authority shall not adopt any resolution initiating such action and the clerk shall not accept any petition for the initiation of such action until such time as the commission appointed pursuant to such original resolution or petition has been terminated.

      (1953, S. 271d, 272d; 1957, P.A. 465, S. 2; 1959, P.A. 678, S. 2; February, 1965, P.A. 269, S. 1; P.A. 81-451, S. 2, 10; P.A. 84-153; P.A. 85-253, S. 2, 10; P.A. 87-278, S. 2, 5.)

      History: 1959 act added home rule ordinance provisions; 1965 act provided no signature is to be valid unless obtained within 90 days of filing petition; P.A. 81-451 provided that no new home rule ordinances should be adopted after October 1, 1982, and that no new petition could be accepted until a commission appointed pursuant to a previous petition had been terminated, effective October 1, 1982; P.A. 84-153 amended Subsec. (d) to apply provisions to resolutions and to clarify that only one commission can exist at any time; P.A. 85-253 amended Subsec. (a) to replace the word "revise" with the word "amend" and to add language concerning inclusion of special acts in Subdiv. (1); P.A. 87-278 inserted the word "otherwise" in the phrase "shall not otherwise be inconsistent" in Subsec. (a).

      See Sec. 7-328a re home rule action.

      Cited. 140 C. 517. Home rule, so far as it relates to charter changes, may be exercised only in accordance with general statutes. 150 C. 24. Purpose behind act is to enable municipalities to draft or amend charters without necessity of action by general assembly. 152 C. 423. As to method or procedure of assessment, the home rule act, being later in time, takes precedence over any inconsistent provisions in the Waterbury charter. Id. Act exhibits legislative intent to add a new power to those which municipalities already had without affecting existing powers. 152 C. 424. Cited. 178 C. 81. Cited. 180 C. 243. Cited. 182 C. 253. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 190 C. 736. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 216 C. 112. Cited. 234 C. 513.

      Cited. 37 CA 348.

      Adoption of municipal charter does not invalidate special acts prior thereto establishing special districts. 28 CS 413. A charter provision cannot repeal or nullify the general statutes. 31 CS 392.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-189. Form of petition. (a) The form of the petition for adopting or amending a charter or amending a home rule ordinance shall be as follows: WARNING: ALL SIGNATURES SHALL BE IN INK OR INDELIBLE PENCIL. We, the undersigned electors of the town, city or borough of (here insert name of town, city or borough), hereby present this petition under the provisions of section 7-188 requesting the appointment of a commission for (insert one of the following: "The adoption of a charter, the amendment of its charter, or the amendment of its home rule ordinance", using such words as are applicable) and we certify that we are electors of the town, city or borough of .... residing at the addresses set opposite our names and that we have signed this petition on the dates opposite our names and not more than once. (Here follow the signatures, dates and addresses.)

      (b) Each page of such petition shall contain a statement, signed under penalties of false statement as defined in section 53a-157b, by the person who circulates the same, setting forth such circulator's name and address, and which shall be in the form as follows: "Each person whose name appears on this page signed the same in person in my presence and such person is known to me or has satisfactorily identified himself to me." Any page of a petition which does not contain such a statement by the circulator shall be invalid.

      (c) Such petition may also include, immediately after the statement provided in subsection (a) of this section, a list of general or specific recommendations for consideration by such commission.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 3; 1959, P.A. 678, S. 3; February, 1965, P.A. 269, S. 2; P.A. 81-451, S. 3, 10; P.A. 85-253, S. 3, 10.)

      History: 1959 act added home rule ordinance provisions; 1965 act added provision for placing date of signing on petition; P.A. 81-451 added Subsec. (b) concerning the statement of the circulator and Subsec. (c) concerning recommendations for consideration by the commission and revised wording of petition form in Subsec. (a), effective October 1, 1982; P.A. 85-253 amended Subsec. (a) to refer to amendments of charters and home rule ordinances rather than to revisions.

      Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 196 C. 623. Cited. 234 C. 513.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-190. Commission: Appointment, membership, duties, report, termination. (a) Within thirty days after such action has been initiated by vote of the appointing authority or by certification of a petition, the appointing authority shall by resolution appoint a commission consisting of not fewer than five nor more than fifteen electors, not more than one-third of whom may hold any other public office in the municipality and not more than a bare majority of whom shall be members of any one political party, which commission shall proceed forthwith to draft a charter, or amendments to the existing charter, or amendments to the home rule ordinance, as the case may be.

      (b) The appointing authority shall direct the commission to consider those recommendations included in the petition and may make other recommendations to the commission. The commission may also consider other items for inclusion in the proposed charter, other changes to the charter or home rule ordinance and such other items as it deems desirable or necessary. The commission shall in its reports comment on each recommendation which it has been directed to consider, if any, and on such other changes or items. The appointing authority shall specify by resolution when the commission shall submit its draft report, which shall be not later than sixteen months from the date of its appointment.

      (c) The commission shall terminate upon acceptance or rejection of its final report by the appointing authority.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 4; 1959, P.A. 678, S. 4; 1967, P.A. 76; P.A. 75-179; P.A. 81-451, S. 4, 10; P.A. 83-188, S. 2; P.A. 85-253, S. 4, 10.)

      History: 1959 act added home rule ordinance provisions; 1967 act made minor change in wording; P.A. 75-179 distinguished between charter commissions and charter revision or home rule ordinance commissions re report deadlines; P.A. 81-451 divided section into subsecs., clarified language of existing provisions, required consideration of recommendations in petition and recommendations of appointing authority, changed deadline for report from 18 to 16 months from date of appointment and added Subsec. (c) re termination of commission, effective October 1, 1982; P.A. 83-188 made minor change in wording of Subsec. (b), requiring submission of draft report rather than of final report; P.A. 85-253 replaced the words "revision of" with the words "amendments to" and made certain technical changes.

      Cited. 150 C. 27. Cited. 184 C. 30. Cited. 188 C. 276. Interpretation of statute not unconstitutional. Id. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 196 C. 623. Cited. 234 C. 513.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-191. Charters, charter amendments and home rule ordinance amendments: Hearings; draft and final report; public notice; referendum; effective date; filing of copies with Secretary of the State; file maintained by State Library. (a) The commission shall hold at least two public hearings on the proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments; one prior to the beginning of any substantive work on such charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments, and one after the draft report to the appointing authority has been completed, but not submitted, after which hearings the commission may amend such report. The commission may hold such other public hearings as it deems necessary.

      (b) The commission shall submit its draft report, including the proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments, to the clerk of the municipality, who shall transmit such report to the appointing authority. The appointing authority shall hold at least one public hearing on the draft report and shall hold its last hearing not later than forty-five days after the submission of the draft report to such clerk. Not later than fifteen days after its last hearing, the appointing authority shall make recommendations to the commission for such changes in the draft report as it deems desirable.

      (c) If the appointing authority makes no recommendations for changes in the draft report to the commission within such fifteen days, the report of the commission shall be final and the appointing authority shall act on such report. If the appointing authority makes recommendations for changes in the draft report to the commission, the commission shall confer with the appointing authority concerning any such recommendations and may amend any provisions of the proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments, in accordance with such recommendations, or the commission may reject such recommendations. In either case the commission shall make its final report to the appointing authority not later than thirty days after receiving such recommendations.

      (d) Not later than fifteen days after receiving the final report, the appointing authority, by a majority vote of its entire membership, shall either approve the proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments or reject the same or separate provisions thereof. Not later than forty-five days after a vote of the appointing authority to reject such matter, a petition for a referendum thereon, signed by not less than ten per cent of the electors of such municipality, as determined by the last-completed registry list thereof, and filed and certified in accordance with the provisions of section 7-188, may be presented to the appointing authority. Not later than thirty days after approval by the appointing authority or the certification of such a petition (1) the proposed charter shall be published in full at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality, or (2) the portion of the charter or home rule ordinance being amended shall be published at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality with a notice that a complete copy of the charter or home rule ordinance and amendment is available in the town clerk's office and that a copy shall be mailed to any person who requests a copy. The town clerk shall mail or otherwise provide such copy to any person who requests a copy.

      (e) The appointing authority shall, by a majority vote of its entire membership, determine whether the proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments shall be submitted to the electors for approval or rejection at a regular election or at a special election warned and held for that purpose, which shall be held not later than fifteen months after either the approval by the appointing authority or the certification of a petition for a referendum.

      (f) The proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments shall be prepared for the ballot by the appointing authority and may be submitted in the form of one or several questions; and, if approved by a majority of the electors of the municipality voting thereon at a regular election or if approved by a majority which number equals at least fifteen per cent of the electors of the municipality as determined by the last-completed active registry list of such municipality at a special election, such proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments shall become effective thirty days after such approval unless an effective date or dates are specified therein, in which event the date or dates specified shall prevail.

      (g) Not later than thirty days after the approval by the electors of any proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments, the town or city clerk shall file, with the Secretary of the State, (1) three certified copies thereof, with the effective date or dates indicated thereon, and (2) in the case of the approval of charter or home rule ordinance amendments, three certified copies of the complete charter or ordinance incorporating such amendments. The Secretary of the State shall distribute two copies, whether tangible or intangible in form, to the State Library, where a file of such charters, charter amendments and home rule ordinance amendments shall be kept for public inspection.

      (1953, S. 271d; 1957, P.A. 465, S. 5; 1959, P.A. 678, S. 5; 1963, P.A. 184; P.A. 75-358, S. 1, 2; P.A. 77-196, S. 1; P.A. 79-207; P.A. 81-451, S. 5, 10; P.A. 82-472, S. 14, 183; P.A. 83-188, S. 3; P.A. 84-161; P.A. 85-253, S. 5, 10; P.A. 87-387, S. 3; P.A. 96-134, S. 6, 9; P.A. 00-92, S. 6; P.A. 02-89, S. 7; P.A. 03-99, S. 1; P.A. 07-227, S. 19.)

      History: 1959 act added home rule ordinance provisions and changed "general" election to "regular" election; 1963 act specified subject matter of mandatory hearing by commission and provided for referendum re rejected matter on petition of electors; P.A. 75-358 made specific provisions re effective dates for charters, home rule ordinances etc., re validations of actions of municipality or its administrative agencies or officials; P.A. 77-196 required filing with secretary of the state within 15 days rather than 7 days; P.A. 79-207 required two public hearings rather than one, one before the substantive work and one after report is drafted but before its submission; P.A. 81-451 divided section into subsecs., clarified language of existing provisions, changed time for hearing from 30 to 45 days after submission of draft report, reduced the percentage of electors necessary to force a referendum from 15% to %10, required that election be held within 15 months rather than one year after approval or certification of petition and provided that the appointing authority shall prepare the ballot, effective October 1, 1982; P.A. 82-472 made technical corrections; P.A. 83-188 made minor changes in wording of Subsec. (b); P.A. 84-161 amended Subsec. (h) to provide for 30-day filing period rather than 15-day period; P.A. 85-253 changed "revised charter" to "charter amendments" and "revised home rule ordinance" to "home rule ordinance amendments"; P.A. 87-387 added Subsec. (h)(2) re filing requirements in the case of approval of charter or home rule ordinance amendments; P.A. 96-134 added the word "active" before "registry list of such municipality" in Subsec. (f), effective May 29, 1996; P.A. 00-92 amended Subsec. (b) to require hearing "not later than" 45 days "after the submission" rather than former "within" 45 days "of the submission", and throughout the section substituted "not later than" for "within"; P.A. 02-89 deleted as obsolete former Subsec. (g) re effective date of any proposed charter, home rule ordinance or amendment or repeal thereof approved at any election on or after November 5, 1974, and prior to July 1, 1975, and re the validation of actions of a municipality or agency or official thereof taken prior to July 1, 1975, under a previously effective charter or home rule ordinance, and redesignated existing Subsec. (h) as Subsec. (g); P.A. 03-99 amended Subsec. (d) to insert Subdiv. designators (1) and (2), to delete requirement that charter or home rule ordinance amendments be published in full and to provide that the portion of the charter or home rule ordinance being amended be published and that a copy be provided by the town clerk upon request; P.A. 07-227 added reference to tangible or intangible copies in Subsec. (g), effective July 1, 2007.

      See chapter 152 (Sec. 9-369 et seq.) re holding of referenda.

      Cited. 140 C. 517. Legislature intended procedure outlined in home rule act to be a complete, self-contained method of amending charter of a city irrespective of any existing charter provision. Home rule act controls previously enacted special laws which are inconsistent with it. Home rule so far as it relates to charter changes may be exercised only in accordance with provisions of general statutes. 150 C. 24. Amendment of charter of consolidated city of Norwich to change tax and other provisions concerning its districts pursuant to sections 7-188 through 7-194, held valid when challenged by action for declaratory judgment by resident taxpayer. 155 C. 573. Cited. 184 C. 30. Cited. 188 C. 276. Interpretation of statute not unconstitutional. Id. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 196 C. 623. Cited. 234 C. 513.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-191a. Adoption of home rule ordinance. Any home rule ordinance in effect on October 1, 1982, shall be part of the organic law of the municipality and the special act superseded thereby and any other special act relating to the government of such municipality inconsistent therewith are repealed.

      (1959, P.A. 678, S. 6; P.A. 81-451, S. 6, 10.)

      History: P.A. 81-451 made ordinances in effect on October 1, 1982, a part of municipality's organic law, replacing provision which had made any home rule ordinance a part of organic law upon its adoption, effective October 1, 1982.

      Cited. 178 C. 81. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 196 C. 623.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-192. Existing provisions not affected. Amendments to charters. Amendment or revision of home rule ordinance. Supersedence of certain special acts by municipal ordinance. Termination of certain parking authorities and boards of health. (a) Every charter, special act and home rule ordinance in effect on October 1, 1982, shall continue in effect until repealed or superseded by the adoption of a charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments in accordance with this chapter, the provisions in any charter in existence on said date governing revision or amendment to the contrary notwithstanding. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the adoption of a revised home rule ordinance or home rule ordinance amendments by any method established in such home rule ordinance if the provisions concerning such method were in effect on July 15, 1959. Any municipality administering its local affairs under the provisions of the general statutes or special acts adopted prior to said date may continue to so administer its local affairs until the electors of such municipality avail themselves of the provisions of this chapter. Any municipality having as its organic law a home rule ordinance or a revised or amended home rule ordinance shall after any revision or amendment of such ordinance publish, in a single document, any such home rule ordinance and shall make such ordinance available at a nominal cost to any member of the public.

      (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the provisions of any special act relative to the number of holders of an office, or members of a board, commission, department or agency of a municipality (1) which does not administer its affairs under a charter, and (2) for which the legislative body, as defined in section 1-1, is a town meeting may be superseded by adoption of a municipal ordinance that is not otherwise inconsistent with the Constitution of the state or the general statutes.

      (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any consolidated town and city which (1) was consolidated in 1902, (2) has a mayor and board of aldermen form of government, and (3) has a population of more than one hundred thousand may terminate a parking authority established by special act in such consolidated town and city upon majority vote of the board of aldermen. The clerk of any such consolidated town and city shall notify the Secretary of the State of such termination not more than ten days after such vote.

      (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any municipality which (1) was incorporated in 1784, (2) administers its affairs under a charter and for which the legislative body is a town meeting, and (3) has a population of less than twelve thousand may terminate a board of health established in the municipality by special act by adoption of an ordinance that is not otherwise inconsistent with the Constitution of the state or the general statutes.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 6; P.A. 81-451, S. 7, 10; P.A. 85-253, S. 6, 10; P.A. 92-172, S. 1; P.A. 03-256, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 81-451 transferred former provision concerning imposition of taxes to Sec. 7-192a and added provisions concerning revision of home rule ordinance by methods in effect prior to July 15, 1959, and to publication of home rule ordinances, effective October 1, 1982; P.A. 85-253 amended section to refer to amendment of charters and home rule ordinances rather than to their revision; P.A. 92-172 amended section by designating Subsec. (a) and adding Subsec. (b) re supersedence of special acts by municipal ordinance not inconsistent with the state constitution or general statutes; P.A. 03-256 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), added Subsec. (c) re termination of a parking authority in a consolidated town or city and added Subsec. (d) re termination of a board of health in a municipality, effective June 26, 2003.

      Legislature intended procedure outlined in home rule act to be a complete, self-contained method, not involving action by general assembly, of amending charter of a city, irrespective of any existing charter provision. Act confers no power on mayor to exercise a veto. A construction which would import into these amendatory proceedings the power of veto conferred on mayor by charter would be inconsistent with procedure provided for in section 7-191. 150 C. 24. Cited. 155 C. 579. Cited. 171 C. 74. Retention of surplus was not an unauthorized exercise of taxing power in violation of statute. 178 C. 81. Charter provisions regarding consolidation prevail over parallel provisions in home rule act. 179 C. 589. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 196 C. 623.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-192a. New tax not authorized by general statutes prohibited. Provisions affecting elections and electors not to be adopted. No provision of this chapter shall be deemed to empower any municipality to levy or collect any tax not authorized by the general statutes or to adopt a charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments which shall affect matters concerning qualification and admission of electors; duties and responsibilities of registrars of voters; duties and responsibilities of town clerks with respect to electors, voting and elections; forfeiture of electoral rights and restoration of the same; absentee voting; conduct of and procedures at elections; hours of voting; canvass of electors; preliminary, final and supplementary registry lists; warning of elections; election officials and their duties and responsibilities; election canvass and returns; election contests; corrupt practices; prohibited acts with respect to elections; nomination of candidates; adoption and amendment of party rules; primaries; and political parties and enrollment therein.

      (1967, P.A. 417, S. 1; P.A. 81-451, S. 8, 10; P.A. 85-253, S. 7, 10.)

      History: P.A. 81-451 added provisions concerning new taxes, formerly in Sec. 7-192, effective October 1, 1982; P.A. 85-253 amended section to refer to amendment of charters and home rule ordinances rather than to their revision.

      Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 195 C. 524. Cited 196 C. 623.

      A town is not prohibited from adopting age requirements for local elective officers by Sec. 7-192a. 31 CS 447.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-193. Required provisions. Organization of government. (a) Any charter adopted or amended under the provisions of this chapter shall conform to the following requirements:

      (1) The municipality shall have a legislative body, which may be: (A) A town meeting; (B) a representative town meeting; (C) a board of selectmen, council, board of directors, board of aldermen or board of burgesses; or (D) a combination of a town meeting or representative town meeting and one of the bodies listed in subparagraph (C). In any combination, the body having the greater number of members shall have the power to adopt the annual budget and shall have such other powers as the charter prescribes, and the body having the lesser number of members shall have the power to adopt, amend and repeal ordinances, subject to any limitations imposed by the general statutes or by the charter. The number of members in any elective legislative body, the terms of office of such members and the method by which they are elected shall be prescribed by the charter.

      (2) The municipality shall have a chief executive officer, who may be one of the following: (A) The first selectman; (B) a chief administrative officer appointed by the board of selectmen; (C) a mayor elected by the electors of the municipality; (D) a warden elected by the electors of the borough; (E) a town, city or borough manager appointed by the board of selectmen, the council, the board of directors, the board of aldermen or the board of burgesses; (F) a chief administrative officer appointed by the mayor. Any municipality having a manager as its chief executive officer may also have a mayor who shall be the presiding officer of its legislative body, shall be the ceremonial head of such municipality and shall have such other powers and duties as the charter prescribes. The powers, duties and term of office of the chief executive officer shall be those prescribed by the general statutes and he shall have such other powers and duties as the charter prescribes.

      (b) Every municipality shall have all municipal officers, departments, boards, commissions and agencies which are required by the general statutes or by the charter. Each municipality may have any municipal officers, departments, boards, commissions and agencies which are specifically allowed by the general statutes or which are necessary to carry out any municipal powers, duties or responsibilities under the general statutes. All such officers, departments, boards, commissions and agencies shall be elected, appointed and organized in the manner provided by the general statutes, except as otherwise provided by the charter or by ordinances or resolutions adopted pursuant to such charter. Any municipality may, by charter or by ordinances or resolutions adopted pursuant to such charter, alter the method of election, appointment or organization of any or all of such officers, departments, boards, commissions or agencies, including combining or separating the duties of each, unless specifically prohibited from making such alteration by the Constitution or the general statutes.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 7; P.A. 76-296, S. 1; P.A. 81-451, S. 9, 10; P.A. 85-253, S. 8, 10; P.A. 86-230.)

      History: P.A. 76-296 included among those things prescribed by statute, the term of office of municipality's chief executive officer; P.A. 81-451 substituted "municipality" for "town, city, borough", effective October 1, 1982; P.A. 85-253 applied provisions to charter amendments; P.A. 86-230 changed the manner of subdividing the section and expanded the new Subdiv. (b) by clarifying that a municipality may alter the method of election, appointment or organization of its officers, departments, boards, commissions or agencies.

      See Sec. 9-167a re minority representation.

      Cited. 170 C. 62. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 195 C. 524. Cited. 196 C. 623. Cited. 234 C. 513.

      Cited. 41 CS 295.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 192 C. 399.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 216 C. 112. Cited. 219 C. 217.

      Because subsec. authorizes commissions to be elected, appointed and organized as provided by the charter or by ordinances or resolutions adopted pursuant to such charter, and because Plainville's charter requires five affirmative votes of the town council for the adoption of any resolution, ordinance or vote, the adoption of the resolution appointing members by only four affirmative votes renders their appointment and subsequent actions null and void. 47 CA 783. Trial court properly concluded that membership amendment was authorized by statute. However, it was improper for trial court to engage in analysis of common law doctrine of incompatible offices because language of the statute precludes it. 70 CA 358.

      Cited. 35 CS 645.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-194. Powers. Subject to the provisions of section 7-192, all towns, cities or boroughs which have a charter or which adopt or amend a charter under the provisions of this chapter shall have the following specific powers in addition to all powers granted to towns, cities and boroughs under the Constitution and general statutes: To manage, regulate and control the finances and property, real and personal, of the town, city or borough and to regulate and provide for the sale, conveyance, transfer and release of town, city or borough property and to provide for the execution of contracts and evidences of indebtedness issued by the town, city or borough.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 8; 1961, P.A. 490; 517, S. 89; 1967, P.A. 19; 1971, P.A. 802, S. 12; 1972, P.A. 279, S. 1, 2; P.A. 75-516, S. 1, 2; P.A. 79-531, S. 2; 79-618, S. 2; P.A. 80-403, S. 8, 10; 80-483, S. 19, 186; P.A. 81-219, S. 2, 3.)

      History: 1961 acts made section applicable to municipalities having a charter as well as those which adopted or amended a charter under provisions of this chapter and amended Subdiv. (50) to remove obsolete exception for court officers; 1967 act amended Subdiv. (57) to raise maximum penalty from $25 to $100; 1971 act repealed Subdiv. (41) re building code regulation; 1972 act added Subdiv. (58) re merit and civil service systems; P.A. 75-516 added Subdiv. (59) re leasing real property; P.A. 79-531 added Subdivs. (60) and (61) re fair housing and data processing services; P.A. 79-618 added Subdiv. (62) re ethics code; P.A. 80-403 added Subdiv. (63) re discriminatory practices; P.A. 80-483 made technical changes; P.A. 81-219 transferred most powers from this section to Sec. 7-148, effective October 1, 1982.

      Cited. 147 C. 60. Where charter points out particular way in which act is to be done, prescribed form must be pursued for act to be lawful. Id., 401. If charter of city grants, in general terms, power to take any land necessary to layout of highways, it is to be presumed, in absence of express words or necessary implication to the contrary, that it was not intended land already appropriated to one public use should be taken for another. Id., 478. Language in charters varies so that cases involving construction of some charters are not authoritative in determining power under others. 148 C. 233. Court held ordinances attempted to regulate public service company, and were in conflict with state policy. 152 C. 563, 566. Ability of board of education to perform its statutory duties not destroyed by requirement that it select nonprofessional employees under civil service requirements of charter. Id., 568. A town, as a creature of the state, can exercise only such powers as are expressly granted to it, or such powers as are necessary to enable it to discharge the duties and carry into effect the objects and purposes of its creation. 153 C. 236. Cited. 162 C. 497. That the legislature went to the extent of precisely enumerating numerous specific powers without mentioning subpoena power indicates it did not intend to grant municipalities such a power by way of charter adoption. 180 C. 243. Cited. 181 C. 114. Cited. 183 C. 495. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 193 C. 1. Cited. 196 C. 623. Cited. 203 C. 267. Cited. 208 C. 543. Cited. 237 C. 135. Cited. 241 C. 678.

      Cited. 1 CA 417. Cited. 42 CA 599. Home Rule Act cited. Id.

      Omission of zoning powers from enumeration of specific powers granted towns under this statute compels conclusion that legislature did not intend that any action under this chapter should alter the declared law under the general zoning enabling act. 25 CS 378, 379. Cited. 31 CS 447. Cited. 34 CS 14. Cited. 36 CS 74. Cited. 37 CS 124.

      Subdiv. (6):

      Cited. 185 C. 88.

      Subdiv. (8):

      Regulation and disposal of refuse and garbage is town power and refuse disposal operation is not a nuisance where not in arbitrary or unreasonable manner. 156 C. 304. Town has broad authority to control traffic on its public streets which includes the closing thereof to vehicular traffic. 174 C. 282. Cited. 186 C. 229.

      Subdiv. (14):

      See 156 C. 304, above.

      Subdiv. (17):

      See 174 C. 282, 284, above. "Regulate" connotes the power to permit and control as well as to prohibit and infers limitations. 181 C. 114.

      Subdiv. (25):

      Adoption of equal opportunities ordinance was valid exercise of Home Rule Act, but subdivision does not authorize municipality to create commission to resolve employment discrimination complaints. 183 C. 495.

      Subdiv. (26):

      Cited. 158 C. 100. Does not authorize a municipality to grant its governing or legislative body the power to issue subpoenas. 180 C. 243. Cited. 182 C. 253. See 183 C. 495, above. Cited. 185 C. 88.

      Subdiv. (29):

      Cited. 158 C. 100. See 183 C. 495, above.

      Subdiv. (41):

      Cited. 158 C. 100.

      Subdiv. (44):

      New Haven and Hamden ordinances requiring private water company, which also served eleven other towns, to fluoridate the water it supplied them held invalid. 152 C. 563.

      Cited. 37 CS 124.

      Subdiv. (52):

      Cited. 171 C. 78.

      Subdiv. (56):

      Cited. 152 C. 422.

      Subdiv. (57):

      Cited. 185 C. 88.

      Subdiv. (58):

      Provides authority to establish a merit or civil service system for selection and promotion, also contains implied power to establish a personnel appeals board. 35 CS 645.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-195. Consolidation of governments. (a) As used in this section and sections 7-196 to 7-201, inclusive, "unit of local government" means a town or political subdivision thereof and "political subdivision" means a city, borough or district within a town.

      (b) The consolidation of the government of any town with the government or governments of one or more political subdivisions therein shall be effected in the manner hereinafter prescribed. A proposal to consolidate setting forth the units of local government to be consolidated may be adopted by a majority vote of the entire membership of the legislative body of any unit of local government or, when the legislative body is the town meeting, by a majority vote of those present and voting. Upon adoption of such proposal, a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the legislative body of each other unit of local government included in the proposed consolidation, which legislative body shall, within thirty days of the adoption of the proposal, accept or reject the proposal. Acceptance shall be by resolution adopted by at least a majority vote of the entire membership of the legislative body of each such other unit or, when the legislative body is the town meeting, by a majority vote of those present and voting, a copy of which resolution shall forthwith be filed with the town clerk.

      (c) In addition to the method of initiating a consolidation set forth above, such action may also be initiated by petition. Such petition shall set forth the units of local government to be consolidated and shall be signed by not less than ten per cent of the electors of each political subdivision included in the proposed consolidation and by not less than ten per cent of the electors of the town, if any, residing outside the boundaries of any such political subdivision; provided, if a lesser number of signatures on such petition is required by any existing special act, such number shall be sufficient for the purposes of this section. Prior to the obtaining of any signatures on such petition, a copy thereof shall be filed with the town clerk and a period of ninety days from the date of such filing shall be allowed for the obtaining of the required signatures. Within not more than ninety days from the filing of the copy of the petition with the town clerk, the signed petition shall be filed with the town clerk, who shall proceed forthwith to determine its sufficiency by comparing the names thereon with those contained in the registry list of the town and shall certify its sufficiency or insufficiency to the presiding officer of the legislative body of the town; provided a separate petition may be signed by the electors of each political subdivision included within the proposed consolidation and by the electors residing outside the boundaries of any such political subdivision, in which case the clerk of each such political subdivision shall determine the sufficiency of the petition so far as such political subdivision is concerned and shall certify such sufficiency or insufficiency to the clerk of the town, who shall transmit the certification to the presiding officer of the legislative body of the town.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 9; 1971, P.A. 55; P.A. 80-474, S. 1, 4.)

      History: 1971 act required passage by two-thirds majority of those present and voting when legislative body is town meeting; P.A. 80-474 amended Subsec. (b) to require adoption and acceptance of consolidation by simple majority rather than two-thirds majority.

      Cited. 152 C. 676. District means geographical subdivision, inhabitants of which are invested with power to discharge some function of government. 155 C. 573. Since districts in consolidated city of Norwich are not units of local government but subdivisions of city, changes in city charter affecting them were properly made by amendment and not by consolidation procedures hereunder. Id. Cited. 171 C. 74. Cited. 179 C. 589. Cited. 184 C. 30. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 208 C. 543.

      Watertown and Oakville Fire districts are units of local government and consolidation with Watertown is governed by sections 7-195 to 7-201. 28 CS 413.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 195 C. 524.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-196. Form of petition. The form of the petition for proposing a consolidation shall be as follows: WARNING: ALL SIGNATURES SHALL BE IN INK OR INDELIBLE PENCIL. We, the electors of the town, city or borough or unit of local government of (Here insert the name of the town, city, borough or unit of local government), hereby present this petition under the provisions of section 7-195 proposing a consolidation with the following-named town, city, borough or unit of local government ...., and we certify that we are electors of the town, city, borough or unit of local government of .... residing at the addresses set opposite our names and that we have not signed this petition more than once. (Here follow the signatures and addresses.)

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 10.)

      Cited. 171 C. 74. Cited. 179 C. 589. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 208 C. 543.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-197. Consolidation commission. If, within thirty days of the adoption of the proposal to consolidate by the initiating legislative body, the legislative body of each other unit of local government included in the proposed consolidation has accepted the proposal, or if a sufficient petition has been certified to the presiding officer of the legislative body of the town, such presiding officer shall call a joint meeting of the legislative bodies of all of the units of local government included in the proposal, designate the time and place, and preside at the joint meeting. Such meeting shall by joint resolution appoint a consolidation commission of not fewer than five nor more than fifteen members. Each political subdivision included in the proposed consolidation and the area of the town, if any, outside the boundaries of any such political subdivision shall be represented on the consolidation commission, as nearly as possible, in proportion to the number of electors residing in each such political subdivision and the number of electors residing outside the boundaries of any such political subdivision; provided there shall be at least one commission member from each political subdivision in the proposed consolidation and one member from the area of the town, if any, outside the boundaries of any such political subdivision.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 11.)

      Cited. 152 C. 676. Cited. 171 C. 74. Cited. 179 C. 589. Cited. 184 C. 30. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 208 C. 543.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-198. Duties of commission. Such consolidation commission shall prepare a consolidation ordinance in which provision shall be made for the allocation of local governmental functions and services to existing offices, departments, boards, commissions or other agencies of the town, city, borough or other unit of local government; the abolition of unnecessary offices, departments, boards, commissions or other agencies; the definition of areas in which services are to be rendered; the establishment of necessary taxing districts to pay the cost of such services; the distribution of assets and liabilities, and such other matters as are required to effectuate such consolidation, including the necessary revision of the charter of any of the units of local government under consolidation so as to eliminate unnecessary offices, departments, boards, commissions or other agencies or to expand existing offices, departments, boards, commissions or other agencies and so to render such charter effective as the charter of the consolidated municipality; provided the terms of the consolidation ordinance shall not, in terms or effect, impair the contractual obligations of the town, city, borough or other unit of local government.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 12; 1963, P.A. 18, S. 1.)

      History: 1963 act deleted the word "geographical" before the word "areas" in the phrase "the definition of areas" and specifically provided for necessary charter revision, deleting a prohibition against the establishment of new offices, departments, etc.

      "Cost of such services" does not permit charges exceeding cost of acquiring, constructing and operating a sewage system; taxpayer cannot be charged for more than he is actually receiving. 171 C. 74. Cited. 179 C. 589. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 208 C. 543.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-199. Referendum. Not less than ninety days nor more than eighteen months after the appointment of such consolidation commission, such consolidation ordinance shall be submitted to the town clerk. Such ordinance shall be submitted to the electors of the town at the next general election following submission to the town clerk. A special election may be held before the next general election providing a petition for a special election is filed with the town clerk of such municipality for submission to the legislative body and signed by not less than ten per cent of the electors of such town. The sufficiency of such petition shall be determined in the manner specified in section 7-188. Such consolidation ordinance shall become effective if approved by a majority of the electors of the town voting thereon; provided such majority shall be no less than fifteen per cent of the electors as determined by the last-completed registry list of such town.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 13; P.A. 75-212, S. 1, 2.)

      History: P.A. 75-212 required submission of ordinance within 18 months rather than within one year to town clerk (previously to electors) and to voters at next general election following submission to clerk unless special election held.

      Cited. 171 C. 74. Cited. 179 C. 589. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 208 C. 543.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-200. Consolidation of school districts. Charter revisions in consolidation process. Nothing in sections 7-195 to 7-201, inclusive, shall be construed to prevent the consolidation of school districts as heretofore provided by law. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent a consolidation commission from making revisions in the charter of any of the units of local government in the process of consolidation so as more conveniently and appropriately to effectuate the process of consolidation of that unit of government with the other unit or units of government concerned; nor shall the provisions of sections 7-187 to 7-191, inclusive, apply to any such consolidation commission.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 14; 1963, P.A. 18, S. 2.)

      History: 1963 act deleted language re appointment of combined charter and consolidation commission and added provision re charter revisions to facilitate consolidation procedure.

      Cited. 179 C. 589. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 208 C. 543.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 7-201. Receipt of funds. Appropriations. Any charter commission or consolidation commission appointed under the provisions of this chapter is authorized to receive for its own use and purposes any funds or money from any source, including gifts and contributions, made by any individual, corporation or association. Any unit of local government is authorized to appropriate funds for expenses incurred by any charter commission, consolidation commission or combined charter and consolidation commission in the performance of its purposes. Within the amounts so received such commissions may engage employees and contract for the services of consultants.

      (1957, P.A. 465, S. 15.)

      Cited. 179 C. 589. Cited. 188 C. 276. Cited. 208 C. 543.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)