Town Charter | Town Officials | Town Meetings | Town Ethics
The forms of town government in Connecticut are prescribed by the General Assembly through the general statutes that give "home rule" governing powers to the towns. New Englanders have a strong tradition of having a say in the democratic process and have structured their government to allow great participation by the individual. Suffield operates under a Selectman - Town Meeting - Board of Finance structure.
Suffield's Charter was passed by the voters at a town referendum during the general election on November 6, 1984. It became effective January 7, 1985. The Connecticut General Statutes contains additional laws providing for the conduct of municipal government. Municipalities are political subdivisions of the state: they have no inherent rights or powers and may act only to the extent that they are given power to act by the State Legislature. They may not assume or assert power over areas preempted by state or federal governments.
The Charter sets out the general and specific powers and duties for all elected officers, boards, and commissions. It sets out the manner of appointment for all non-elected boards, commissions, and personnel. It also defines the process for the finance and taxation functions of the town and the powers and procedures for Town Meeting.
Changes in the Charter occur through a Charter Revision Commission, the method for which is outlined in the General Statutes and the Charter. The charter is available above as a .pdf file, and hard copies are available at the Town Hall.