BROOKFIELD -- With the primary election over, the next political hot potato in town is whether residents want to change how local government operates.
On Friday, the Board of Selectmen approved the wording for nine charter revision questions that will appear on the Nov. 6 election ballot.
The key issues will be whether to hire a professional town manager hired by the Board of Selectmen, and whether that board should be expanded to five members rather than the current three.
The charter also asks whether voters want to choose their first selectman and selectmen separately; currently the second choice for first selectman is automatically considered as a selectman.
The proposed charter maintains the town meeting form of government, but makes some adjustments on how many people it will take to petition government to override decisions by both the selectmen and the Board of Finance.
The Republican Town Committee has taken a unanimous position against these changes, and at the polls for the primary on Tuesday members were distributing fliers asking people to oppose the charter revisions.
The selectmen on Friday voted not only to approve the questions, but asked the town attorney to come up with explanatory text for voters so they can understand the meaning of the questions as they appear on the ballot. The selectmen also intend in the near future to assign an ad hoc committee to prepare an explanatory, non-partisan brochure to be distributed to all of the town's residents. The wording must meet approval of both the town attorney as well as the state Elections Commission.
First Selectman Bill Davidson said the town's charter is a key document for all residents, and before casting their vote they need to be properly informed about the implications of their decision. He estimated the cost for creating and mailing the brochure to be under $5,000. The explanation of the questions will also appear on the town website, Davidson said.