Welcome back to MVP! It’s that time of year again! Election day is right around the corner and this November, Greenwich takes on our municipal election with local positions up for reelection. These are the local changemakers who directly impact our day to day life in the community. In anticipation of this incredibly important day in Greenwich’s political calendar, MVP is reviving our Voter Toolkit series to arm you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Today’s installment: An Introduction to your 2023 Municipal Election. When is the election? What offices will be up for reelection? What do these elected officials do?
The following positions will be up for election on November 7, 2023:
First Selectman: The chief executive officer of the town, the First Selectman functions as a town mayor. They work in tandem with the Board of Selectmen to make major decisions for the town. The First Selectman supervises numerous town departments like Fire, Police, Public Works, Law, Information Technology, and Parks and Recreation. One major responsibility of the First Selectman is to write and propose town budgets and submit them to the Board of Estimation and Taxation for revision and approval.
Board of Selectmen: The Board of Selectmen is comprised of the First Selectman and two other elected Selectpeople. These Selectpeople assist the First Selectman in making major decisions for the town and overseeing the aforementioned departments. It is important to note that no more than two members of the Board of Selectmen may belong to the same party, encouraging varying perspectives and stances on various town issues.
Board of Education: The Board of Education is just as it sounds, a board of eight members who are responsible for the town’s public school system. They enact new policy, work on education budget allocation, select the Superintendent of Schools, approve curricula, and more. Their main function is to oversee and maintain the fifteen total public schools in town.
Board of Estimation and Taxation (BET): The Board of Estimation and Taxation is a committee consisting of twelve members who are taxpayers and hold no other elected position. This aims to help maintain unbiased opinions and an active stake in the town. The Republican Town Committee and Democratic Town Committee will each nominate six people to be members of the BET, to remain fair between parties. They also appoint a chairperson from each party to lead the two sides. The chairperson holds the tie breaking vote when the committee is voting on any issue, giving them a great deal of power. The main goal of the BET is to set the town’s fiscal budget, consider town spending, and determine tax rates each year. They oversee the Finance Department and the Assessor.
Representative Town Meeting (RTM): The Representative Town Meeting is a legislative body in town consisting of 230 members elected by the 12 districts in town. They function to approve or reject budgetary decisions, amend or enforce town ordinances, decide whether the town shall accept federal or state funds for town projects, and more. Each of these members serve a two-year term and they hold monthly meetings, open to the public. You can find out more information about attending the RTM's meetings at www.greenwichct.gov.
Tax Collector: The Tax Collector is an elected, two-year position that primarily functions as a touch point for all tax paying citizens. They are responsible for collecting all property tax owed by town citizens.
Town Clerk: The Town Clerk is an elected, two-year position and functions to keep town records in order. For example, you might visit the Town Clerk’s office to prepare and print your absentee ballot or request a marriage license. This office handles all administrative and municipal records for citizens in town.
Constable: In our town, there are seven Constables who work to protect legal processes in town. They serve legal documents such as eviction notices and notices of lawsuits. Of the total seven Constables, four are appointed by the majority party and three by the minority and they serve a two-year term.
Board Of Assessment Appeals: The Board of Assessment Appeals is tasked with hearing real estate, personal property, and motor vehicle appeals for taxpayers who feel the Assessor has erred in the valuation of their properties. Members of the Board of Assessment Appeals are elected by the citizens of the Town of Greenwich every two years during municipal elections.
Each of these offices have a unique and integral set of responsibilities and you, as a constituent, have a say in who is elected! Do your part and make sure you have all the facts before you make your way to the polls.