Robert S. Robbins
Joanna M. Gwozdziowski
Michael C Jachimczyk
Gail S. Okun
Donald B. Sherer
Susan A. Nabel
Jay H. Sandak
Clarence R. Grebey III
Dudley N. Williams, Jr.
The clocked ticked forward to five minutes shy of midnight. They were there earlier than most of the other meetings for the evening, and they stayed well later than anyone else, save for the security. At just around midnight, the Charter Revision Committee began filing out into the now mostly-dark hallways.
They had tackled a 19-page monolith of dozens of charter recommendations and language revisions and designations and everything else under the sun - putting each piece up for discussion then vote.
One of the highlights of the evening was a 2-hour discussion on revisions to Stamford's current fire department structure. They would analyze every nuance of the considerations before them, going back and forth on what they hoped would be best for the city, what they wanted to accomplish to make sure a decision was fair to everyone, what they were capable of deciding on and what would need to be left up to others.
"What was recommended tonight was there would be a single Stamford fire department which would be made up of career firefighters and volunteer firefighters," said Jay Sandak, co-chair of the committee. "Our commission makes a recommendation that will be embodied in a draft report that will then go to the Board of Representatives."
He said the decision is by no means final. There's still quite a bit of process for the recommendation to go through before a decision is made, but this is a huge step forward with .
"The Board of Representatives will comment on that [recommendation] back to us," he said. "We will then issue a final report based on what the Board of Reps says. We may change things, we may not change them. The ultimate decision goes back to the Board of Reps, who will take any of our recommendations and then pass them on to be on the ballot in November."
On Monday night, that decision was one step closer to a unified fire department.When asked if he was satisfied with the movement towards a decision Freccia clarified he would associate personal feelings of joy to a board decision.
"Satisfaction isn't a word I would use one way or another," he said. "This group has worked together very, very hard since it was appointed. It's 15 volunteers that have tried to take a lot of issues—including the fire service—and clarify issues in the charter. I think I'm very satisfied with the process."
The committee will hold a public hearing on May 15, 2012, in the cafeteria of the to field comment from the public on the issues thus far. They will then hold a committee meeting the following evening to make decisions on the issues raised.