Greenwich has a proud history of legislative governance through the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). The RTM is a form of municipal legislature found most commonly in parts of New England.
In Greenwich, there are over 140 residents who volunteer and are approved to represent the district in which they reside. There are 12 districts in Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich. Ex officio members include the Selectman, the Town Clerk, the Town Attorney, the Chairman of the Board of Education and the members of the Board of Estimate and Taxation. All district meetings are open to the public and registered voters may speak at Town Meetings but may not vote unless a member of the Town Meeting.
The RTM structure means citizens are actively involved and aware of town budget, funding, allocations and general needs. Greenwich RTM committees include appointments, budget overview, claims, community development advisory, education, finance, health and human services, labor contracts, land use, legislative rules, parks and recreation, public works, technology advisory, town services, and transportation.
The Town Charter grants citizens elected to the RTM the power to approve certain town expenditures, appropriations and funding. They meet monthly eight months of the year, with districts and committees holding additional meetings for their members.
Each year the Board of Estimate and Taxation submits proposed appropriations to the RTM for approval and adjustments. Adjustments made by the Meeting shall be within the proposed amounts delivered by the Board. Any amount exceeding appropriations by $5000 must be approved by the RTM.
In addition to approving allocations and funding, citizens may petition and the RTM may consider other matters of public interest. An example of a recent ordinance passed by the RTM is the Reusable Checkout Bag Ordinance. Starting in September, businesses may not provide or sell single use checkout bags. Recycled paper bags will be allowed. The Conservation Commission will enforce the ordinance. The RTM also considers and approves labor contracts, such as with the police and firefighters, and capital projects, including school improvements and construction.
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Feature photo by: Nicole Honeywill