The Ware Town Charter was adopted in 2007. The Charter establishes the Town’s current form of government which includes Open Town Meeting, a five-member Board of Selectmen, and a Town Manager. Under this system, Town Meeting approves the annual budget and capital expenditures and adopts changes in local laws. The Selectmen establish policies and procedures for the direction of the Town, make appointments and oversee the Town Manager. The Town Manager oversees the daily operations of the Town. The changes made with the Charter include:
Creation of Town Manager position
Defined powers of the Board of Selectmen
Establishment of a Town Planner position
Appointed rather than elected Town Clerk
Capital Plan
Budget Process

With the Charter now seven years old, it is appropriate to review the effectiveness and efficiency of the governmental structure proposed in the charter. As a first step, the Town, through the Board of Selectmen, is conducting the following survey of residents with questions about the charter and government. The Board will present the results of the survey and seek additional input at a public forum later in the summer.

* 1. There are several forms of government permitted for a town with a population similar to Ware's. Please indicate your preference.

* 2. Town Meeting is the legislative part of Ware’s government. It approves the adoption and amendment of bylaws and authorizes the expenditure of funds. Town Meeting approves the annual budget. Ware has an Open Town Meeting where any registered voter may participate. Another option would be to elect a Representative Town Meeting where a specific number of residents from each of the three voting districts will participate. Please choose one of the following options.

* 3. From the Charter Commission, 2007: “The creation of a Town Manager position will assure accountability among all departments, as the Manager will be tasked with efficient management of staff and funds.” Please indicate whether you agree that the Town Manager position has increased efficient management and operation of Town departments.

* 4. The Board of Selectmen serves as the chief policy making agency of the Town and exercises control over Town affairs by recommending major courses of action to the Town Meeting. Should the Board of Selectmen have more authority in the operation of the Town?

* 5. The following are currently elected. Please indicate whether you feel they should continue to be elected or whether they should be appointed.

  Elected Appointed Don't Know
Planning Board
Cemetery Commission
Board of Health
Board of Assessors
Housing Authority
Park Commission

* 6. Are there other changes, large or small, that you would suggest for the Charter and the Town government?

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