Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Act Concerning Membership on Regional Planning Agencies

Passed 126 to 1 in the House and 36 to 0 in the Senate in the January to June 2009 Session of the Connecticut General Assembly

This legislation increases the membership on regional planning agencies in five of the state's 15 planning regions. Previously cities and towns in the regions had two representatives on the RPA. Those with populations over 25,000 had an additional representative for every 50,000 people. The regional planning agencies are: Central Connecticut RPA, Connecticut River Estuary RPA, Greater Bridgeport RPA, Midstate RPA, and Southwestern Connecticut RPA.

The legislation makes each municipality's chief elected official or his/her designee a member or the RPA. This increases the base membership from two to three people and adds one member who is accountable to the voters. Originally, the bill was intended to make the membership of the regional planning agencies directly accountable to the electorate in preparation for securing more general government responsibility. It does make the membership more accountable to voters. But it also waters down the representation of larger communities in these regional organizations.

The legislation adds no additional responsibilities or resources to regional planning agencies.

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