Voicing Your Opinion
About Your Town Officials
Town Council members and the Town Clerk/Council Clerk are elected at large and represent all of West Hartford. The town has operated under a Council-Manager form of government since 1919. West Hartford was the first town in the state and one of the first in the country to adopt this form of government where the council acts as the elected policy board and the town manager serves as the chief executive officer responsible for carrying out the policies of the council. All Town Council members are volunteers and do not get paid for this service to their community.
Informal Ways to Voice Your Opinion
- Write or call a Town Council member.
- Send a letter to the Town Council in care of the Town Clerk/Council Clerk at 50 South Main Street,
West Hartford, CT 06107 or email Essie S. Labrot.
- Introduce yourself and talk to council members when you see them in the community.
Formal Ways to Voice Your Opinion
Any West Hartford elector or taxpayer may make written request (to the Town Clerk/Council Clerk) to address the Town Council at a Community Comment meeting regarding: (1) any subject matter(s) upon which the Council may act within the scope of its authority; or (2) community events of a charitable or nonprofit nature regarding which the signer of the communication wishes to obtain the support or participation of the Council, provided the subject matter of such communication is not otherwise subject to public hearing by the Town Council. Communications shall be placed on the agenda of the next Community Comment meeting which is not less than seven (7) days following actual receipt thereof. The signer of such communications or the spokesperson(s) for any group whose communication is so received, may address the Town Council regarding the subject thereof at the meeting at which said communication is received for up to five (5) minutes in total. See link for more details.
Under Council Standing Rules a separate portion of the agenda is called "Public Forum." A resident may speak for 3 minutes on any subject already on the Agenda (except for “Communications” items) and that is not subject to public hearing.
Public hearings are required for budget adoption and zoning and ordinance changes. They are publicized with legal notices in the newspaper (usually the "Courant"). Two public hearings are usually scheduled for the budget during mid-late March and early April. One held in the evening and one in the afternoon.
Town Meeting, Public Hearing Notices
Council meetings are usually held on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Council agendas are posted the week prior outside the Town Council Office and on the internet under Meetings & Agendas. Public hearing notices must appear in the paper at least 7, but not more than 14 days prior to the hearing.
Where to Get Town Policy Information
Any resident may view the Town Charter via this link. All ordinances that govern the town are in the Code of Ordinances books (e.g.: parking violations, noise...). The code is available online and at the West Hartford libraries. Zoning ordinance copies are available from the Town Planning and Zoning Office, Room 214 in Town Hall. Town Council meeting minutes and Public Hearings are transcribed verbatim and are available online here. Annotated agendas summarizing actions taken during town meetings are also online and are posted outside the Town Clerk’s Office. One Town Council and one Board of Education meeting is televised live on WHC-TV, channel 5, each month. Reruns are also aired on WHC-TV and on the Government & Education Channel. Live streaming video of the meetings are also hosted on WHC-TV.