Redding is governed by its Town Meeting, the Board of Selectmen, and elected and appointed boards and commissions.
In the tradition of New England democracy, the State of Connecticut gives considerable authority to its towns and provides citizens the opportunity to participate in government.
In 1959, the Town converted the Hill School to Town Hall and acquired three small frame buildings nearby for the Town Hall Annex, the Police Department, and Heritage House, a meeting place for senior citizens. In 1995, Town Hall was remodeled consistent with the historic character of the Town. In 2004, the decision was made to sell Heritage House back into private ownership with the added protection of historic easements to preserve its historic character.
Town Hall is located on Route 107, at the corner of Lonetown and Hill Roads (reachable from Route 53 or Route 58). The mailing address is Town Hall, P.O. Box 1028, Redding, CT 06875 and the hours are Monday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Town offices are closed on Fridays.
Virtually all the governing powers of the Town are vested in the Town Meeting, Redding’s legislative body. Decisions at Town Meetings are made by majority vote of everyone present who is registered to vote in Redding or who is 18 years old or older and owns property assessed at $1,000 or more on the Town’s latest grand list.
“The Call” is the agenda of a Town Meeting. The selectmen must issue a public “warning” at least five days before a meeting, stating the time and place and topics to be discussed. Only those topics called can be discussed.
A request for a referendum (a vote by machine count) must be submitted to the Town Clerk by the Selectmen or by a petition of 200 eligible voters at least 24 hours prior to a scheduled Meeting. The Meeting then selects the date of the referendum within seven to 14 days. The vote is taken at the Town polling place, the Redding Community Center.
The Biennial Election
Municipal election of all Town Officials and members of the elective Boards and Commissions is held on Election Day in every odd-numbered year. Town officials, elected for two years, are First Selectman, Town Clerk, Treasurer, Tax Collector, and Constables. Elected Boards and Commissions include Selectmen, Finance, Board of Education, Region 9 Board of Education, Planning, Zoning, Board of Assessment Appeals and members and alternates to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The lengths of terms vary.
The Democratic and Republican parties select candidates for all elective positions. Minority party representation is required. In addition, any citizen or additional party may petition to have a name placed on the ballot.
All meetings of Town Boards and Commissions, which deal with the Town’s administration, finance, land use, and education, are open to the public. Advance notification of every meeting must be posted at Town Hall. Timely minutes must also be available.
The right to meet in executive session, where only members of the board or commission are present, is governed by a statute known as the “Sunshine Law.” No official action may be taken during an executive session (Freedom of Information Act).