NEW CANAAN — With a final public hearing scheduled June 1 and weeks of special meetings of the Town Council, the Charter Revision process is moving toward its resolution.

At a May 18 meeting of the Town Council, members took public comment and discussed some of the more contested issues that have come up in the revision process. Perhaps the most hotly contested of those is the language in the charter that stipulates that the first selectman will also serve as the chairman of the Board of Finance, as opposed to a system in which the volunteer board would vote on its own chairman.

The first selectman began the meeting by speaking out in defense of his role during public comment.

“If it’s not broken, please don’t fix it. This seems like a solution looking for a problem,” Mallozzi said. “These are some of the comments that volunteer members of the Board of Finance brought public during the Charter Review Commission meetings they attended. Ten members of the Board of Finance, Republicans and Democrats, and most confirmed by the Town Council, have spoken intelligently and passionately about maintaining the system they have volunteered to work under.”

Chris Le Bris, a member of the Board of Finance, followed then said the first selectman’s statements were representative of the majority of the board.

Still, the Charter Revision Commission has recommended a change. During an informal poll of the Town Council on May 18, five members voted for changing the system and five voted to leave the first selectman in place as chairman of the Board of Finance (Councilmen Penny Young and Sven Englund were not present at the meeting).

John Engel, citing Le Bris’s testimony from Board of Finance members and the perceived advantage of having the most visible man in town in charge of finance, told the council, “It would be a disaster. It would be awful.”

Councilmen in favor of changing the existing rule — Christa Kenin, Cristina Ross, Kathleen Corbet, Kevin Moynihan and Jim Kucharczyk — said they valued a system that emphasized greater separation of power

“I think it’s a good compromise. It has nothing to do with the incumbent. It doesn’t make sense to politicize the issue,” Moynihan said. He and Kenin suggested that they’d like to see even greater change to allow the public elect the Board of Finance, but said they believed it too radical for the town at this point.

Still, some council members echoed Mallozzi’s points made earlier in the evening.

“I don’t see it as a road we should even go down because the current system we use, and have enjoyed for decades, simply works.

The issue will continue to be discussed at the June 1 public hearing before the Town Council takes their final vote.

justin.papp@scni.com; newcanaannewsonline.com