Board of Selectmen
The Town of Chester is governed by the Board of Selectmen with a Town Meeting form of government. This uniquely New England governmental structure has changed over the centuries, but the core functions have remained essentially the same. In the 1600s, the Board of Selectmen exercised the general power to superintend the concerns of the town. That is still true today; however, some of the specific duties have evolved. In the early days, the Selectmen ensured that the town boundaries were properly marked, and they met twice a year with the Justices of the Peace, grand jurors, constables, and tithing men to consult about the suppression of profaneness, vice, and immorality. (Some may argue that these duties should return!) From 1714 to 1798, the Selectmen and Justices of the Peace were required to inspect local schools once every quarter year; inquire into the qualifications of the master and the proficiency of the children; and give needful directions to increase knowledge, civility, and religion.
Today, the Board of Selectmen acts as the executive branch of town government. Many of the other functions now fall to various Boards and Commissions that report to the Board of Selectmen. For example, the Board of Finance is responsible for the financial administration of the Town, including preparing the annual budget and setting the mil rate. The Town Meeting is the legislative body of the Town and is open to all registered voters and property owners.
|Charlene Janecek||First Selectwoman|