Tim Stewart As Mayor and Senator? City Charter Says Not So Fast

In declaring his candidacy for the vacant 6th District State Senate seat on January 7th, Mayor Tim Stewart said at his announcement he “would not rule out the possibility of keeping both jobs” if elected to the Senate.

While Stewart  may want to hold both elective offices and the salaries that go with them,  the New Britain City Charter says otherwise in Article V. Section 5.

The Mayor shall devote the full time necessary to the duties of the office and shall have no other occupation during the term of office and shall keep the office open during such hours of each business day as the Ordinances of the City shall direct.

Unlike municipalities with full-time city managers and mayor/legislative bodies, New Britain requires nothing less than a full-time mayor to manage a $220 million budget and “keep the office open.” The last revision of the city charter gave even more powers to the executive branch, making moonlighting at the State Capitol a stretch whether the charter states “no other occupation” or not.

Out of the Senate campaign starting gate, however, Stewart is showing no small amount of hubris in suggesting he could do both jobs and adequately serve the people of the 6th District and the city at the same time.

The charter prohibition aside,  city residents deserve and require a full-time CEO.

The over-reaching Mayor would have been wise to check with the corporation counsel before saying he’d keep a public office twofer under consideration.

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