Guidelines for the Hometown Hero Program
Adopted by Board of Selectmen
November 13, 1996
Amended February 23, 1998
Amended March 26, 2018
1. Background Information
The Program was initiated in 1986 by Governor William O’Neill as part of the 350th Anniversary of the founding of Connecticut. Any municipality could designate residents as “Hometown Heroes” for any deed or service that made the community a better place in which to live. State certificates were presented to the 42 individuals and 4 organizations on May 12, 1986. The following year, First Selectwoman Margaret Shanks continued the program with certificates developed for Simsbury, naming 48 designates. It has been continued since, with Hometown Heroes recognized at a ceremony during the month of May as May 12th is the date of Simsbury’s birth.
2. Criteria for Selection
A. A person(s) who is a resident, or who is active in the Simsbury community, or who lived in Simsbury during the time period that is under consideration.
B. Person(s) who has demonstrated selfless and altruistic behavior which contributes significantly to the betterment of our Town.
C. That such deed or action performed inures primarily to the Town of Simsbury, although not necessarily exclusively; and that.
D. Any individual or group that has been nominated to the Hometown Hero Award Committee (henceforth “Committee”) shall be duly considered with the following exceptions:
The hero shall not be a member of Town staff, nor a sitting elected or appointed official. Nor shall the hero have benefited economically from his/ her endeavors on behalf of the Town.
E. There will be no quotas or automatic selections by the Committee. Recognizing the premise that an abundance of awards will dilute the significance of the award, the Committee is duly charged to use its discretion in the number to be awarded.
3. The Selection Process
A. Written nominations will be requested and received during a thirty (30) day period typically occurring in whole or part during the months of March and/or April.
B. The Selection Committee shall review the names nominated for the Hometown Hero Award. The Committee shall make selection and approve the list of award recipients no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled ceremony.
C. The Town Manager’s Office shall notify all award recipients of the time and place of the award ceremony.
D. The Town Manager’s Office shall complete arrangements for the ceremony such as scheduling, publicity, and refreshments.
E. The names of award recipients will be engraved on the Hometown Heroes plaque displayed in Town Hall.
4. The Selection Committee
The Selection Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen on a biennial basis. The Selection Committee shall consist of the First Selectman, a Board of Selectmen member of the opposite party, a member of the Historical Society, a business leader, a previous hometown hero, and a member of a veterans or service organization, with the goal of non-partisanship in mind.
The membership of the Committee shall be recommended by the First Selectman and the Town Manager to the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen is the appointing authority.
Staff assistance to the Selection Committee shall include reasonable requests deemed necessary by the Committee.