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Preview: Take My Council Please Apr 4, 2011…

Councilor Walsh (Facebook)
Tonight’s City Council Meeting will feature a renewed effort by at-large Councilor Kateri Walsh and Ward 4 Councilor E. Henry Twiggs to extend the term of City Councilors to four years, coterminous with the mayor’s 4 year term.  Walsh and Twiggs are joined by councilors Melvin Edwards, Clodo Concepcion and Zaida Luna An informal survey of the state’s largest cities, Boston, Cambridge, Lowell and Worcester has found that all have two year terms for their councils.  Walsh’s proposal (we vaguely remember her trying to attach a similar clause on the petition to lengthen the mayor’s term) would give the City Council, essentially a legislative body, a term longer than any elected official in the Massachusetts Legislature or the United States House of Representatives.  Below the jump is the full text of Walsh’s petition.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1.  Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter forty-three of the General Laws or Chapter 125 of the Acts of 2007 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the city council of the city of Springfield, shall hold office for a term of four years from the first Monday of January, 2016 coterminous with the term of the mayor of said city, and until their successors are qualified with all the rights, powers and duties vested in and exercised by said city council under the charter of said city.
SECTION 2.  Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, to ascertain the will of the people of the city of Springfield, the board of election commissioners shall cause the following binding public opinion question to be placed on the official ballot to be used in the city at the next regular municipal election to be held on the eighth day of November in the year two thousand and eleven:
Shall the term of the city council of the city of Springfield be for four year coterminous with the term of the mayor?
SECTION 3.  If a majority of the voters casting a ballot on this binding question shall vote in the affirmative, the provisions of said act shall take effect at the next regular municipal election for the mayor held in the city of Springfield in November, 2016.

By way of comparison, no Western Massachusetts city council has a term in excess of two years either.  More on this after tonight’s meeting, as well as additional commentary on the subject.

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