The Main Ballot Question

August 10, 2011
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The November election ballot is all set and certified. Now it is time for all the candidates seeking re-election or seeking election for the first time to get to work and to send out their message to the voters.

It is a citywide election and much is at stake.

But nowhere are the stakes larger than for the main question on the ballot regarding the Everett City Charter and whether it should be changed or remain the same.

If the voters approve a change, then this election will mark the last two-year mayor’s term and will spell the end of the city’s 100-year history with a bi-cameral government.

In other words, future mayors will serve four-year terms and there will be no Common Council – just a Board of Aldermen.

Those two changes alone are the rough equivalent of a small revolution when it comes to the history of government in this city.

Obviously, such a dramatic change will alter the nature of the political scene.

Mayors will no longer be running for re-election the day after they are elected. They will have two years to get going and to support their programs and then two more years to see them through.

A four-year term for mayor is an improvement over the present two-year term.

As for the Common Council ceasing to exist – this also is a great change but one which has been a long time coming.

The bi-cameral government is simply too top heavy with numbers and it makes unanimous consent on most issues almost an impossibility.

A smaller, tighter Board of Alderman will do the trick.

Competition for aldermanic positions will be intensified greatly and many former Common Councilors will likely put their names on the ballot to become Aldermen – if such a change occurs.

According to those who follow the issues in this city, the charter change is going to pass overwhelmingly.

The residents of this city are crying for change – change in how we govern ourselves, change in how we use tax revenues, change in how the future is being looked at by those in positions of responsibility.

A charter change improves and enhances the city’s political stability as well as its efficiency as a municipality.

There is still a long way to go until November.

That’s plenty of time to come to a decision about your favorite candidates and on the Charter change question.

  • Hugh Kelleher

    The people of Everett must decide this important question.  As an observer from a distance, but as Charter Commission member in Newburyport, I would merely comment that we have reached a very similar decision.  Our commission also voted in favor of a 4-year term for mayor.  Like you, we will vote on this question in November.  The times seem to demand that executives of our communities have enough time to implement their policies.  Having to run for office every 2 years can make progress very difficult.
    Hugh Kelleher
    Charter Commission member
    Newburyport, MA