May 24th Volunteer Meeting–YES for a New Charter

Join volunteers to work on the YES for a New Charter campaign on Wednesday, May 24th, at the Waban Library Center from 7:30 pm to 9 pm.  Click HERE to visit the campaign website for more information or to volunteer.

LWVN Votes to Support the Proposed Charter

At this afternoon’s membership meeting, LWVN members voted to support the charter proposal in a 52-7 vote.  Special thanks to Frieda Dweck and Sallee Lipshutz, who presented the “yes” and “no” arguments to over 60 members and non-members who gathered at the Waban Library Center.  Thanks to all who helped organize the meeting, including Bonnie Carter, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Ellen Grody, Marcia Johnson, Lisa Mirabile, Linda Morrison, and Sharyn Roberts.

And, of course, a special thanks to all the Charter Commission members for tireless dedication and hard work since November 2015:  Josh Krintzman (Chair), Rhanna Kidwell (Vice-Chair), Bryan Barash, Jane Frantz, Howard Haywood, Anne Larner, Brooke Lipsitt, Karen Manning, and Chris Steele.

Charter Commission Meeting: April 26, 3017

Charter Commission Meeting

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Attending:  Josh Krintzman (chair), Rhanna Kidwell (vice-chair), Bryan Barash, Jane Frantz, Howard Haywood, Anne Larner, Brooke Lipsitt, Karen Manning,

Joined at 8:45 p.m.:  Chris Steele

Public Comment: 

???? Roberts:  in the preliminary report, mentions two significant changes.  How has effectiveness of smaller city council been proven more responsive and effective?  What is this based on?  [Then there was back and forth between this person and Josh Krintzman about this being a complicated answer that the CC has deliberated on for a long time, with lots of data to back it up.  Howard mentioned that this issue has been on th ballot twice and both times voters supported it overwhelmingly. The person who asked the question was referred to the CC website with all the documentation available there.]

Sallee Lipshutz:  looking at explanation of major changes…ask about discussion on Monday that the ward councilors at large provide ward representation.  Considers argument specious and terribly misleading.  Hope you will think about changing.

Andrea Steenstrup: thinks that proposed council will be more accountable, since can vote for every member and everyone will know that.  Can go to anyone with complaints.  That’s why they are more accountable.

Draft of Charter:

JF:  express concern on decision made over Boards and Commission…page 9.  Was brought up by one person about one Board; in serving on multiple member bodies in the City, city employees provide a valuable conduit to supervisors—could be a great loss to Boards and Commissions.  Have several thousand city employees, many of whom are very involved with the city—not just in jobs, but as citizens.  Think it’s a loss to the Board and Commissions.

BB:  remind Jane that there is still opportunity, if contemplated as part of the set-up of the Board and Commission.  Hope that it would be helpful to have a member of the department—part of the document that sets it up.

AL:  many are advisory to the Mayor—they are exempted from this.  There are a number of opportunities—are there examples that might help give a picture of her concerns?

JF:  all-citizen committees going to a supervisor and having a meeting with them—(reference to something from an earlier meeting). Sometimes employees can empower residents to take stronger action.  Not asking for a change—wanted to point out that was a concern about eliminating thousands of people who could be active members.

BL:  one other item in draft—Section 8-4, revisited special elections.  Looked at draft language—“as recommended by Election Commission”—is it the City Council alone or with EC?  No reason for each to be different…should be consistent.  Recommend/motion taking out rest of sentence after “September.”

Consensus of meeting:  all agreed.

Final Report:  went through and made minor changes.  Lots of wordsmithing!

Josh will update the report and the charter in time for tomorrow night’s meeting.  Then the Charter Commission will vote tomorrow night if it approves of the final draft.

Plans to work on website and to think about what should be in a letter to the City Council.  There is also the summary for the ballot.

Respectfully submitted by Sue Flicop.

 

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