The Charter Revision Commission Tuesday night unanimously voted to change the term of the Mayor from 2 years to 4 years.
After listening to Mayor Erin Stewart explain that a Mayor could get more done in four years, because there is no need to campaign every other year, the commission decided to endorse the idea.
“Two years is not long to establish yourself,” said Stewart. “Four years would allow the Mayor to be more productive. It allows you to put forward your vision without worrying about politics.”
Stewart said a 4 year term would also draw better candidates as people would be willing to quit their jobs and run for a job that is 4 years.
“There also is a concern out there that what happens when you don’t have that good of a Mayor,” said Stewart
“If you have the wrong person in office, they can do a lot of damage,” said Michael Carrier, chair of the Charter Revision Commission. “The fear is of the long term damage.”
“In the past it was very rare. What we experienced, is a once in a lifetime experience,” said Stewart.
The Commission discussed term limits for the Mayor, but decided not to take action to add that to the charter.
The revision commission also chose not to change the tax collector and town clerk to appointed positions. But suggested that the tax collector position be looked at in further studies.
In a previous meeting the Commission chose not to change the minority representation of Council members. The way residents vote for Council members will stay the same.
The next meeting for the Commission is next Tuesday. A public hearing on the changes is planned for June 1.
The proposed changes will go to the Town Council who will either approve or send the charter back to the Commission for more changes. In November residents will have the chance to vote to approve the changes or not.
In February the Charter Revision Commission was formed consisting of Adrian Baron (D), Michael Carrier (D), Catherine Cheney (R), Michael Davis (U), Peter Gostin (R), Efrain Rosado (R) and Mary Pokorski (D).
The Commission was charged with reviewing and potentially amending the following.
- Change the Collector of Taxes and City and Town Clerk from elective positions to appointed positions.
- Change the term of office for Mayor from two (2) years to four (4) years.
- Change the Common Council election provisions to ensure minority representation on the Common Council.
- Remove provisions related to boards and commissions that are unnecessary or no longer exist and replace them with references to existing boards and commissions.
Items that should be considered and potentially included in the Charter include:
- Include a compensation plan, or provisions for establishing and updating a compensation plan, for non-union, appointed and elected officials.
- Include provisions to establish a Golf Authority to oversee all operations at Stanley Golf Course.
The full report of the changes by the Commission will be made public prior to the June 1 public hearing.