EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – East Longmeadow residents will vote next week to change the town government. If the charter change is approved, a 7 member Town Council would replace the 3 member Board of Selectmen and the town meeting.
The Charter Commission’s been working on this proposal since last year. Chair of the Charter Commission Dawn Wiezbicki-Starks told 22News, “I would say accountability, efficiency, are the two top issues that could be resolved. We have no structural way to make the government accountable.”
John Maybury of East Longmeadow said he’s worried about town meeting members losing their voice. “The vote seems to be taken away, in so many words, in terms of no more town meetings; not as many elected officials, or appointed officials. And it changes a lot of things for the structure of East Longmeadow.”
Longtime East Longmeadow resident Richard Thurmburg said the town needs qualified leaders; “We need to look into the future. We’re always looking for continuous improvement in our life and we’re going to find it with this.”
East Longmeadow will spend an additional $125,000 to fund a new Town Manager and Town Council. That’s out of the town’s $52-million budget.
Residents will vote on the charter change April 12th.