EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP)– East Longmeadow is getting ready to vote for who will run their new form of government.
The town will hold an election to decide their first ever town council on June 7. Residents looking to vote in that election will need to be registered to vote by May 18. East Longmeadow’s Town Hall is open until 8 P.M. on May 18 to allow last-minute voters to register. Voters can also register online.
Town Clerk Thomas Florence, told 22News that so far, there has been an increase in voter registration. He said that’s in part due to the town election and in part because of the upcoming presidential election.
Florence said there has also been an overwhelming interest in those looking to run for the new seven-member town council. He said as of right now, 44 people have taken out papers needed to run for one of those seats. 10 of those people have returned and filed those papers with the clerk’s office.
“I wasn’t expecting 44! I was expecting a good number of people, but to see the 44 people is great for the town to show the interest that they want to be part of their community,” Florence told 22News.
Out of those 44 people, he said there are younger adults, professionals, and some more experienced with government.
The newest selectman, Kevin Manley, has taken out and returned his papers to run for town council. Florence said, at this point he’s the only selectman to do so. Select Board Chairman Federici has taken papers, but has not yet returned them to the clerk’s office, according to Florence.
Once the new town council is chosen, they will be in charge starting July 1. Until then, the current select board is running with limited powers.
East Longmeadow has been run by a three-member select board since the late 1800’s. On April 12, the town voted to change that to allow a seven-member town council. Under the new municipal charter, the town will also now have a town manager which Florence said will be hired after July 1.
This change to a charter form of government comes after concerns of controversy and bribery were going on among the select board.
Voting on June 7, for all four precincts, will take place at Birchland Park Middle School and voting hours will be from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.