EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Big changes are coming to the Town of East Longmeadow on Tuesday. For the first time ever, residents will vote-in a Town Council.
“Change is good, I think we’ve been doing the same thing for too long,” said Gregory Seiffert of East Longmeadow. “The town’s bigger than it was when we initially had this selectman process.”
The vote comes less than two months after the Select Board voted to terminate the Town Administrator’s contract, and residents voted to terminate their form of government.
After months of controversy in town, residents voted in a Town Charter in April, changing their form of government to a Town Council and a Town Manager. On Tuesday, residents will vote for seven members to be a part of that Town Council for the very first time.
East Longmeadow Town Clerk Tom Florence told 22News, “Between some of the recent events, and the time of all of this, I think all of the people in town thought it was time for a change to take place.”
Florence said residents will find 32 candidates on the ballot Tuesday. The seven candidates with the most votes will become members of the Town Council, who will then be in charge of choosing a Town Manager.
“That Town Manager will be in charge of the day-to-day decisions, and a lot of the personnel decisions with advice and consolation from the Town Council,” said Florence.
The Town Council will replace the Select Board on July 1.
“I think it will be great, I think with this new form of government there’ll be less patronizing, and we’ll be able to get some good qualified candidates, and hopefully have a better town,” said Kenneth Yarkey of East Longmeadow.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. Tuesday morning until 8 p.m. Tuesday night and Birchland Park Middle School at 55 Hanward Hill. School will be in session during that time, which could cause some traffic concerns. They’re expecting to see between 30 to 40 percent of eligible voters come here today to cast their ballots. They’re expecting peak traffic hours to be from 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 am. and 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., according to Florence.