EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A new form of government, new elected leaders, and new rules; East Longmeadow residents elected a seven-member Town Council for the very first time on Tuesday- the first election since residents voted in a new form of government in April.
Starting in July, their governing body will change from a town administrator and select board, to a town council and town manager.
Erin Beck of East Longmeadow told 22News that she’s looking forward to the change. “I think we just need a fresh start and a fresh perspective, given all of the turmoil that our town has been in over the past few years with various selectmen and different challenges,” she said.
One of the biggest changes residents will notice over the next few months could help prevent future controversy. If residents are unhappy with an elected official, they’ll be able to take a recall vote to remove them from office.
Selectman Kevin Manley, one of the seven members elected to the council on Tuesday, explained to 22News that is a big difference from what residents are used to with a select board. “There was no way to get a seated board member off the board. There was no way to impeach them, there was no official procedures to do that, and no bylaws to have it done. It’s a different set up, hopefully, it’s much more efficient,” he said.
Manley also said the new form of government will be similar to a city council and mayor.
The town manager, who will be appointed by the town council, will act as the executive branch, hiring and firing employees, negotiating contracts, and creating budgets.
The town council will act as the legislative branch, representing the community, making recommendations, and voting on proposals.