Charter Review Progressing; Some Changes Possible

January 13, 2011
By

Councillor Brian Hatleberg, chair the Charter Review Sub-Committee says the review required every 10 years and now ongoing is well underway.

The concept of the review is not to examine the charter in order to make drastic changes if they’re not needed, he told the Chelsea Record during an interview last week.

“The review is all about what we can make better with significant changes in the charter,” he said.

He described the Charter Review Committee itself as a great committee that covers all the bases. With 5 councillors and 3 school committee members and with 9 members of the public, the committee is an amalgam of different people all thinking as one.

“This is not inside baseball,” Hatleberg added. “This committee is open and transparent, thoughtful and hard working.”

In order to assess the entire 9-section charter in a meaningful way, the committee has split it into major pieces.

To date, section one has been discussed without any proposals for change being made.

Section 2 may very well end up with change requests.

There is presently a proposal being discussed that would change the number of city councilors and there is apparently a second proposal on the same matter.

Some sub-committee members, according to Hatleberg, are considering going to 1 at-large councilor with the same number of council districts.

Yet another suggestion being discussed is leaving 3 at-large positions and reducing the to 4 the number of district councilors.

“Charter Review will not cause a revolution,’ said Hatleberg.

Indeed.

Charter Review is not expected to rock the boat.

The present Charter, as it is conceived and written, is a very comprehensive document leaving very little about running the city government to the imagination.

“It is an open, public process,” said Hatleberg.

“There are no agendas other than the desire to do the right thing,” he said.


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