By Josh Resnek
The city council has decided to consider imposing term limits and reverting back to 2 year terms for the mayor’s position and at the same time, will be exploring the mechanics of giving life tenure to the city clerk.
Both of the above possibilities are governed by charter rule changes review or both and
political maneuvering at the State House which the council, and the city solicitor were unsure of .
“I wish I had my notes with me on the matter,” City Solicitor Colleen Mejia told the council.
Councilor Fred Capone supported tabling the city solicitor’s motion for two weeks as ordered by Councilor Mike McLaughlin.
Councilor Wayne Matewsky supported tabling the motion for the mayoral term limit change.
Both issues arose Monday night at city hall during the council meeting where the final vote tabled Councilor Mike Marchese and McLaughlin’s motions respectively – Marchese asking for a maximum 4 two year terms for mayor and McLaughlin requiring a closer look at how or whether or not life tenure should be given to the city clerk, or any city clerk.
“I’m in favor of this,” said Councilor Wayne Matewsky. “Let’s put it on the ballot,” he said, insisting this was the way it should be done.
“After 8 years as being mayor, you should be able to move on to bigger and better things,” Matewsky added.
As both measures require some form of charter review and then a review and or a vote of the legislature, Mejia’s inability to give a direct answer to the city clerk life tenure possibility set up the measures for added debate.
Capone asked to put off making quick decisions about which the council had no real understanding of what exactly is involved.
“Let’s find out what’s going before we go to the state,” he said. The council’s charter review e x p e r t , Councilor Peter Napolitano, said the statute is clear.
“Anything to do with an elected office requires a review by the Charter Commission,” he said. Matewsky had his own view of the process, and as a former state rep, said he knew something about the process.
“We as a body can change the charter…then our request gets sent to the state house to be approved by the House and the Senate,” he added.
Councilor Rosa DeFlorio wanted to pass both measures Monday night.
“Its prudent to get the information we need from the city solicitor,” Capone told his colleagues. “We need to hold this over to get the facts,” he said.
Most of his colleagues agreed. Both measures were tabled for two weeks.