Wants return to ward voting for school committee, councilors
By JOSH RESNEK
The dean of the city council, at large Councilor Wayne Matewsky, is taking the lead in returning the city’s voters to yesterday about how the city’s voters elect their representatives on the city council and the school committee.
Two weeks ago, the city council took up the matter, at Matewsky’s request.
Now Matewsky is actively moving the measure forward by proposing a Charter change which turns back the political clock when Everett’s voters elected individual ward councilors and school committee members from the wards they reside in.
The present scheme has Everett voters electing ward councilors with citywide voting tallies.
“I’ve been around a long time. I know going back to how we always elected our councilors and school committee people makes great sense. I mean, it really has to change. The old way was the better way,” Matewsky told the Leader Herald and his colleagues two weeks ago.
Not everyone agreed with him.
Councilor Fred Capone said he believed the present voting protocol represents a purer form of democracy than returning to the old way.
“I’m not in favor of this change,” he said respectfully to his colleagues when it was discussed in the open forum two weeks ago.
However, most of the council appeared to favor a return to how voting used to take place before the last change made to the City Charter invalidated it.
Councilor Peter Napolitano said he believed the voting method should remain as they are.
“We spent an awful lot of time and relied upon a vote of the residents to make voting what it is today. I do not favor going against the people,” Napolitano said.
If the City Council passes the proposed Home Rule Petition with a two-thirds super-majority vote, the proposed charter change will then be sent to the State delegation for passage. Once passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Bill will go to the Governor for his signature for enactment.
“This form of government will allow the fairest representation throughout our community. Allowing those who live in specific wards to select their representative is only just,” said Councilor Matewsky.