Mayor Carlo DeMaria and City Councilor Wayne Matewsky have teamed up to propose a change of the City Charter that would affect which seats Everett residents could vote for.
Presently, for City Council and School Committee elections, the Charter allows residents to vote for both at-large seats as well as all ward seats across the City. The proposed change of the City Charter would have no effect on how at-large seats are voted on, but would alter how ward seats are voted on by limiting each ward seat to be elected by residents living in that specific ward.
If the proposed change were to pass, an Everett resident living in Ward 1 would still be able to vote for the 5 at-large members of the City Council and the 3 at-large members of the School Committee; however, this resident would be limited to voting only for the Ward 1 seat for the City Council and the Ward 1 seat for the School Committee.
“This current structure is flawed. Individuals should not have a say in which member of each body represents another ward in the City. By changing this system, it simply promotes equity and fairness throughout the entire City,” said Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “Currently, it is entirely possible that a candidate for a ward seat could receive drastically fewer votes than their opponent in their respective ward, yet still win the election by doing better elsewhere. That is not equitable nor is it fair. The residents of the ward should have the most powerful voice for who is elected as their ward representative.”
If the City Council passes the proposed Home Rule Petition with a two-thirds supermajority 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.