Bicameral Government Could End in 2013 – Charter Review Commission Suggesting Big Changes

The Everett Charter Review Committee is prepared to make some momentous decisions when push comes to shove, according to Charter Review Chairman and former mayor John Hanlon.

“We have been working long and hard to make the changes necessary to lead this city government well into the 21st Century,” he told the Independent Tuesday morning during an exclusive interview.

He said the bi-cameral government will be a thing of the past, to be replaced by a unicameral government. He also said the mayor will serve 4 years under the new charter.

The Everett Charter Commission recently released its preliminary report to a joint meeting of the aldermen and councilors last Monday night.

That report details what had been discussed and decided upon during the past 15 months.

The preliminary report is a series of recommendations.

The new charter will become law if approved by voters with a referendum.

Voters will be required to vote yes or no on the entire package put together by the Charter Commission.

Hanlon said there will be one board, called the council.

It will consist of 11 members, five elected at-large and six ward councilors.

They will serve 2-year terms.

In addition, the new council will not receive city paid for health insurance.

Councillor compensation will be $7,200 per year as compared with $5,500 paid right now.

Health insurance costs per councilor today are well in excess of $20,000 per year per councillor and aldermen.

The nine members of the Charter Review Board have so far conducted 25 meetings.

“We have used 50 charters from other communities as examples of what is being done. And we’ve tended to center on the newer charters,” Hanlon added.

He said the next meeting of the commission is scheduled for Wednesday, February 23, from 6-9 p.m. on the second floor of city hall in the hearing room

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