Voted Down Councilors Reject Term Limits for Mayor and Council; Life Tenure for City Clerk

At Monday’s Council meeting, Councilor Michael K. Marchese again proposed mayoral term limits that would cap the mayor’s service at eight years. The proposal would also reinstate two-year terms, which changed to four-year terms in 2013.

“It makes you a better man and a better leader when there’s an urgency to be the best you can be once a year and not once every four years,” said Marchese. “When your time’s up, your time’s up.”

Councilor Michael McLaughlin expressed his support for term limits “for all branches of government.”

“No one owns any seat,” he said. “Term limits hold us accountable to the people who put us here.”

“I’m not married to term limits in general,” said Councilor Anthony DiPierro. “We already have them, they’re called elections.”

DiPierro also departed from his colleagues on the idea of a two-year term, stating that “a newcomer would have to deal with continuously campaigning, which would make a leader afraid to make bold decisions that are probably for the better.”

Councilor Fred Capone said he understood the concerns around term limits – like the concern that a life seat could breed complacency – but ultimately argued against them.

“If you have someone who’s doing a good job, why should they be forced out?” he said. “Ultimately it’s the people’s choice. We take power away from the people when we impose term limits.”

Councilor Peter Napolitano echoed his colleague’s sentiments, stating, “Term limitations cut off qualified people who may not aspire to higher office but who do a good job at a local level.”

When presented for a vote, the proposal was voted down 6-4.

•Another measure that was voted down 7-4 was the one proposed by Council President Richard J. Dell Isola Jr., and Councilors Rosa DiFlorio, Anthony DiPierro, John F. Hanlon and Stephen Simonelli to amend sections of the City Charter to impose term limits on members of Council.

•The Council also failed to pass the proposal that would grant life tenure to the position of City Clerk, currently occupied by Sergio Cornelio. Seven councilors voted in favor of the measure, while four voted against it. However, because it needed a supermajority of eight votes, it still failed to pass.

Everett resident and former candidate for State Rep. Gerly Adrien, spoke in support of term limits across the board, stating that an individual who aspires to run for a certain office should have the ability to do so. She cited Cornelio’s own aspirations as a young person to the position of City Clerk.

“If I want to be a city clerk, I wouldn’t be able to if [the City Clerk] has a lifetime appointment and I don’t think that’s fair,” she said.

The next meetings will be April 8 and April 22.

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