Council does not Override Term-limit Legislation Veto

The City Council failed to get the eight votes necessary to override a rare mayoral veto of new Term Limit legislation that had passed the Council two weeks ago, but was vetoed by Mayor Carlo DeMaria last week.

Councilor Anthony DiPierro had put forth the measure of Term Limits for all elected officials in Everett at the May 12 meeting, and it passed by a close vote of 7-2 – to the surprise of some. The measure was to take effect this Jan. 1, 2022, and would limit elected officials to 10 consecutive years served. It was to advance to the State Legislature as a Home Rule Petition to change the City Charter, but in a rare move not often used in municipal government, Mayor DeMaria vetoed the piece.

In a letter to the Council read on Monday night, DeMaria said he felt term limits were not necessary when councilors and School Committee members are elected every two years, and the mayor every four years. “Regular elections give an opportunity for residents to voice their opinion on whether a candidate should represent them or not,” he wrote.

“The current City Council is a perfect example of diverse candidates that were able to earn the vote of residents,” he continued. DiPierro said he stood by the piece, and he called for the Council to override the veto. That required an eight-vote supermajority, and with Councilor Stephanie Martins absent, that was a tall task. “I know it’s a surprise to some, but the mayor and I do disagree from time to time,” he said. “I still stand by my reasoning for requesting this. I understand his reason for opposing it.” Councilor Mike Marchese said he does support the matter as well, and wanted it to go back retroactively and apply to those already serving, but was willing to take anything on the subject. “I wanted it to go retroactively, but Councilor DiPierro said he could only get it to start after the election,” he said. “I’ll take any kind of term limits we can have. Diversity will come. As we move on, diversity will come.”

Councilor Gerly Adrien said she supports term limits, but only if they are retroactive. “People are being given an additional 10 years and are not really subject to the term limits,” she said. Councilor Fred Capone said he does support term limits, but does not support changing the charter without a vote of the people – a position he has consistently stated for the past 12 months when any Charter Change has been proposed. Councilor Michael McLaughlin said he approved of the term limit legislation, but Councilor John Hanlon agreed with Mayor DeMaria in opposing the idea on merit.

The override vote failed, in a 5-5 stalemate with eight votes needed to override and send the matter to the State House. Those voting to override were Councilors Rich Dell Isola, Rosa DiFlorio, DiPierro, Marchese and McLaughlin. Those voting against the override were Councilors Adrien, Capone, Hanlon, Jimmy Tri Le, and Wayne Matewsky.

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