Northampton Charter Review: City Council Revisions

A summary of the revisions to the Northampton City Charter as explained by members of the Charter Review Committee.

The new charter transfers the chairmanship of City Council meetings from the Mayor to the City Council President. City governance would benefit from a clearer separation of powers and a more autonomous City Council. The Mayor does not need to run Council meetings, or even be present at all Council meetings, for the two branches to regularly communicate with each other and maintain a working relationship. The proposed Charter requires the Mayor to attend Council meetings and answer specific questions upon request, ensuring full communication in public when necessary. Further, the proposed charter specifies that the Council agenda be set in consultation with the Mayor, so there won’t be any barriers to the Mayor placing important city business on the agenda.

Also, the new charter creates a new position: City Council Vice-President. The proposed changes to the Council chairmanship and how a permanent mayoral vacancy is filled necessitate the creation of such a post. The Vice-President would handle the duties of the President in the case of temporary absences, and in the event the City Council President were to become Mayor and leave the Council, the Vice-President would be elevated to Council President.

Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily represent those of Northampton Community Television.

Tags: NCTV Northampton Community Television Access Public Art Culture Bill, Dwight, Charter, Review, Committee, Revisions, Northampton, City, government, constitution, law, vote, election, 2012, City, Council

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