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Select Board Appoints 8 to Charter Review Committee

LONGMEADOW, MA – The newly-established Charter Review Committee will have eight members, rather than the six originally advertised.

After interviews and an evaluation process, the Select Board proposed naming six regular members to the committee – Dr. Anastasios Angelides, Peter Landon, David Martel, Arlene Miller, Larry Starr, and Gerald Nolet. Two non-voting alternates were also recommended for the committee – Michael Clark and Elizabeth Bone.

However, Select Board member Marie Angelides proposed expanding the committee to include eight voting members, allowing the two proposed alternates to serve as full, voting members. She said she was concerned about the makeup of the proposed committee, noting that it included only one woman and no younger members.

“I think if we extended it to eight people, we’d have more voices on the committee,” Angelides said. “It’s a really important committee. If we make the two alternates voting members, we double the number of women on the committee and we’d have younger people on the committee. I think (adding these two voting members) would have value.”

Other Select Board members agreed, and voted 4-0 to expand the size of the committee and appoint all eight as full members. Angelides abstained from the vote because her husband is one of the candidates.

The Charter Review Committee members will each serve a one-year term. The committee will advise the Select Board and town manager on any changes to the charter that “may enhance the governance of the town.” The new committee will review the composition and responsibilities of boards and committees; review the legislative procedures; review the administrative organization and financial procedures, and review any other provisions of the charter as directed by the Select Board.

The Charter Review Committee will draft policies and procedures that will then be reviewed by the Select Board. Charter changes can only be approved and implemented through a town meeting vote.

– Article by Sarah Leete Tsitso