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City Council: President Can Serve 3 Years

The City Council adopted a rule change that no longer requires that City Council President to step down at the end of a one-year term.

The City Council approved a measure Wednesday, Jan. 11 that would allow a current City Council President to remain in the position for three years instead of two.

The move, which went hand-in-hand with a routine approval of the 2012 City Council Rules, essentially says that a president with one year already under his or her belt can be elected for a two-year term, effectively serving three years.

For example, if next year a council president resigned mid-term, another member would be elected by the council. Then, in 2014, instead of having to step down, that new president would have the option to run for president for a two-year term. If elected, in total they would serve three years in the position.

"I believe it would strengthen the office and strengthen the body," said current Council President Stephen Murphy, who acknowledged the rule change could benefit him.

The idea behind the change is to put the two-year president term in line with the term a city council member is elected to, in the same way that the state legislature operates.

"I appreciate the spirit of the rule," District 8 Councilor Mike Ross told the board.

The change passed, with District 4 Councilor Charles Yancey the only member opposed, saying the City Council adopts new rules once a year, so a change made now shouldn't have an effect on policies in 2014.

"I don't believe we can enact council rules that impact future city councils," he said.

Here's the language of the order, proposed by Councilor Sal Lamattina:

ORDERED: That effective in 2014, the term of the City Council President shall be two (2) years, co-terminus with the term of the City Council. And be it further

ORDERED: That effective in 2014, a member after serving one two-year term as President, may again serve as President after two (2) years have passed. And be it further

ORDERED: That effective in 2014, the rules of the City Council shall be adopted for a two-year term.

*does not include clarifying amendment added by Mike Ross.

In other news:

Councilor Yancey re-filed an annual list of motions, orders and resolutions including:

  • Order for a $110 million loan for the land acquisition, planning, designing and construction for renovations to Mattapan High School.
  • Order to expand broadcasts of City Council meetings, which are currently aired on the local access channel (Channel 12 for Comcast) from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekdays. Yancey advocated to extend coverage after 5 p.m. to make the meetings more accessible to the working public.
  • Requirement of GPS technology on all city emergency vehicles. Progress has been made on this front, with GPS equipped on all fire and EMT equipment, and some police vehicles. 
  • Ordinance to install monitors on all school buses transporting more than 35 students, along with a separate ordinance to require seat-belts on all school buses. 

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