Now that the elections are over for the next couple years, the topics of Charter Change and Ward Representation seem to be hot topics that keep coming up.
I have to be honest – I’ve been following local politics for quite a while, but over 25 years under the same form of government in Medford leaves me much to understand on what the differences are. Quite frankly – I‘m sure there are folks out there much more familiar on the topics than I am. What do I know - I’m Just a Medford Guy.
So here’s what I think I know under the current form of government in Medford:
This form has a strong Mayor that basically makes all decisions – almost regardless of what the City Council does, requests and proposes.
All City Councilors are elected “At Large” and do not represent a specific “Ward” (or area of the city).
I respectfully request to posters of this blog to honestly give a PRO and a CON on any feedback you may be aware of when warranted.
My sense on Ward Representation:
PROS: A person can run for City Council much more effectively when given a small portion of the City to represent. It may be more cost effective for someone to run for City Council when they can narrow down the area of constituents.
CONS: Once elected, it may be extremely hard for another in that Ward (community) to knock off an incumbent. In my view, it might become extremely frustrating to get major issues resolved in certain parts of the City (say Wellington) if for instance a new Casino gets the approvals in Everett. That would be under the purview of that Ward – so people in South Medford, or West Medford, or other “Wards” besides Wellington might not get the representation they expect.
Above all – it looks like the power the Mayor has under the current form of government is the frustration point. Seemingly, nothing gets done in many people’s perspectives (although I am a supporter of Mayor McGlynn – and I think he does a great job. Quite honestly, I feel the work he does is “behind the scenes” and not brought to the forefront and shared for all to see the fruits of his labor.
The next question would be:What would be the next step to even explore exercising the option of these changes?