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Northampton City Council may elect vice president 

— The City Council may elect a vice president Thursday night, three weeks after delaying a vote on naming a second-in-command as part of several changes called for under the city’s new charter.

The vice president would preside over council meetings in the absence of President William H. Dwight, who took over chairmanship of council meetings from the mayor at the council’s Nov. 15 meeting. That was the first meeting after voters overwhelmingly approved the new charter Nov. 6.

Thursday’s council meeting, in the Puchalski Municipal Building’s Council Chambers, begins at 7 p.m. with public comment.

The vice president position is one of many charter-related changes on the council’s docket this week, as members adapt to a document that aims to strengthen the separation between the legislative and executive bodies. The charter specifically removes the mayor from the legislative process.

In addition to electing a vice president, the council will discuss a series of recommendations spelled out by City Solicitor Alan Seewald. These include removing the mayor from membership on council committees including the Finance Committee and the Economic Development, Housing and Land Use Committee; bringing council rules into compliance with the new charter; and establishing an elected official compensation advisory board. The council also will create a five-member committee to review and revise city ordinances to make sure they comply with the charter. The council’s Appointments and Evaluations Committee is recommending that that committee include three councilors who currently sit on the Ordinance Committee — Ward 5’s David A. Murphy, Ward 1’s Maureen T. Carney and At-Large City Councilor Jesse M. Adams — as well as David Stevens, the former chair of the Charter Review Committee. City Clerk Wendy Mazza is required by the charter to be the committee’s fifth member.

There were four other applicants for spots on the committee, including Ward 7’s Eugene A. Tacy, Ward 3’s Owen Freeman-Daniels and two residents who served on the Charter Review Committee, Sam Welson and Todd Thompson.


Additional items on Nortampton City Council’s agenda Thursday

Monday, December 3, 2012

These other items are on the agenda when the City Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m.: ∎ A second vote setting the tax rate at $14.23 per thousand of assessed property value, a 88-cent increase over the current rate. If the rate is adopted, owners of an average single-family home valued at $297,323 would see their tax bill go up …

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