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Charter goes on to Council

Review panel's report to be considered

September 16, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Proposed changes to the town's charter, its governing document, would restructure the Board of Health.

The Town Council plans to discuss the proposed change in the final report of the Charter Review Committee, at its first October meeting, according to Council Chairman Steven Lazo. The report also proposed changes to other parts of the charter. If the Council approves them, the document would then go to state Sen. Richard Moore, D-Uxbridge and state Rep. Geraldo Alicea, D-Charlton, who would submit the changes as special legislation. Gov. Deval Patrick would have to sign the changes into law if they are approved by the House and Senate.

The Council had originally planned to discuss the matter on Monday, Sept. 27, but Lazo said Charter Review Committee Chairman Larry "Butch" McDonald could not be there to present the report, pushing the date back to October.

"The Council will have time to digest it. It is not going to be rammed down any councilor's throat," Lazo said.

After more than a year of work on the possible changes, the committee, issued its final report Wednesday, Sept. 8. The report includes other changes addition to the Board of Health's.

The report calls for turning the group from a three-person appointed group to a three-person elected group. Elections would be held the first day of July in the year after the charter change takes affect. Also, each current members' terms would expire that day. The candidate with the most votes would serve a three-year term, the second highest would serve a two-year term, and the third highest a one-year term. A coin toss would decide any tie votes.

For more on this story, please see Friday's Southbridge Evening News.

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