Group is tasked with developing strategies and recommendations on changes to the Charter
(MEDFORD)—Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn announced today that she is forming a committee that will comprehensively study the City’s current charter, gather input from the community and ultimately propose recommendations on changes and content to the existing document.
Medford’s charter establishes the City’s governing system and structure. It specifies term lengths for elected officials, the presence or absence of term limits, the composition of the City Council and School Committee, the City’s form of executive leadership, and much more.
“Medford’s charter has not been reviewed in forty years, and with antiquated and inefficient policies and procedures guiding Medford’s government structure, I have made it a priority to update the charter to be more equitable and representative of the community,” Mayor Lungo-Koehn said. “We have tried a variety of different ways to get this approved and all have been met with resistance. By forming a committee comprised of advocates, residents and community leaders, we hope to be able to get this process across the finish line.”
In January 2021 following a 4-3 Council vote in favor of the proposal in late 2020, Mayor Lungo-Koehn submitted a Home Rule Petition to the State. In June 2021 the Mayor testified in full support at a virtual hearing on the bill (you can read her full testimony here). Upon review, House Representatives have determined that a 5-2 vote of the City Council is required. Therefore, Mayor Lungo-Koehn resubmitted another request for a Home Rule Petition to create a Charter Commission at the City Council’s February 8, 2022 regular meeting. The petition is currently waiting to be discussed in the state legislative committee.
Goals and guiding principles of the Charter Study Committee:
To educate and engage the community in robust discussion about the charter and potential amendments or revisions.
To review language and processes of the current charter to determine whether or which revisions or amendments are in Medford’s best interest.
To ensure Medford’s government is representative, effective, transparent, responsive and accountable
Members of the charter committee will thoroughly examine the existing charter, work with experts, analyze best practices in comparable Cities, attend regular meetings, and conduct outreach with the public on its progress.
Residents with a background in municipal operations, or an interest in local government are encouraged to apply, though all are welcome. The deadline for applications is August 1st. Please fill out the application form here, and attach a resume.