Letter to the Editor

Points made about the City Charter

Dear Editor,

In light of last Monday’s City Council meeting and reporting by the Chelsea Record on the motion to change the City Charter brought up by Councilor Vidot and Councilor Lopez, I feel compelled to write to the editor and readers of the Chelsea Record. There were many points that night made by both myself and others prior to the vote. Its not like I just got up, called the motion cowardly and it was defeated 9-2. I get that the Chelsea Record wants to use sensationalism but that isn’t fair to its readers.

Here are some points that should be known about that subject matter.

  • The City Council was actually voting NOT on the order itself but on whether or not to OVERRULE Council President Robinson’s decision that the order went against the City Charter. A decision made by President Robinson after consulting with City Solicitor.
  • This was the first of two orders that Councilor Vidot introduced that night which went against the City Charter. She continues to not understand how our city government works.
  • In my opening statement I said this was unneeded as The City of Chelsea already HAS term limits for all appointees. They are given a three-year term.
  • We currently have openings on boards and commissions and welcome applicants and encourage residents to apply. It has been an ongoing issue that Chelsea has had difficulty filling those positions by volunteers.
  • Councilor Vidot has repeatedly voted to approve all re-appointments. If she wanted to make changes to any board or not allow any individual to serve another term, she failed to vote in that manner.
  • Councilor Vidot failed to mention she has nominated friends and supporters to the City Manager, who has appointed them and city council has approved them.
  • Councilor Vidot did not and could not prove her statement that we have had the same members on the boards and commission serve for years and years. In fact, prior to two years ago, she had never attended any of the meetings. There isn’t a board in the City that hasn’t had changes in its make up and composition.
  • Councilor Frank stated that both he and I engage with non-profits such as TND and The Chelsea Collaborative with their community members to speak about volunteering on our boards and commissions. Some of the graduates of their civics seminars have applied for the boards and have been approved. THAT is how you get people to participate. That is how you make progress.

Lastly, I want to thank our current members of the boards and commissions again for their service and time. The accusation by Councilor Vidot that the current make-up of the boards aren’t representative of Chelsea is not shared by all. I hope that the 9-2 vote by the City Council against this measure comes across to you that your service is appreciated.

See the meeting for yourself on Youtube, go to minute 31 to see the order introduced:

Roy Avellaneda

Councillor at-Large

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