Aberdeen Board Oks Amendment To End Its Own Existence

December 15, 1991|By Samuel Goldreich | Samuel Goldreich,Staff writer

The Aberdeen board of commissioners has voted itself out of existence and will be replaced next year by a mayor and city council.

The five-member board unanimously approved a charter amendment Monday that would transform the Town of Aberdeen into a city governed by an elected mayor and a four-member council in its centennial year.

The commissioners will serve until the election in May, when voters will choose their first mayor and two council members.

The other council seats would be filled in a 1993 election, allowing commissioners Macon Tucker and Ronald Kupferman to serve out their two-year terms.

Much of the amendment is cosmetic and will alter only slightly the daily routine of the town's 100 employees. "We wanted to keep it as close to what we have now but better define authority," board President George Englesson said.

Englesson fills a liaison role butholds none of the powers that the new mayor will have.

The most important change will give limited executive powers to the mayor, who will serve as a contact between the city administrator and the council.

The amendment includes the following division of powers:

* The mayor will propose the city budget but the council could

could cut or increase spending.

* The mayor will appoint and dismiss department heads with council approval.

* The mayor and council will vote on all issues.

The council will choose a president from amongits members to preside over meetings.

Board members running for mayor would have to resign their seats. The board would pick replacements to fill any vacancies.

All of the positions will remain part-time jobs with two-year terms and receive the same $5,000 annual salary paid now to board members.

The new charter also grants voters the right to pass or overturn legislation through referendums.

Anyone opposed to the amendment establishing the new form of government must gather signatures from 20 percent of the town's voters within 40 days of its adoption in order to petition for a referendum on the May ballot.

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