The City Council has taken two votes on establishing a charter revision commission in the past two months, each time failing to muster enough support to approve such a seven-member board. A was 4-2 in favor, falling one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval. A vote on Monday .
Monday's vote came shortly after a July 29 guest editorial in in which Michael Buscetto III - a former City Councilor who earned the second highest number of votes in the 2011 mayoral election - criticized the administration of Mayor Daryl Finizio and supported the formation of a commission. Buscetto also recommended that the commission reduce the mayor's term from four years to two. Some New London Patch users have urged the formation of such a commission to eliminate the strong mayor and return New London to a city manager style of government.
Councilor John Maynard, who proposed the commission for Monday's agenda, said he was not seeking to overturn or restrict the mayoral form of government. He said the commission is needed to fix issues with the authority of the mayor or City Council, such as how the charter says the council must approve the mayor's appointment of a law director but also allows the mayor to fire the law director without council approval.
Opponents of the commission said changes to the charter can be made by ordinance, and expressed concerns that a commission could make reactionary changes to the form of government in response to Finizio's first eight months in office. There were also concerns that the strong mayor form of government - reinstated for the first time in 90 years by a - has not been adequately tested and that it is premature to reconvene a commission at this point.
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