Shocking news at the charter commission meeting last night. It turns out they are not a real charter commission due to a technicality.
The bad news was brought to the commission's attention by the State a few weeks ago, but they were waiting for guidance from the city solicitor before admitting defeat.
The problem stemmed from the wording on the ballot, and a misunderstanding about the need for collecting signatures.
Currently, the charter commission may continue as an advisory to the city council, but they aren't thrilled about that idea. There was a lot of frustration among commissioners over how this went so wrong. Several did not want to continue if they have no power. Not being a real charter commission also raised questions about spending the money appropriated by the city council for their work.
The city solicitor felt the ballot issue wasn't a fatal mistake. She said one way they can validate the ballot is with special legislation from Boston.
More than one person mentioned the Crush group as a possible resource to help get signatures to put the charter review on the ballot again.
A motion was made to immediately disband the commission, but that motion eventually failed. So it looks like they will continue for at least a few more weeks to get more answers from the city solicitor in the hope of finding a way forward.
After the meeting Carl Eager told me, "I think we were all blindsided by this".
Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse reviewing state order to release records in Heather Egan case - The mayor said the city will respond "accordingly" after reviewing the state's records order.
17 minutes ago