Crunch time for Prov at-large seats


Dan Barbarisi today describes the pro and con on a proposed reformulation of the Providence City Council, a topic I wrote about here, as well as how the matter could be decided this week:

WHEN THE 12-3 GROUP met in [Steve] Durkee’s office on Wednesday, possibly for the last time, there was a sense of urgency in the room. A City Council public hearing on the plan is scheduled for tomorrow night, with the hope of getting the proposal on the November ballot. The council’s ordinance committee will hold the hearing at 6 p.m. tomorrow at City Hall. Then the ordinance committee will decide Thursday whether to send the proposal to the full council.

If the committee doesn’t pass it to the council, the change won’t happen this year. The deadline for submitting ballot measures to the state is Aug. 6.

And with several longtime council members expected to retire in 2010, the feeling around the table was that it’s now or never. It is unlikely the council would vote to redistrict the city and force existing council members to face one another to hold onto their seats, unless several council members planned to leave already.

Separately, the ProJo editorial board endorses the rejiggered 12-3 concept, although its assertion that "hundreds of local residents" seems subject to dispute.

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