By ALEX MALM
A proposed resolution asking the General Assembly for permission to put a question on the ballot that would give the City Council advice and consent on Mayor appointments for …
By ALEX MALM
A proposed resolution asking the General Assembly for permission to put a question on the ballot that would give the City Council advice and consent on Mayor appointments for directors and department heads was rejected by the Council May 2.
Ward 2 Councilman Jeremy Rix proposed the resolution saying that after the Council’s discussion regarding term limits for the mayor and council he began doing research about other cities charters including Cranston and Providence.
Rix said that one thing he noticed is that Providence and Cranston, who both have four terms for mayor, also allow the Council advice and consent.
“That's something Warwick lacks,” said Rix.
RIx also pointed out that the state, congress, and the president have checks and balances along with many other cities and states across the country. He argued that if Warwick is going to have four year terms potentially for mayor then it makes sense to have the question of advice and consent on the ballot as well.
It was pointed out by Rix that he drafted the proposed resolutions so there wouldn’t be any disruptions by allowing the mayor to have acting directors for at least 90 days which is also the case in Providence.
Rix said that the mayor would continue to have the ability to fire any department head or director at any time for any reason.
Ahead of the meeting Rix said he had an email thread with mayor Frank Picozzi who expressed concerns about the resolution.
Rix said that he wasn’t proposing it because of the current mayor or because of the upcoming election.
“My concern here is the long term structural balance of powers and checks and balances here in our city government,” said Rix.
If passed Rix said it wouldn’t have gone into effect until 2025 meaning that regardless of who wins the mayor race this year they wouldn’t be affected until their next term assuming they won re-election.
Council President Steve McAllister said that he thinks it's too late in the General Assembly session to propose any charter changes saying that the General Assembly needs to approve it going to the ballot.
“Charter changes are something very difficult to do,” said McAllister.
McAllister said he feels there needs to be additional meetings about the different resolutions regarding charter changes before they can go to the ballot.
“I think it's too late in the term to move something like this forward,” said McAllister.
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