Assembly of Delegates Postpone Attempt to Add Barnstable County Commissioners

HYANNIS – Barnstable County officials have shot down the latest attempt to restructure regional government.

The Assembly of Delegates voted to postpone taking action on a proposed ordinance Wednesday to increase the number of County Commissioners from three to five with each representing a district comprised of about 20 percent of the Cape Cod population.

Chairman of the County Commissioners Leo Cakounes said he does favor increasing the number of commissioners to five, but had a problem with the proposed ordinance.

“It just wasn’t clear enough,” Cakounes said. “It did not outline the actual five districts. It did not address whether they were partisan or non-partisan and, more importantly, it did not address the term limits.”

Cakounes said the ordinance also didn’t address how the county was going to deal with the transition period.

“I think the Assembly members realized that if they are going to bring forward a proposal like this it has to be more than one or two lines and a suggestion,” Cakounes said. “But it has to be clearly defined.”

Chatham Delegate Ronald Bergstrom said the districts would have been Bourne and Sandwich, Falmouth and Mashpee, Barnstable, Dennis and Yarmouth, and Brewster and Harwich all the way to Provincetown.

Cakounes believes the county could be on the cusp of completely restricting the regional government.

“I certainly have been trying and advocating for years on restructuring county government to provide better services to the communities that we are supposed to serve,” he said.

“I think that a total look at exactly how we get there might be in the midst.”

Cakounes said he is not in favor of just changing one or two things of the charter right now and that changes should be in-depth.

“I’m hoping that the speaker of the Assembly of Delegates would be examining that and maybe moving forward with a proposal to do a full-blown charter review,” he said.

The charter requires a review every five years. The next planned review is in 2019.

“It could be time,” Cakounes said.

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