Assembly of Delegates Votes in Favor of Expanding Number of County Commissioners

BARNSTABLE –The Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates have voted to expand the board of county commissioners from three to five members, restructuring the regional government’s executive branch.

The members would be elected from five districts on the Cape and would serve four-year terms, just like the current commissioners.

Chatham delegate Ronald Bergstrom submitted the resolution in January.

Dennis delegate John Ohman was the only member present to vote against the plan.

County Commissioners Chair Leo Cakounes proposed a similar plan in 2013 when he was a Harwich delegate, but nothing came of it.

“I am really a believer in that a three-member board limits public discussion and debate on issues,” said Cakounes.

In the case that the commissioners strike down the proposal, it would move back to the assembly where they would then need a two-thirds vote to override the commissioners.

If approved, it could go before voters next November.

“When you have five members, you automatically increase debate time on issues, because if two members are for it and two members are opposed to it, now there’s going to be a public discussion and debate to sway that third member,” said Cakounes.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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