Falmouth Group Seeking to Form Charter Commission

Falmouth Town Hall 1FALMOUTH – Falmouth’s system of town government may be reviewed.

A group of citizens has formed an initiative to create a charter commission.

Close to 30 people met with Town Clerk Michael Palmer in July to hash out the details of a commission.

Such a creation could tweak the structure of a town governing from the selectmen/town meeting form which has been used since the town’s incorporation in 1688.

Palmer said that in order to form a commission, signatures from at least 15 percent of registered town meeting voters are needed. That’s about 3,500 people.

A question would be placed on the local town election ballot asking voters if they would like to have a charter commission formed. If that passes, charter commissioners would need to be elected, possibly on the same ballot.

Palmer said that there is a considerable amount of work required to make this happen.

“Changing the form of government shouldn’t be done easily, it should be taken very seriously,” he said.

Resident Barbara Schneider led the concerned citizens, expressing that, after 25 years since the last town-wide reconsideration of government, perhaps it is necessary to vet it once more.

Palmer said Schneider cited low turnout at the last town election as evidence that many have been turned off of local politics.

If a commission is established, and if it concludes a change is necessary, Falmouth’s government could shift to something closer to a city-type government like Barnstable’s town counsel.

Another meeting will be held to gather interest and further discuss the details of such a project on August 25th.

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