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Boss politics?

Date: 12/14/2010

In response to the Chicopee City Council not approving a reduction in the number of wards and council and school committee members, Mayor Bissonnette stated "if not now to fix the gerrymandering, I didn't know when," -- yet based on the current demographics of the city, reducing ward representation would be putting voters in some areas of Chicopee in the same situation that Springfield voters were in before that city went to ward representation.

And the school committee should reconsider their position on not replacing Mrs. Lecca. There is still time to call a joint meeting of the school committee and city council before year end. Mrs. Lecca spent nearly two decades as our at-large school committee representative. It was needed then, and is needed now.

Some food for thought, if the shoe fits in Chicopee: Holyoke City Council President Joseph M. McGiverin said it was important that at-large councilors outnumber ward councilors to prevent a mayor from trying to control the council by making small deals with the ward representatives.

"If your ward representatives outnumber your at-large representatives, you open up the way for 'boss politics,'" McGiverin said.

Jim Raschilla