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Town needs leader

The East Longmeadow government came to an abrupt halt with the resignation of Selectman Gary Delisle in early November 2006, and will continue to languish in inactivity until the special election and installation of a new Selectman in late January.

In recent years, we have seen the government of this town encounter problems. The town continues to grow and important issues regarding both its immediate and long-term future continue to mount.

We have to realize that there is a problem with the governance of East Longmeadow. It seems impossible that the absence of one member of a three-person board can create such havoc. Contracts cannot be signed, budgetary issues cannot be resolved, payments cannot be made in a timely fashion, all of which have costly effects on the town.

With the present form of government, there is a lack of a full-time chief executive officer. One who grasps the full picture and can create a cohesive management plan and working relationship for all boards and departments to work together toward a common goal.

There are several different governmental options open to East Longmeadow. A Mayor or Business Manager position could be created, the Board of Selectmen can be expanded to a five or seven-member board, or a combination of Business Manager and Board of Selectmen could evolve. Whatever the choice, the process begins with the formation of a new Charter Commission.

Previous Charter Reform in this town has failed, but the need has never before been so obvious. New Commission members will bring fresh perspectives and new approaches to the table. That coupled with the citizens' new awareness of the town's needs may turn this recent negative experience into a positive step for East Longmeadow.

Conrad M. Wiezbicki

East Longmeadow