By kalea hall
Canfield city voters will have two amendments to the city charter to consider in November’s election.
One amendment is to place term limits on boards, commissions and committee members, and the other would allow residents a chance to speak at a board, commission or committee meeting when issues are being discussed.
Canfield resident Frank Micchia developed the amendments that are on the ballot.
“I think it’s time to get some new people and some fresh ideas into the system,” Micchia said. “These term limits will do that.”
In last year’s election, Micchia’s amendment to place term limits on both the mayor and city-council members passed. The mayor’s term is now three years, and a council member may serve two years.
There are a total of five boards and commissions with all appointed positions and no term limits. The amendment will give each member a term of three years with a maximum of two-consecutive terms. Members currently on the board will be able to serve out their existing appointment.
Micchia said the city does not let the public know there is an appointed position available. City Manager Joe Warino said the open positions are available to review on the city’s website, and there is currently a position open for the design-review committee.
“It’s been a difficult task to get people to volunteer for the committees,” Warino said.
The current appointed members all have the background and knowledge to remain in their positions, Warino said.
Warino said he feels the other amendment allowing citizens to ask questions throughout a meeting would be more damaging and cause a loss of order in the meetings.
Micchia said when he was denied the opportunity to ask a question during a zoning meeting, he became upset and wanted to see a change.
“They are stifling comments from residents,” Micchia said.
Residents are allowed to comment at the beginning of a meeting, but Micchia contends that time is not helpful because the issues have yet to hit the floor. If the amendment passes, a resident will be able to ask questions or make comments about any new or old business or anything on the agenda. The amendment states a board may place a time limit on the person speaking of no less than three minutes and no longer than 30.
“I think it is for the good of the community,” Micchia said. “I don’t think it will disturb anything.”