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Everett, Mass., voters end bicameral council

November 8, 2011

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EVERETT, Mass.—Voters in Everett have cast ballots to approve a proposal to eliminate the city's unique bicameral city council.

The city has a 25-member council made up of a seven-member board of aldermen and an 18-member common council.

Paul Schlosberg, chairman of the city's charter commission, says residents on Tuesday voted to replace the two-tiered system with a single-branch 11-member city council.

Supporters of the change said the existing form of government is too cumbersome and the new streamlined council would be more accountable.

Backers of the existing system said Everett is the only municipality in the country with a bicameral form of local government.

The change is one of many proposed by a local commission charged with updating the city's 119-year-old charter.

The changes would take effect by 2014.