Recalling an earlier ‘charter privilege’ moment

Recalling an earlier ‘charter privilege’ moment

When City Councilor Emily Norton and four colleagues stood up Wednesday night to invoke a parliamentary procedure known as a charter privilege to postpone setting a date for the Northland referendum, I couldn’t help but recall this wonderful cartoon from Mark Marderosian which ran in the Newton TAB in July 2008.

My memory is a little fuzzy about what happened in 2008 but as I recall it was the tail end of a controversial budget debate when Aldermen Paul Coletti, Ted-Hess Mahan, Susan Albright and Sydra Schnipper rose to prevent a vote rejecting Mayor David Cohen’s city budget. Because of the timing, the move meant that Cohen’s budget was approved by default, in spite of the fact that Cohen did not have the needed votes.  (If anyone reading this can fill in the gap please do.)

Anyway, while the 2008 charter action achieved what it was intended to do (i.e. an allowed-under-the-rules end run past the will of their colleagues), it’s not clear that Wednesday’s stunt by

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