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Michael Burkart: Council system would serve private interests, not people


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ted Parker’s commentary (“Possibility of inclusive government,” June 30) does not acknowledge U.S. history. George Washington did not want political parties, and he was upset when the wealthy clique that wrote the Constitution of 1777-78 devolved into two parties.

Mr. Parker’s assertion that a city council/mayoral system of government will avoid this pattern does not square with history.

Obviously, it is far easier to get a majority of 7 among 13 councilors than it is to get a majority of 121 among 240 elected town meeting members. In a city council/mayoral system, those with money (business interests who stand to profit immediately from certain decisions) can afford to back candidates whose positions advance theirs.

The governing of the town will then become a matter of whom the moneyed class chooses to elect.

Michael Burkart

Amherst