Saugus Charter Proposal, 2009

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The Saugus Charter Proposal appeared on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Essex County, Massachusetts. If it had been enacted after a public vote, the measure could have drastically change the town government.[1]

The Charter Commission is supporting a measure that would change the town charter for the first time in 62 years. The proposal would require town boards to make time for public comment at every town meeting. Changes to the charter would also include:

  • Replacing the Town Meeting with a 27 member Town Assembly
  • Creating a Select Board
  • Creating a licensing board to regulate liquor, food, and entertainment establishments.
  • The town manager would have to live in the town, unless an exemption is grated by the Select Board

According to Selectman Michael Kelleher: "(The Charter Commission) did all the hard work. We had our small role, we mailed it, now residents can see exactly what it is and make a logical decision."


In early September 2009, the Charter Commission mailed out copies of the 50-page document, where it was delivered to residents of the city. According to Selectman Peter Rossetti, printing and mailing the copies cost $9,000, whereas the board budgeted the move to cost around $20,000.[2]

Election result

Saugus Charter Proposal
Result Votes Percentage
Defeatedd No 3633 53.43%
Yes 3166 46.57%
Total votes 6799 100.00%
Voter turnout 2.52%