One of the questions on the Nov. 6 election ballot in East Providence asks voters to amend the city charter to increase the terms of office for the City Council and the School Committee from 2 years to 4 years.
Here is the question:
Shall the Charter for the City of East Providence be amended to establish four (4) year terms for members of the council and members of the school committee?
Sec. 2-1. Number, selection and term.
The council shall have five  members, one to be elected from any by the electors of each of the four  wards of the city, and one to be elected at large, for a term of two  four (4) years or until a majority of the newly elected council have qualified and have taken office.
Sec. 10-1. School committee.
(1) There shall be a school committee consisting of five (5) members. One (1) member shall be elected from the city at large, and one (1) member shall be elected from each of the four (4) wards of the city at the regular city elections to serve for terms of two (2) four (4) years.
(2) Any vacancy in the membership of the school committee shall be filled by the city council until the next regular city election.
This amendment becomes effective upon passage without further action.
Here is the explanation for 4-year terms:
This charter amendment establishes four (4) year, rather than two (2) year terms for members of the school committee and the city council and would apply to those individuals elected to office in the 2014 election. The extension to four year terms will allow the council and committee members to gain experience when newly elected, get better understanding of the budget process, put together legislative achievements and give the voters a longer measure of performance before the next election cycle.
The incumbent members, upon reelection, would bring the benefit of long-term institutional knowledge to share with newly elected officials. In addition, this amendment brings the charter into compliance with current state law with re- gard to the school committee terms, as per Rhode Island General Laws Section 16-2-5, with no approved exception for East Providence.
A vote to approve would place this change in the city charter where it could only be removed by a subsequent charter amendment through a public vote.
A vote to reject would not place this change in the charter.
What do you think? Use the comment box below to favor or reject 4-year terms and explain why.