City councilors once again rejected a proposal Monday to create a chief operating officer at City Hall.
The 5-2 refusal to back the Charter Revision Commission’s call to establish the top administrative position effectively kills it unless supporters can round up the necessary signatures to force a referendum on the issue this fall.
The two backers of the idea, veteran Democratic city Councilor Craig Minor and rookie Republican Councilor Ken Cockayne, said they plan to lead a bipartisan drive to secure the needed petitions.
They have 45 days to pull it off.
But charter commissioners, businessman Craig Yarde and others have promised to help keep the plan on the front burner.
Backers say the post would bring more long-term planning and efficiency to municipal government, saving more money than the relatively small tab for a new office in city government.
Critics say the job isn’t needed and will cost taxpayers more at a time when Bristol is already struggling to hold down taxes and pare spending.
Two other proposal from the charter panel – to increase the terms of office for the registrars and assistant city clerk from two to four years – will be on the November 4 general election ballot following a unanimous thumbs-up from councilors.
Opposing the chief operating officer plan were Mayor Art Ward and Councilors Cliff Block, Mike Rimcoski, Kevin McCauley and Frank Nicastro.
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