Judging from the latest numbers, Springfield's Charter Commission will probably be convening next year.
The five-member commission is charged with studying Springfield's needs and recommending a form of government for it to adopt. The question of whether such a commission was necessary was put to Springfield voters on the 2012 ballot.
While the initial tally of votes provided by the Union County Clerk's office indicated voters didn't want the commission, it has a near-100 vote lead after absentee votes were counted. According to numbers provided by the Springfield Township Clerk's Office, 2311 Springfield voters favor the Committee's formation and 2147 oppose it.
The vote is not final, . Nonetheless, several notable election observers have remarked that the vote is likely to pass.
The formation of the Charter Commission was supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. The Democrats have charged Republican Mayor Ziad Shehady with engineering the commission to change our form of government to a directly elected mayor and creating a full-time job with executive powers for himself. In debates and other public comments, Republicans have stressed that as the Commission is composed of residents, it is a way for the people to decide their own form of government.
In addition to voting for or against the commission, Springfield residents also voted for prospective members. The votes, including absentee ballots, are as follows:
- Jim Bonacorda 865
- Denise Devone 1,081
- Hugh Keffer 1,072
- Cunningham 1,036
- Geri Bujnowski 922
- David Mitchell 846