The home rule question will go to Carlisle voters this May.
In a 6-1 vote, Carlisle Borough Council adopted an ordinance placing a question on the May 21 primary ballot that will ask voters if a home rule study commission of nine members should be formed.
Prior to casting the lone dissenting vote, Linda Cecconello said discussions with borough residents have convinced her that there’s a lot of work to be done to educate the public about home rule and not enough time before the primary to do it.
“I will not be supporting this ordinance tonight based on those conversations,” she said.
Cecconello also expressed concern that the council is moving ahead without knowing how much the study would cost if approved by voters.
Documents posted on the borough’s website indicate the home rule study commission that met in 1991 and 1992 to develop the charter that ultimately failed at the ballot box spent a total of $6,876.18. Those expenses came primarily in the form of clerical assistance, advertising, photocopying, postage and printing.
“I couldn’t support rushing into this,” Cecconello said.
The question of a potential mayoral veto was also put to rest prior to the vote.
“I will not be vetoing the ordinance,” said Mayor William Kronenberg. “I will not be supporting it.”
Kronenberg reiterated his position that the borough has
encountered crises before — including a case in the 1960s in which the borough tax collector embezzled some $150,000 while in office — that didn’t result in changing the government.
“If home rule is so good, why doesn’t everyone have it?” Kronenberg asked.
In making the motion, Councilman Timothy Scott said, “I believe the time is now to move this process forward and turn it over to the residents.”
He added that it’s now up to the residents to vote in favor of or against the measure and to vote for the people who will serve on the commission.
Those seeking election to the home rule study commission must acquire the signatures of 112 registered borough voters on a nominating petition. Petitions can’t be circulated before Feb. 19 and must be turned in by March 12.
Nominees will be listed on the ballot without party affiliation.