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FRAMINGHAM – In early 2020, District 3 City Councilor Adam Steiner proposed a rule that would prohibit individuals elected from also serving on a Board or Commission, and would prohibit individuals from serving on multiple City of Framingham boards and commissions.

In June 2020, the Framingham City Council voted to adopt the “Steiner Rule.” The vote was 6-4-1, with Councilor Janet Leombruno abstaining.

Those who voted against the rule felt it was targeting City Council Chair George P. King Jr., who was also an elected Framingham Cemetery Trustee, and Leombruno, who was appointed to serve on the 5-member Framingham Housing Authority.

Steiner said the rule was “not targeting these individuals.”

Now, Steiner, who finished in a tie in his re-election race 997-997, wants to change the “Steiner Rule.”

An item on tonight’s City Council agenda, stated “Upon request of Councilor Steiner, a referral to the Ordinance and Rules Subcommittee with regard to a discussion and possible vote with regard to Article I Section 6 of the General Ordinances for the purpose of reviewing possible exceptions to the limit on holding two elective or appointed offices in addition to the reconciliation of the general ordinances and Order 2020-019.”

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SOURCE reached out to Steiner multiple times for explanation on the request. He did not respond to any of the emails.

Steiner did not submit an email nor backup materials for his request to the full 11-member City Council. So it unknown on what he wants to change about the rule.

Recently District 4 resident Nick Paganella, 87, was elected as one of 3 Framingham Cemetery Trustees. He currently serves on the Framingham Veterans Council, and would need to resign, under the “Steiner Rule.”

Also Framingham Youth Council Chair Isabella Petroni, 20, was elected to the 12-member Framingham Library Trustees Board on November 2.

She has said she will resign on Dec 31, 2020 from the Youth Council she helped to create. The “Steiner Rule” would prevent her from serving on both.

Editor’s Note: In full transparency Petroni is the daughter of the SOURCE editor/publisher.

When the vote took place in June 2020, Steiner said that individuals should not hold two positions.

It was discussed repeatedly at the meeting that City Council Chair King should not be able to be on the City Council and elected to the Cemetery Trustees.

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It was also mentioned that appointed individuals on boards, committees, and commission should not hold elected office as well.

District 9 City Councilor Tracey Bryant agreed. “It was not about specific people, adding that there are often people waiting to step up when a vacancy occurs. It needs to be an across-the-board decision,” according to the City Council minutes.

District 2 City Councilor Cesar “Stewart-Morales supported the “Steiner Rule.” He expressed concern for increasing the diversity on committees, noting that the first step is to make room for more people to serve,” according to City Council minutes.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.