In Vote, Bay State City Opts To Restore Self-Rule

RESIDENTS in Chelsea, Mass., near Boston, voted 60 percent to 40 percent to return their city toward self-rule yesterday, by accepting a proposed charter that drops a mayoral form of government in favor of professional city manager. The vote will end three years of receivership.

The city's last three mayors had been convicted kof bribery or of lying to a grand jury.

Receiver Louis Spence welcomed the vote: ``I had faith in the people of Chelsea. It was important that the people reject the old-time politics that savaged the city in the past. The vote was proof that the city could overcome divisive ethnic politics.''

``The people apparently came out a lot stronger than expected,'' said alderman Don Jordan, who supported the Vote No group.

``I'm disappointed in the outcome,'' he said. ``I thought the charter should have been revisited.''

The home-rule petition now goes to the state legislature for approval and a new city manager is expected to be in place by next April.

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