Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
Somerville’s Board of Aldermen officially became the Somerville City Council on Jan. 31, after Gov. Charlie Baker signed a home rule petition to change the name of the city’s legislative body.
“I am very happy not to be called an elder man anymore,” said City Council President Katjana Ballantyne in a city press release.
Alderman At-Large Bill White submitted an order in February 2018 asking the city solicitor to draft a home rule petition to change the name. Five of his fellow board members co-sponsored the order.
Somerville incorporated as a city in 1872 and began using the title “aldermen” for its legislators in 1890.
Before Somerville, Newton was the most recent city to change the name of its Board of Aldermen to City Council, on Jan. 1, 2016. Other cities that have made the change include Everett in 2011, Chicopee in 2009, Chelsea in 1995, and Holyoke in 1991.
Melrose is now the only city in Massachusetts with a Board of Aldermen. Woburn’s legislative body is officially a City Council, but its members still use the title alderman.