It’s one of the state’s oldest towns, but with a growing population and a location right off the Mass Pike that’s attractive to major corporations, Framingham is looking to change the way it does business. It may become a city. I attended one of their charter commission meetings to check in on the process.

At a public hearing in the holiday decorated town hall, Framingham taxpayers listened to a presentation from the charter commission on what could happen if the town becomes a city and 40 year resident Jake Bajakian thinks it’s about time,

"Look at Marlborough. Marlborough’s got a population of 41,000 they have a mayor they get face time in Boston, that’s power.”

Bajakian thinks Framingham is not getting face time with Gov. Baker and other elected officials because there is no one person to do it. He says that’s not his only problem with a town run government.

“There’s no real accountability in terms of the taxes. The town meeting sets the budget and the selectmen set the tax rate but they’re not responsible for the budget so who do you elect out of office?”

That could all change if voters decide on a city form of government in the spring.

Charter Commissioner John Stefanini explains Framingham’s claim to fame,

“We are the largest town in America with representative town meeting but no other town outside of New England has representative town meeting.”

He says that town meeting determines the 300-million-dollar budget and only meets 2 to 3 times a year. The towns day to day business is handled by a town manager, but Stefanini says big projects can be bogged down in committees and subcommittees for years.

“People in Framingham feel great pride about their community and need to feel that same pride in their government and they don’t today they don’t because our government squanders resources.”

Stefanini thinks an elected mayor and city council will help move Framingham forward,

“You can’t find the budget for the town of Framingham online today like you can in other communities, we don’t have a strategic master plan so you can look at it and say oh this is the direction the community is going in so I can participate.”

Resident Gloria Geller likes Framingham the way it is,

“My concern is that there will be too much power vested in the mayor and the council which is 12 people. I think one of the selectmen could have stepped up and been our representative…that’s just my thinking maybe I’m not being realistic.”

The Charter Commission has one public hearing left for residents input and the language of the town to city charter is a work in progress. In the spring, it will be up to residents to figure out whether their town will remain a town.