FRAMINGHAM (CBS/AP) – Massachusetts has a new city.
Framingham was the largest town in Massachusetts with a population of more than 68,000 people. But on Tuesday night, voters decided to change the town’s status to become a city.
A charter commission created last year voted 8-1 to change Framingham from town to city.
On Tuesday night, by a slim margin, voters agreed with the recommendation.
An unofficial total of 11,332 people cast their ballot, and by a margin off 105 tallies, the measure passed. In total, 5,684 people opted to pass the action, while 5,579 voted against it.
As a result, residents will elect a mayor, a city council and a school committee in November. Framingham currently has a board of selectmen and a representative town meeting.
Proponents of the charter change argued that Framingham has become too large and diverse to be governed like other smaller towns.
“It’s very romantic. But it is not particularly efficient or effective in managing a $300 million municipal corporation,” said John Stefanini of Framingham First, which supported the move to become a city.
Critics worried that too much power would be centralized in the mayor’s office.
“Switching to city status takes peoples’ voice away,” said opponent Audrey Hall of the Not This Charter group.
Several previous attempts to change the town’s governing structure had failed, the last time in 1997.
Other former Massachusetts towns have become cities in recent years, including Braintree and Weymouth.
The smallest city by population in the state is North Adams, with fewer than 14,000 people.
[graphiq id=”hHvUWtXO4xn” title=”Framingham, Massachusetts” width=”600″ height=”748″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/hHvUWtXO4xn” link_text=”Graphiq” ]
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)