After three years in state receivership, the city of Chelsea took a major step toward self-government last week when it held municipal elections for the first time since 1990.

Chelsea gained national attention in 1991 when city officials were replaced by a state-appointed receiver. Once the council is in place, the members will name a city manager.

The receiver, Harry Spence, is still in place. He said earlier this year that he hopes to be out of office by next summer.

More than 46% of voters in Chelsea, a Boston suburb of about 27,000 people, cast their votes last week. Under the city's newly written constitution, the council will be composed of 11 members. There will be three at-large members and eight district representatives.

City voters also elected a seven-member school committee.

In 1991, Chelsea's government was disbanded after the city could not pay its bills, and subsequently several city, police, and school officials were convicted of mismanagement of city funds.

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