SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Salem City Council had a debate on Thursday to reexamine it's use of gendered language -- including some words you might not think of.
The council voted in favor of removing hundreds of gender-specific words from official city ordinances and zoning rules -- like changing the word "chairman" to "chair" or "chairperson."
But there was one notable exception that survived the change: manhole.
Flynn said changing the word to "maintenance cover" instead of manhole would create confusion among first responders who are answering calls in the city.
City-Councilor-At-Large Ty Hapworth commented on the discussion, saying "I don't know if I want the headline on this in The Salem News to say, 'we did gender-neutral language -- except for manhole."
The council eventually voted to keep an exception in place for the word manhole for clarity purposes.
WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports.