** On February 15, 2017 the Commission unanimously voted in favor of the proposed charter. The Commission's preliminary report can be viewed here.
** Please sign up for the Charter Commission email list via www.eepurl.com/bKbp1D.
To Our Fellow Stakeholders and Residents,
We are all excited about the work we have undertaken reviewing Newton's charter.
As we finalize our proposal, we have remained focused on our community’s shared interest in greater public participation in government and the effectiveness and responsiveness of our government.
Many thanks to all of you who have attended our meetings, public hearings, and round tables, and to those who have contacted us to share your thoughts and insights.
On February 15, 2017 the Commission unanimously voted in favor of the proposed charter. The Commission's preliminary report can be viewed here.
City Council Composition
The Commission voted unanimously (straw vote) on April 13, 2016 to recommend a 13 member City Council, with 1 member residing in each of the 8 wards to be elected at-large and 5 additional Councilors elected at large without a residency requirement.
Upon revisiting the proposal on November 16, 2016 the Commission voted 7-2 for a council with 4 Councilors elected at-large without a residency requirement. The rest of the April 13th vote remained as it was, with 1 member residing in each of the 8 wards, to be elected at-large.
Please CLICK HERE to review the Article 2 Discussion Guide.
On April 27, 2016 The Commission took two additional straw votes (each passing 7 to 2) for:
1) Six two-year consecutive terms for City Councilors (term limits of twelve consecutive years. Those interested in extending service could campaign for re-election after a break in service.).
2) A scenario for term lengths that would maintain two-year terms for councilors and contests at each city election (no staggered elections).
The Commissioners revisited the topic of term limits on July 12, 2016. At that juncture, the straw vote reflected support for maintaining an 8 year term limit for School Committee, and adding a 12 year limit for City Councilors and for the Mayor.
The Commission's final straw vote on term limits, held November 30, 2016, incorporated a change to a 16 year limit for the City Council. The Mayoral limit remained at 12 years, and the School Committee at 8 years. This updated proposal passed 6-3. Again, this reflects limits on consecutive terms, and those interested in extending service could campaign for re-election after a break in service.
February 15 Meeting & Vote on Proposed Charter
The Commission voted unanimously to approved the proposed charter at this meeting.
March 1 Publication of the Preliminary Report
The Preliminary Report which includes a proposal summary and copy of the proposed charter is scheduled for publication in the Newton Tab on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The preliminary report, which can be viewed here, will be submitted to the Massachusetts Attorney General for review prior to the publication of the final report in May.
March 15 Public Hearing
Residents and stakeholders will have the opportunity to share their comments pertaining to the preliminary report at a Public Hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, 2017 in the Council Chambers, 7p.m. (Snow date: Mar. 29).
Please visit our Facebook page: facebook.com/newtonchartercommission, follow us on Twitter~@NewtonMACharter, and keep apprised of our work and our schedule through this website.
The Newton Charter Commission
Josh Krintzman, Chair
Rhanna Kidwell,Vice Chair