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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.
For those of you interested in our Article 2: Legislative Review, please CLICK HERE for an Article 2 Discussion Guide.
At the April 13th meeting, the Commission voted unanimously (straw vote) 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, the Commission voted 7-2 for a small change~ 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.
On April 27, 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).
On July 12, the Commissioners revisited the topic of term limits. 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.
The Commission's final meeting of 2016 will be held on Wednesday, December 14 in Room 205 of City Hall. We are currently defining and discussing outstanding issues, deliberating Article 12 (Transition Provisions), and planning the preparation of our final report.
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The Newton Charter Commission
Josh Krintzman, Chair
Rhanna Kidwell,Vice Chair