What makes Newton special are our villages, our neighborhood schools, and most importantly, the people who are the fabric of our great community. Each of our Wards is very unique in its ethnic and economic diversity. Each deserves to have its citizens’ issues, concerns, and needs addressed by someone who has first-hand knowledge about living in the Ward and someone who is directly accountable to those citizens. Our current system provides that direct representation by requiring each ward to elect its own voice in government.
Elimination of Ward-elected councilors creates a barrier for political participation. It makes it difficult for a citizen who is not within an established political group or does not have deep pockets to run for a seat on the Council. A system in which a councilor is elected solely by his/her Ward makes it easier for someone with work or family commitments to enter public office and expands the universe of folks we should encourage to be active in local government.
Elimination of Ward Councilors leaves our community vulnerable to becoming governed by a group that does not reflect our community’s diversity. Under the proposed revision to the City’s charter, there is no guarantee that the views of a given Ward, village, or neighborhood will be represented.
That is why I adamantly support retaining our Ward Councilors – each elected only by his/her Ward.