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The Newton League of Women Voters has launched a new initiative to establish a Charter Commission to examine the city’s laws and recommend changes.  A perennial issue that’s sure to resurface as part of that effort, is the size of the Board of Aldermen.

The city charter dictates that we have 24 aldermen, a particularly large crew in comparison to other cities and towns.   Does that large complement of aldermen help us? hurt us?.  Does that large board make city government work better? worse?

The shrink-the-board arguments seem to be the more obvious ones (e.g. unnecessary expense, voter bewilderment, unwieldlyness-is that a word?).  I’m particularly interested in hearing the case for maintaining the current board size, which may be less obvious.

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