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The Charter Commission is in the process of reviewing Newton’s charter and proposing changes that will be voted on at next year’s municipal election. After each article is reviewed, we plan to share with you the significant changes we are proposing. However, keep in mind that because of the interconnections between various articles of the charter, we don’t consider any of these changes to be final. As we continue to move through the charter, we may revisit any of these decisions.

We recently reviewed Article 8 of the Charter – Nominations and Elections. Among the recommendations of the commission are:

* Remove the words “candidate for re-election” next to incumbents’ names on municipal ballots.

* Allow only the candidate name and address to appear on the ballot. (Presently, in preliminary and special elections, candidates may include on the ballot an 8-word statement on elected offices held by the candidate.)

* Maintain the number of signatures required to run for each elected office.

* Maintain non-partisan municipal elections.

* Maintain mandatory special elections to fill vacancies in all elected offices up until the final 9 months of the term.

* Allow the City Council the option to call a special election to fill a vacancy on the city council or school committee during the final 9 months of a term; otherwise the office remains vacant.

* Fill a vacancy in the office of the mayor during the final 9 months of the term by making the City Council President the Acting Mayor.

* Postpone the discussion of the number of wards until the review of articles 2 and 4.

Here is a link to the working draft of Article 8.

Please share your thoughts. There is still plenty of time to revise, and we welcome feedback.







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