After more than a year of research, public comment, debate, straw votes and then more debate, Newton’s Charter Commission unanimously approved a draft of a proposed charter revision. The TAB’s Laura Lovett’s story is here.
Among other things, the draft reduces the size of Newton’s city council from 24 to 12. Eight councilors will have ward residency requirements but be elected at-large, the remaining four will be elected at-large with no residency requirements. It also calls for term limits for councilors (8 terms/16 consecutive years) and mayor (3 terms/12 consecutive years.)
There will be a public hearing at City Hall about the draft on March 15. Voters will asked to ratify (or not) a final version in November.
Good people will disagree on the merits of the proposed changes (my friend Charlie Shapiro, for example, will tell us that this is akin to ending Democracy in Newton) but I believe we all owe the members of the commission our gratitude for 14 months of hard work and for a process that was thoughtfully organized and transparent.