Among the three front runners in visibility, experience and management experience, I predict that Ruthanne Fuller, Amy Sangiolo and Scott Lennon easily have the edge in terms of attracting votes. That’s not so tough a prediction to make, since the other four are either inexperienced, wet behind the ears, or virtually unknown to the electorate. And all of the three with name recognition are sitting City Councilors. Of course, Trump got in because the voters were fed up with the sitting government and wanted to oust D.C. perennials. But Newton doesn’t have a renegade voter base and our voters (at least of V14) seem pretty sensible about discussing and deliberating and valuing humane solutions and collaboration without fisticuffs.
So…if push comes to shove, why vote for any one of those candidates? Well, we could have our first female Mayor’s picture up on the walls of City Hall with the likes of all the dour-looking guys who photos cover those halls! Or, even the first Asian-American who happens also to be female; or, the first Newton citizen whose family has been sustained through three generations of employment by the City and who wishes to offer reciprocal service to the City that has sustained him.
I would say these are not the reasons to distinguish them from one another. Think instead about where they stand on the issues that will affect life in Newton for the next decade.
What are their views on development in Newton? What are their plans for transportation improvements? What are their thoughts on raising PILOT contributions? How will they fund our pension and OPEB obligations and how will they keep those obligations from exploding to even larger obligations? Are they advocates or opponents of the proposed Charter Change? Since they all know the City’s budgets for at least the last eight years, how will they determine the need for and size of the next Override request? What are their interests in environmental policy? Do they listen? To citizens? To citizens’ contributions? To party politics? Can they think outside the City limits to State engagement?
If you haven’t already, search for those answers by googling all three online before filling in the oval at the Preliminary Mayoral Election today!
But for Heaven’s sake, get over to the polling place and VOTE! You may not always have that right…cherish it and use it. It is the only weapon that we have to keep Democracy alive! What are you waiting for?
My choice is visible in some videos of one of the three front-running candidates. But I enjoin you to listen to all three and choose wisely depending on how well each candidate fits your vision for Newton! It really does matter who becomes the next Mayor!

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