In a memo to the City Council, Chief Operating Officer, Jonathan Yeo states the following:

“The Administration, including the City Solicitor’s Office, have repeatedly testified against this separate counsel provision, with a clear statement that the Mayor will veto the package with such a change and not bring it forward for home rule provision support to the State Legislature. Notably, home rule petitions can only move forward with the approval of the Mayor.”

Here’s the new section that the Mayor opposes:

“(d) Legal Assistance to the Council — The city council may obtain legal assistance on any issue
being examined by the council relating to its duties under the charter; provided that the council
rules establish a process for the selection of such assistance.

Any material produced by the attorneys for the city council, whether in document or electronic
form, shall be clearly and prominently labeled as “Advisory to the Newton City Council.” The
same statement shall appear on any materials printed or distributed in electronic form at
council meetings, other public meetings, or in any other public venues. Copies of all materials
produced by the attorneys shall be provided by the council to the city law department and the
mayor at the same time such materials are distributed to the council members.”

Thoughts?  Full disclosure: I have been a staunch advocate for the City Council to have the ability to have it’s own legal counsel both as a City Councilor and as candidate for Mayor.

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