This statue of King Tut went up in front of Boston City Hall yesterday. What would you like to see in front of Newton City Hall?
When City Councilor Emily Norton and four colleagues stood up Wednesday night to invoke a parliamentary procedure known as a charter privilege to postpone setting a date for the Northland referendum, I couldn’t help but recall this wonderful cartoon from Mark Marderosian which ran in the Newton TAB in July 2008.
My memory is a little fuzzy about what happened in 2008 but as I recall it was the tail end of a controversial budget debate when Aldermen Paul Coletti, Ted-Hess Mahan, Susan Albright and Sydra Schnipper rose to prevent a vote rejecting Mayor David Cohen’s city budget. Because of the timing, the move meant that Cohen’s budget was approved by default, in spite of the fact that Cohen did not have the needed votes. (If anyone reading this can fill in the gap please do.)
Anyway, while the 2008 charter action achieved what it was intended to do (i.e. an allowed-under-the-rules end run past the will of their colleagues), it’s not clear that Wednesday’s stunt by
The Newton City Council will meet Wednesday night in a special session to either repeal last month’s 17-7 super-majority Northland vote or to set a date for a special election.
While a repeal is unlikely, as City Clerk David Olson explained in a memo last week, the council has essentially three general choices when it comes to scheduling a date:
On March 3 in conjunction with the Super Tuesday presidential primaries (at a cost of approximately $32,917)
Sometime between mid-March and early May (at a cost of approximately $145,902)
At the next municipal election on Nov. 2, 2021 (where presumably it would be part of the regular ballot at no added expense).
Olson’s memo also contains a lot of historical data on voter turnout, suggesting that turnout on March 3 could be 20 to 30 percent points higher than a standalone spring election where Northland is the only item before voters.
As we saw during a brief debate at Monday’s council meeting (go to the 22:24 mark on the video below), this is going to be contentious. There’s also a very good chance that a minority of four councilors will
Read all about it here. T’hen come back and share you resolutions for Newton