Right Size off to a wrong start

Right Size off to a wrong start

Remember last October when some folks here gave me grief for suggesting that “Right Size Newton was engaged in likely illegal campaigning” for “blanketing the city with color glossy flyers promoting their slate of candidates” without creating a...
Recalling an earlier ‘charter privilege’ moment

Recalling an earlier ‘charter privilege’ moment

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

Auchincloss raises $600K for Congress contest

Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss reportedly raised “more than” $609,000 since declaring his candidacy in October for the seat now held by Joe Kennedy III, the Globe reports. Jesse Mermell of Brookline raised $351,000. The article did not have the latest numbers...
When do you think the Northland referendum should be held?

When do you think the Northland referendum should be held?

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

MBTA update on Green Line improvements

The MBTA released the following update this morning on its Green Line Transformation project….   Green Line Transformation Program 2019 Year in Review As we look toward the important improvements that the Green Line Transformation (GLT) program will deliver to...