The Charter Commission and their Ballot Committee claim in their promotional materials that “the new city charter preserves ward representation and geographic diversity on the council.” They also imply that ward councilors are being retained.
In today’s parlance, these are what are known as “alternative facts.”
The charter on the ballot in November eliminates ward councilors, i.e. those elected at the village-level by ward residents, and eliminates geographic balance in the council composition.
Instead, all 12 councilors would be elected citywide; eight of the “councilors at large” would have a ward residency requirement, while four would not.
So not only would you lose your village-level representative, there is nothing to prevent five of the 12 councilors from coming from the same neighborhood.
Citywide elections tend to favor the wealthy and well-connected, so we could see geographic imbalance where five councilors all come from a wealthy or politically active ward.
For more details please visit http://newtondemocracy.org.
Emily Norton, ward councilor, Ward 2