See this comprehensive and compelling overview of the Charter decision from Newtonville resident Fred Arnstein:
Democracy is up for a vote
Newton’s has a city Charter, which is the equivalent of the United States’ constitution. Our Charter is the framework for how the city is governed. We’ve had our Charter since 1972. Now a city commission has proposed a revised city charter, to be voted on by Newton Citizens in November. It will be an up-or-down vote, yes or no. The revised charter would remove all local (ward) representation. That is why we are opposed to it. There are other points in the proposed charter that can be debated, but when it comes to eliminating ward-elected councilors, the answer is clear: NO. This is so fundamental an issue that it becomes imperative to reject the new proposed Charter.