By Barbara Darnell (Letter to Newton Tab)
Last Tuesday, Newton voters overwhelmingly voted against the proposed changes to Newton’s Charter, thus preserving our local ward councilors.
On Wednesday, the Home Rule petition to reduce the size of Newton’s City Council to 16 members (eight at-large from each Ward and eight ward-only) was brought before the Programs and Services committee. This petition had been submitted in September on behalf of 14 councilors: Brousal-Glaser, Blasar, Ciccone, Cote, Danberg, Harney, Kalis, Lappin, Laredo, Norton, Rice, Sangiolo and Schwartz.
As someone who opposed the proposed Charter due to the elimination of ward councilors, but nonetheless would prefer a smaller Board, I strongly support the 8+8 petition. It would reduce the size of the Council while preserving ward representation — a solution preferred by my friends and neighbors, as well as the hundreds of citizens that I heard from through the “Citizens for Local Representation” campaign.
I sincerely hope that the Programs and Services committee will vote the petition out of committee on Nov. 15 and allow the whole Council to consider it on Dec. 4. And I urge the MANY of you that prefer a smaller Council with local representation to let our representatives know just how you feel: call, write and email them. Let your voice be heard. Again.
Barbara Darnell, Lake Avenue