LWVN Statement to the Newton Charter Commission

The statement below was read on behalf of LWVN at Wednesday’s Newton Charter Commission Public Hearing:

The League of Women Voters of Newton (LWVN) would like to express deep thanks to each and every member of the Newton Charter Commission for their tireless dedication.  It took years to collect the signatures needed to review the city charter, yet in 16 months, the Charter Commission managed to research, evaluate, discuss, debate and decide on recommended improvements to the effectiveness and efficiency of our city government.  This was indeed an enormous task, both in terms of scope and importance, that required an untold number of hours.

Our observers witnessed thorough discussions on points major and minor.  We heard discussion on the general structure of government, as well on the finer points of using “may” or “will.”  Decisions were revisited more than once when comments from voters led the Charter Commission to re-open discussion.  LWVN believes that the varied comments from the public were treated respectfully and seriously, and that a wide set of viewpoints have been represented and considered.

We also believe that the process was open and transparent.  The Charter Commission made ample time for public comment, encouraged emails to the commission, and communicated regularly to an email list that was open to all.  Members of the Charter Commission responded on blogs, met with people individually, and visited local groups when invited.  It is difficult to imagine how much more the group could have done to respond and reach out to the community.

LWVN is still in the process of evaluating the proposed recommendations in light of our own 2010 charter study and expect to vote whether or not to support the proposal in the coming month.  Nevertheless, we encourage everyone to recognize the hard work and commitment these nine Newton residents have shown to our community.  Now it is our turn to review the recommendations with the same thoughtfulness and respect that the Charter Commission showed us.

 

March 27: Talk on Sustainable Development at Newton Free Library

Join Green Newton and the League of Women Voters Newton on Monday, March 27 from 7-8:30pm in the Drucker Auditorium of the Newton Free Library for the Greening Our Community Series program, Sustainable Development with Andre Leroux, Executive Director of Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance.

When is development green? Is development ever green? These questions are the focus of public debate in Newton. Join us for a program in which Andre Leroux, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, will present the case for sustainable development, both globally and locally. Green Newton board member, Jim Purdy, will help to set the context as it relates to Newton.

The program will address:

  • Current development projects in Newton
  • Why smart growth is needed to move toward a more sustainable future
  • How sustainable development helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change

LWV of Brookline: The Problem of Transparency and Accountability in Politics

Join the League of Women Voters of Brookline to discuss

The Problem of Transparency and Accountability in Politics

featuring James D’Angelo, Researcher at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

Wednesday, March 22

Brookline Town Hall, 333 Washington Street, Brookline, Room 103

6:30 p.m. for refreshments

7 pm  for the talk, followed by questions

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