Charter Proposal Fails to Pass–Home Rule Petition to be Discussed Tonight

The majority of voters rejected the Charter Commission proposal in yesterday’s election, with 10,912 voting in favor and 12,519 voting against.

We sincerely thank all the members of the Charter Commission for their years of dedication to the study, research, and discussion of the city charter, and hope that they will continue to engage the community in discussion of how to make our local government work better.  We also thank the leaders of the Yes for a New Charter campaign for their hard work, positive attitude and focus on this one issue.  And of course, we thank all the volunteers who knocked on doors, wrote cards, made phone calls, held signs, and did many other tasks important to the campaign.  Despite the loss, we believe this led to important discussions about how our government works and what we value in our representation.

We urge our members to attend a public hearing tonight (Wednesday) in the Council Chambers at Newton City Hall, starting at 7 pm.  The Programs and Services Committee of the City Council will begin public discussion of their home rule petition to reduce the size of the City Council to 8 at-large councilors (with residency requirements) and 8 ward councilors.  According to the agenda, this is a public hearing. 

LWVN strongly urges voters to say “yes” to the charter proposal

LWVN strongly endorses a YES vote on Tuesday in favor of the proposed new city charter.  

After many years of advocating for a smaller city council and a review of the city charter, as well as observing the Charter Commission in action, LWVN reviewed the proposal this past spring and overwhelmingly voted to support a YES vote.

While reducing the size of the City Council, the proposal also enables all Newton voters to vote for 100% of the City Council, increasing accountability of our elected officials.  Geographic representation is still an essential part of the proposed structure, with one Councilor elected at-large from each ward, and four elected at-large without residency requirements.

Other improvements include important procedural updates that bring our city charter in compliance with Massachusetts laws and a requirement for public comment at meetings of all Boards and Commissions.  Term limits are added for both City Council (16 years or 8 terms) and Mayor (12 years or 3 terms).

Remember, we are voting on this proposal only.  The docketed home-rule petition is NOT on the ballot and is not a guaranteed option.  We need to vote on the Charter Commission proposal on its own merits, and LWVN believes this will be a positive step forward for our city.

Plan your vote for this Tuesday–be informed!

The LWVN Voters’ Guide is available to everyone by going to, inputing your address and  then clicking on the green button until you see all the races you can vote in.  All candidates, whether in contested races or not, have been invited to participate in answering three questions.

Additionally, you can see Candidates’ Forums for 11 races, made by NewTV and LWVN.  You can go to NewTV. org and choose which ones to watch.

If you need a ride to your polling location, please contact us at or call 617-383-4598.

And don’t forget to vote…remember, democracy is not a spectator sport!

Return to top of page