Topic Meeting Archives


April 12, 2012: National Privatization Study Consensus Meetings

Come and be heard. The National League Study on Privatization is not asking us to reach consensus on whether privatization is a good thing or a bad thing, but to educate ourselves so that we understand the details of how and why privatization occurs and the policies that need to be in place to not only ensure that privatizing a public service is not only more cost effective, but that private entities are held to the same standards as government entities in their responsibility to the public.  This is your chance to help decide League positions.

March 8, 2012: Local Program Planning for 2012-2013

Join us to discuss our program proposals for next year.  We will talk about the upcoming local Transportation Consensus Study, committee reports and proposals, and action priorities for next year.  This is your chance to have input into what the League will be doing next year.

If you would like more information, please visit our League Program Planning page.

February 9, 2012: Discussion with Craig Manseau, Executive Secretary, Newton Election Commission

Join the League for a conversation about a variety of election issues, including proposed voter ID laws and how the recent redistricting affects Newton’s Wards/Precincts and polling locations.

January 12, 2012: Getting Involved in Newton

Join us to learn how you can become more involved in Newton through advocacy for issues you are concerned about and/or by joining Newton’s advisory boards and commissions. Brooke Lipsitt, League of Women Voters Newton member and former President of the Board of Aldermen, and Megan Costello, Director of Community Affairs for the City of Newton, will present.

November 17, 2011: Discussion of Upcoming LWVUS Privatization Consensus Study

We will be discussing the upcoming National Privatization Study.

October 13, 2011: Consensus Meetings: LWVUS Study – The Role of the Federal Government in Public Education

Join the League to come to consensus on the LWVUS National Education Study.  Meetings held in both the morning and evening.

September 15, 2011: Economic Development 101

Join the League for a primer on economic development by Chris Steele, Newton resident and visiting professor at UMass Boston and UMass Dartmouth.


May 11, 2011: Meet Newton Public Schools Superintendent David A. Fleishman

Join the League for a discussion about what the future holds for the Newton Public Schools.

April 27, 2011: A Conversation with Maureen Lemieux, Newton’s Budget Director

A discussion of the City’s budget.

March 23 & 24, 2011: Land Use Consensus Meetings

At last year’s Annual Meeting, the League membership approved a Land Use Study, including a review of LWVN’s Land Use positions.  Two meetings have been scheduled for League members to come to consensus on this important issue.

We will be discussing/coming to consensus on the following questions:

*Housing What types of housing should be available in Newton?

*Fiscal Policy How can Newton achieve a balance amongst its mix of commercial and residential uses to address the full range of housing types that support a diverse population and meet (achieve, accomplish, ….) economic development goals?

*Sustainability What makes a development project “sustainable,” and how important is this?

*Zoning What are some effective ways to regulate land use & development through zoning?

(Each meeting will begin with a presentation about these four issues.)

February 9 & 10, 2011: Action Plan!

It’s that time of year — all League committees which support any kind of legislative or public action come together with membership to plan the next year’s priorities. See the 2011-2012 Local Program Planning Proposals.

January 12, 2011: Meet Newton’s School Superintendent

CANCELLED due to snow storm.

December 8, 2010: Update on the Proposed Sidewalk Snow Ordinance

Discussion of the status of the proposed Sidewalk Snow Ordinance with Ald. Vicki Danberg and LWVN members of Safe Sidewalks.

November 10, 20010: Crystal Lake Conservancy

Presentation by Crystal Lake Conservancy

October 13, 2010: Affordable Housing

“Why You Should Vote No on Question 2 and Save Affordable Housing.”  Discussion with Phil Herr and Josephine McNeil.

September 8, 2010: What’s Up with the National and State Leagues?

Join Newton’s delegates for a lively discussion about this year’s National and State Conventions.


March 10 & 17, 2010: Action Plan!

It’s that time of year — all League committees which support any kind of legislative or public action come together with membership to plan the next year’s priorities. See the 2010-2011 Local Program Planning Proposals (pdf).

January 13, 2010: Update on the Charter Study

Discussion of the state to date of the League’s extensive study of the City Charter. See some of the resources we’ve been using here.

Nov. 18, 2009: Community Preservation Act

League members who have been following the CPA reported on possible changes to the state CPA enabling act (memo here) as well as on Newton’s Community Preservation Committee. Six proposals will be presented to the CPC that evening, and our readers have comments and questions to share (located here.)

October 14, 2009: Lunch with the League

Mayoral candidates Ruth Balser and Setti Warren join us for an informal discussion and Q&A on the local issues of the day.

September 9, 2009: Eco-Teams Introduced

Green Decade joins us to present their current campaign to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions: Eco-Teams.


April 1, 2009: Consensus on Electing the President

How can the country move toward one-person/one-vote in the national presidential elections? Details can be found here. A summary of the issue, based on League research, is here.

March 11, 2009: Housing

Our Housing subcommittee, with Phil Herr of HAPI (Newton’s Housing Action Plan Initiative), will present an overview of that initiative’s program and progress and the League’s role in 2009-10. November Newsletter announcement.

January 22 & 28, 2009: Plan of Action!

Planning for what issues the Newton LWV should study or work toward in 2009-10 (called our “Program”).

Related Links:

The LWV Newton 2008-09 Program
The State Planning Process

November 12, 2008: Community Preservation Committee Projects: Past, Present and Future

Presented by the LWVN Local Action Committee. What priorities do you think the Community Preservation Committee should set for future funding as the amount of state matching funds continues to shrink? Join us as we review Newton’s CPC-funded projects and share your thoughts about the future.

October 22, 2008: A Conversation with Newton’s Citizens’ Advisory Group

Featuring CAG members Malcolm S. Salter, Chair; Ruthanne Fuller, Vice Chair; and George Foord with an update on the CAG’s work.  Please come with your questions and suggestions.

September 10, 2008: Trash for Cash

Tom Daley, Newton’s Public Works Commissioner and Elaine Gentile, Newton’s Director of Environmental Affairs, will discuss Newton’s solid waste system and what opportunities lie ahead for improvements.

Related Information:

LWVN September 2008 Newsletter: “Trash for Cash?”
Newton Solid Waste Commission
Mass DEP Municipal Recycling Rates


The last three Topic Meetings of the year explored issues of municipal finance: the state League’s Fiscal Policy Update Study on Municipal Finance, Newton’s capital budget, and Newton’s upcoming Prop. 2 ½ override.

Background information for the February, March and April meetings:

April 16, 2008: The Override Vote

The third in our municipal finance series, the April meeting featured a presentation and discussion of Newton’s Prop 2 ½ override vote scheduled for May 20, 2008. League members Terry Yoffie, George Foord, and Ruthanne Fuller presented city budget information, as well as information from the 2007 Blue Ribbon Commission report.

March 12, 2008: Protecting City Assets: Newton’s Capital Budget and How It Works

Ward 7 Alderman-at-Large Verne Vance and Newton Comptroller David Wilkinson presented information about Newton’s capital budget and planning.

February 13, 2008: Municipal Finance: Where does the money come from and where does it go?

During the past two years, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts has conducted a Fiscal Policy Update Study on Municipal Finance. In January of last year, the state fiscal policy committee organized two all-member forums entitled: “Municipal Finance: Where does the money come from and where does it go?” Next, the committee designed a study on municipal finance so that local Leagues could assess the fiscal health of their own communities. Then in October 2007, the LWVMA Fall Conference featured a panel on “Who pays for local government? Why is it that my property taxes continue to go up while funding local services is a struggle?”

This spring, the LWVMA sought consensus from the local Massachusetts leagues with respect to the fiscal relationship between state and local government. LWVN held its consensus meeting on February 13, at NewTV. League members Terry Yoffie, George Foord, and Ruthanne Fuller presented the consensus questions and relevant background information.

January 9 and 10, 2008: Consensus Meeting on Immigration

For the first time in 25 years, the national League conducted a study and consensus. The topic was immigration. Myra Tattenbaum chaired LWVN’s Immigration Committee, and Bonnie Carter, Ann Grantham, and Anne Borg were members. The committee spent two months studying the consensus questions and researching background information. Two meetings were held for the LWVN to reach consensus: one during the day and one in the evening.

Related Information:

November 14, 2007: The Budget as Management Tool and Financial Resource

For this month’s topic meeting, we were pleased to have Sanford Pooler, Newton’s Chief Administrative Officer, Verne Vance, Ward 7 Alderman-at-large and Chair, Special Committee on Long Range Planning, and Sarah Ecker, attorney and member of the Blue Ribbon Commission discuss the budget with us.

Related Information:

October 10, 2007: A Conversation about the Newton Public Schools’ Long-Range Facilities Planning

School Committee Chair Dori Zaleznik presented a very informative discussion about the Newton Public Schools’ long-range planning for its elementary and middle schools.

Background information: Long-Range Facilities Planning reports from Newton Public Schools:

September 12, 2007: All I Ever Wanted to Know about Newton’s Election Department

League members Nancy Criscitiello and Myra Tattenbaum are long-time poll workers and observers of the Election Commission and both served on the search committee to find a new Executive Secretary to the Election Commission. Nancy and Myra shared information about: state requirements for Election Commissions, the terms and stipends of Election Commission members, meeting requirements and practices, the responsibilities of the Newton Election Department, as well as information about poll workers.

Related Information:

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