2008-2009 Topic Meetings

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

2007-2008 Topic Meetings

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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