Here’s an easy way to help pass the charter proposal: be sure that your friends and neighbors understand what the charter proposal means for Newton. There is a lot of misunderstanding out there, so here are some quick facts to help:
- This is about the structure of our city government, the local equivalent of the Constitution (NOT charter schools).
- Each ward will have AT LEAST one representative on the City Council, since there will still be a residency requirement for one councilor per ward. This ensures geographic representation across Newton.
- Voters vote for 100% of the City Council (unlike our current elections, where we vote for about 71% of the councilors), so our elected officials are responsible to ALL voters in Newton.
- While LWV is not in favor of term limits, many individuals at the local level do support them. The proposal includes term limits of 12 years for Mayor and 16 years for City Council, and keeps the 8-year term limit for School Committee.
- The clock for these term limits would start in 2019–they are not retroactive. And they are not lifetime limits–a councilor can step off the City Council for one term and then come back.
- The separate proposal by 14 City Councilors to reduce the Council to 8 at-large and 8 ward councilors will not be taken up until after November 7th. There is no guarantee that the City Council would actually pass it, having had many years to do so and facing a change of membership in January. This structural change would still need to be approved by the Mayor and might even need a vote by Newton voters.
Help get the word out and ensure that all voters are fully educated about this important ballot question!