Peter F. Harrington

Candidate for Charter Commission

photo of Peter F Harrington

Married 56 years, 3 surviving children, 6 grandchildren, practicing attorney in West Newton. I am running to provide continuity and historical balance to our new Charter Commission. Our charter is our compass and a review committee should be free from control of serving public office holders and employees

Questions and Answers

Question 1

What characteristics do you think are important in a charter commission member?

A basic understanding of the historic principles of democratic and representative government.

A concern to protect the right of voter’s participation in municipal government.

An ability to listen with an open mind to all sides of a discussion about problems with the Newton Municipal Charter, without the prejudice of a preconceived agenda.

Less unimportant, but helpful, would be some experience with the Legislative Process on Roberts Rule of Order.

Question 2

What community involvement and/or experience would you bring to the charter commission?

Joan and I moved to Newton in 1962; we have been active in church, civic and political affairs. I served 6 years in the National Guard (26th Inf. Div.), 4 years on the Board of Aldermen, 6 years as a State Representative, 2 years on Newton’s last Charter Commission and over 50 years as a general practice attorney in West Newton. I bring experience with people and their concerns to the Charter Commission.

Question 3

What are the key areas of the charter you would like to see reviewed?

I have no agenda and would like to review the entire charter. Matters for consideration would include length of term, term limits, size of the Board of Aldermen, use of modern communication technology to allow Aldermen and School Committee members to vote, area council provisions and provisions relating to the Planning Department. I generally support our strong mayor balanced by an independent legislative body and an independent school committee.

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