Rhanna Kidwell

Candidate for Charter Commission

photo of Rhanna Kidwell

I am a 21-year resident of Newton, wife, and mother of two teenagers. I am a longtime advocate for Newton charter reform. I co-chaired the LWV of Newton’s 2009 charter study, and I led the LWVN’s signature drive to get the charter review question on the ballot.

Questions and Answers

Question 1

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

Ideal commissioners will be collaborative, team-oriented, and committed to our community.  They should be strong leaders who can abide controversy and maintain a spirit of respect and civility.  They should have a strong interest in city charter research, and the ability to think creatively about alternatives.  They should be excellent communicators and effective at community outreach.  The ideal commission will also represent Newton’s various age, geographic, and economic groups.

Question 2

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

I am a past president of the Mason-Rice PTO, the Newton PTO Council, and the Newton Mothers’ Forum, and a former LWV Newton board member. I am currently a board member of the West Suburban YMCA, a Girl Scout troop leader, a member of the Newton Public Schools Equity Committee, and a longtime member of the United Methodist Church of Newton. Professionally, I have 19 years of corporate work experience. Read more at RhannaKidwell.com.

Question 3

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

I don’t approach the charter commission with specific solutions.  I believe in entering the review with an open mind and a commitment to the process for exploring alternatives and gathering public input.  My goals for the commission are increased voter engagement (e.g. improved voter turnout, more contested elections) and improved government efficiency and effectiveness.  Thus, my priorities for review include the size of our Board of Aldermen, term lengths, and term limits.

Return to top of page