Info on Municipal Ballot Questions

When you vote, please be sure you have two ballots–one for the state election and one for the special municipal election.  There are two questions on the special ballot regarding the number of marijuana outlets to be allowed in NewtonWe urge you to think of both questions as a pair. The questions are as follows, though we’re not sure in which order they will appear:

Questions What a ‘Yes’ Vote Means What a ‘No’ Vote Means
Shall the City of Newton adopt the following general ordinance: All recreational marijuana retail establishments shall be prohibited from operating in the City of Newton. A “YES” vote on this question would authorize the City Council to pass an ordinance banning any recreational marijuana retail stores from operating in Newton. A “NO” vote would leave the current law in place, that is, the Newton City Council may limit the number of recreational marijuana retail stores in Newton to no fewer than twenty per cent (20%) of Newton’s retail liquor store licenses, or eight (8) stores.
Shall the City of Newton adopt the following zoning ordinance: The number of recreational marijuana retail establishments allowed to operate shall be not fewer than two (2) nor more than four (4) establishments set by a general ordinance adopted by the City Council. A “YES” vote on this question would authorize the City Council to pass an ordinance limiting the allowed number of recreational marijuana retail stores to fewer than the otherwise required minimum of eight (8): specifically, between two (2) and four (4) recreational marijuana retail stores. The exact number of retail stores allowed to open within this range would be determined by a separate ordinance enacted by the City Council. A “NO” vote would leave the current law in place, that is, the Newton City Council may limit the number of recreational marijuana retail stores in Newton to no fewer than twenty percent (20%) of Newton’s retail liquor store licenses, or eight (8) stores.

There are three groups advocating for or against the ballot questions, though not all have websites. ‘Opt Out Newton’ is advocating for a yes vote on the total ban and a no vote on the limited number of retail outlets.  ‘Responsible First Step Newton’ is advocating for a no vote on the total ban and a yes vote on the limited number of retail outlets.  ‘Respect the Vote’ is advocating for a no vote on both.

For more on the issue, click on these links:

Yes, you CAN vote this week in state and special municipal elections!!

Here’s the early voting information from the City of Newton Elections Office:

Early Voting is available for both Elections

Newton City Hall – 1000 Commonwealth Avenue
October 22 – 25, 2018, 8:30 am to 8:00 pm.
October 26, 2018, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
October 29 – November 1, 2018, 8:30 am – 8:00 pm
November 2, 2018, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Newton North High School – 457 Walnut Street
October 27 & 28, 2018, Noon  to 5:00 pm

Newton South High School – 140 Brandeis Road
October 27 & 28, 2018, Noon to 5:00 pm

Golda Meir House – 160 Stanton Avenue (Limited Parking)
October 24, 2018, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Lasell Village – 120 Seminary Avenue
October 25, 2018, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Coleman House – 677 Winchester Street
October 29, 2018, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Evans Park – 430 Centre Street
October 30, 2018, 9:00 am – Noon

Consider applying for Newton’s Blue Ribbon Compensation Commission

The City Council is establishing a Blue Ribbon Commission to look at compensation for our elected officials–the Mayor, City Council and School Committee members.  Nine to fifteen community members, chosen by City Council President Marc Laredo,  will begin their evaluation in January, 2019, with results and recommendations to be reported to the City Council in June, 2019.  No prior compensation experience is required, but those interested do need to send their resumes and cover letters to City Clerk David Olson. Those chosen for the commission will be announced December 14, 2018.

For more information, please read the attached letter: 10-09-18 Compensation Commission

Topic Meeting Notes on Q1 and Marijuana Questions

Many thanks to Frieda Dweck for organizing October’s Topic Meeting on Massachusetts Ballot Question 1 (Patient-Nurse Limits) and the Municipal Marijuana Questions!  Thanks to our speakers as well:  Rep. Denise Garlick and Kevin Whitney on Question 1 and Karen Sherman and Jane Frantz on the Marijuana Questions.  It was a well-attended and informative meeting…notes on both parts of the discussion are attached.

LWVN Topic Meeting October 2018–Q 1 Notes

LWVN Topic Meeting October 2018–Marijuana Questions

For more information from the advocacy groups for Question 1, click on the links below:

Question 1:  Safe Patient Limits (Vote Yes)          Coalition to Protect Patient Safety (Vote No)

For more on the meeting, read the Newton TAB article. 

‘Hello Washington Street’ Vision Plan and Zoning Recommendations

‘Hello Washington Street’ Vision Plan and Zoning Recommendations

WHEN: Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Newton North High School, 457 Walnut St., Newtonville MA

What’s happening on October 24th?

  • People will have an opportunity to view the first drafts of the vision plan and zoning recommendations for Hello Washington Street!  These are ideas for the future of Washington Street from West Newton, to Newtonville, and up to Newton Corner. 
  •  Images, drawings, and text will show options for what these areas on Washington Street could look like 5 years in the future. Other images and drawings will show options for these areas 20+ years in the future.  
  • Starting at 6:00 p.m. we will have food and refreshments and a design gallery for viewing.  Then at 6:30 p.m. we will have an overview presentation by Principle Group, with an introduction from Mayor Fuller.  Then, we will break up the room into stations by geography and allow time for people to rotate through. Stations will include: West Newton, Newtonville, and the area near Crafts St. at Washington. We will also look at Washington Street itself and options for how to make the road safer and easier to navigate. If you arrive after the event has started, we will provide the overview presentation you missed at the beginning.  Throughout the event members of the planning team will be answering questions and listening to feedback. We will end the event with a recap and Q&A.

  What happens next?

  • This event will be followed by a month-long comment period, when people will be asked to go online to read the draft documents and leave their comments directly on the pdf.  Paper copies will be available too at the Newton Library with a way for people to give input.
  • In person events like topic-specific forums and drop-in office hours will be held later this year where you can ask more questions and discuss the ideas more in depth. We will announce these dates at the Plan Open House event on October 24th.  
  • At the end of January, we will release the second draft of the vision plan and zoning recommendations.  This will be followed by a second comment period as we refine the plan into a final version for review by City Council.

  What should I do?

  • Come in person, if you can, for the event!  Tell your neighbors, friends, and colleagues! After the event, please read the plan and provide your comments online.  Stay involved in the process as we move from first draft to second draft.

Thank you for your continued support for diverse housing and a smart approach to transportation that enables everyone to live, work, and play here and beyond.

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