This coming Tuesday, July 31st, Newton will hold a costly Special Election to determine whether or not our Council elections will remain in May or if they will be moved to November. In March of this year, I voiced my support for Council candidates Schlaffer and Dickson’s plan to move the election to a November date with the intent to increase civic engagement and for the subsequent long-term cost-savings. I still consider these to be well founded reasons to recommend this measure.
Unfortunately, others in the community improperly implemented a petition on the same premise during April. As a result, we now have a nearly $20,000 Special Election scheduled that was easily avoidable. Additional town expenditures were created through unnecessary litigation against a clearly written statute requiring the Special Election, all brought forth by the same group also.
Out of the three council members who vocally supported the move, Mr. Schlaffer’s stance has remained constant, Ms. Diglio has rescinded, and Mr. Dickson has not made a comment.
What was originally intended as a positive initiative for the entire community has now become complicated by a small group of petitioners and their ill-informed advisors. Bearing this in mind, I believe it is imperative to remind residents of their civic obligation to be proactive in all voting decisions. Please research any issue presented to you, speak with a variety of people, go to Council meetings, and always consider the entire scenario.
Lastly, whichever outcome may result after the Tuesday election, I do believe the following to be true: The Newton Town Council is currently comprised of five individuals who are vastly competent, intelligent, and civil representatives for our community. I am confident that each will contribute their personal strengths to work as a productive team, despite any differences in opinion, to continually enhance our Town of Newton.