With outstanding leadership from Chestnut Hill residents, Ruthanne Fuller and Mal Salter, the Citizen Advisory Group produced an excellent study of Newton’s finances, from budgets to capital spending, focusing on sources and uses of funds in the City’s myriad projects and programs. The detailed study showed that Newton lacks essential discipline in setting priorities and has neglected adequate maintenance of buildings, schools, and other capital equipment. Apparently our elected officials have lacked the fortitude and foresight to cope with many problems that are now beyond the point where they can be easily or quickly fixed.
We hope to see more follow-up action on the part of the administration and aldermen, but new leadership will be needed to keep the priorities on the table. In any case, we all owe a great thank-you to Mal and Ruthanne for countless hours of meetings, studies, endless analysis, and more meetings over the past three years. They represent the best in Newton’s volunteer corps.