A message about tomorrow’s election from Alderman Lisle Baker

Dear friends:

I concur with what Ruthanne has recommended about the contested races for Aldermen and School Committee except that I would add current Alderman Jim Cote to the list from Ward 3. Also, for the Charter Commission, while there are many able candidates, I especially recommend Anne Larner, Brooke Lipsitt and George Mansfield because of their long experience with Newton government. Finally, while your Ward 7 aldermen are unopposed – (Ruthanne, Marc Laredo, and me at the end of the ballot) – we also welcome your support. In the meantime, thank you and best wishes,

Alderman Lisle Baker


A message about Tuesday’s election from Alderman Ruthanne Fuller


Have you figured out who you are voting for on Tuesday, November 3rd in Newton?

It’s an unusual year: more contested Aldermanic races that usual, a feisty atmosphere on the campaign trail, and a Charter Commission on the ballot.

Here’s a list of who I’m voting for and why.

Ruthanne Fuller

p.s. My race in Ward 7 for Alderman-at-Large is uncontested this year … but I would still appreciate your vote!


Ward 1 – Ward Alderman (you can only vote for Alison if you live in Ward 1)

Alison Leary: Warm, progressive, unusually effective in her first term, a problem solver

Ward 2 – Alderman-at-Large

Susan Albright: Good heart, strong values, deep commitment to Newton’s citizens, an unusual understanding of the issues facing us, former member and Chair of the School Committee so also sensitive to educational issues

Marcia Johnson: Committed leader of zoning reform, keen intellect, committed to inclusiveness and diversity

Ward 3 – Alderman-at-Large

Ted Hess-Mahan: Passionate, deep land use and housing expertise

Ward 5 – Alderman-at-Large

Deb Crossley: Superb chair of Public Facilities, value and data driven, hard worker, architectural skills enormously valuable (only architect on the Board)

Brian Yates: Lifelong Newton resident and deeply committed to the City, especially historic preservation

Ward 8 – Alderman-at-Large

David Kalis: Asks a lot of questions to understand root causes and to find balanced solutions, listens to all sides and engages with everyone

Rick Lipof: Lifelong Newton resident and deeply committed to the City

School Committee

Ward 2

Margaret Albright: deep knowledge of a wide range of educational issues, a change agent within the establishment

Ward 5

Steve Siegel: thoughtful, balanced, listens and leads, available, honest and direct, well prepared, weighs trade-offs transparently

Charter Commission

In addition to voting for Aldermen and School Committee members, you can vote on whether to approve the creation of a Charter Commission and you can vote on who the Charter Commission members should be if the majority of us vote “yes” for the Charter Commission.

The Charter Commission will review and recommend changes to Newton’s charter (our constitution). The Charter establishes the powers and authority of the Mayor, Board of Aldermen, School Committee, and other public officials, boards and commissions. It also establishes the terms of elected officials and the number of seats on the Board of Aldermen.

A Charter Commission has 9 members. The members are elected at the same time as the commission is created.

The Charter Commission works for 18 months. The revised charter it supports is placed on the ballot for approval/rejection by Newton voters in November 2017.

Even if you vote “no” on establishing a Charter Commission, you may still vote for Charter Commission members.

I am voting “yes” for a Charter Commission. Our last Charter Commission was 46 years ago. It’s time for a fresh look. Can we improve the way we govern ourselves? Probably.

We can only vote for nine candidates but there are more than nine that I would be happy to support.

When choosing who to vote for, I looked for: (1) a deep understanding of Newton and/or government, (2) an open, inquisitive mind about new ways of governing, and (3) strong interpersonal skills to work successfully in a diverse group.

Here are my top nine in alphabetical order:

Bryan Barash: Serves as the legislative director and general counsel of the state Senate Majority Leader. Deeply involved with the work of the Newton Human Rights Commission and Green Newton. Inquisitive, a good listener, a fresh perspective.

Jane Frantz: Has lived in Newton for 34 years. Teacher in the Newton Public Schools. Cares deeply about Newton, a reformer at heart.

Peter Harrington: Has lived in Newton for 52 years. Served four years on the Board of Aldermen, six years as State Representative. Served on the last Charter Commission in 1971. Knowledgeable, experienced, historical perspective.

Howard Haywood: Fifth generation resident of Newton. Served on the Planning and Development Board and Human Rights Commission. Currently serving on the Council on Aging and the Newton Housing Authority. Former pastor of Newton’s Myrtle Baptist Church. Good heart, sees the forest for the trees, open mind, understands Newton.

Rhanna Kidwell: Has lived in Newton for twenty-one years. Co-leader of the League of Women Voters of Newton study which examined our current charter to see if we should update it. Understands the wide range of issues we might consider changing and best practices. Articulate and deeply versed in charter issues.

Josh Krintzman: Grew up in Newton. President of the Lower Falls Improvement Association. PTO leader. As attorney for the Massachusetts Senate, reviews every change or rewrite of city and town charters. Deep knowledge of charters and passionate about Newton.

Anne Larner: Has lived in Newton for over forty years. Sixteen years on the Newton School Committee, eight of them as Chair. Wise and experienced.

Brooke Lipsitt: Grew up in Newton. Twelve years on the Board of Aldermen, six of which she was President of the Board. Chair of Zoning Board of Appeals. Knows intimately the pros and cons of our current charter, understands zoning and special permits, an experienced leader.

Chris Steele: Five years on the Newton Economic Development Commission, two of which he was Chair. By profession, a community and economic development consultant who studies what makes cities and towns work well. An expert in zoning and planning. Energetic, well read and serious.

I am also very impressed with Kathy Winters who I recently met. She’s smart, great working with groups with diverse views, curious and balanced. George Mansfield, a former long time Alderman, would also bring his extensive background in city planning to the charter commission.

Parking restrictions on Saturday, October 24th

On October 24th, parking will be restricted in and around Chestnut Hill, due to the Wells Remy Crowther “Red Bandana” road 5K race.

View detailed list of traffic and parking restrictions here and here

MA DOT presentation on the plan to add a lane on Route 128

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The Department or Transportation recently presented its plan to add and lane and re-configure Route 128 between Route 9 and Kendrick St.

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View the entire presentation here (click image, then scroll)

Parking restrictions on May 18th – BC graduation day.

On May 18th, parking will be restricted in and around Chestnut Hill, due to graduation at Boston College.

View detailed list of traffic and parking restrictions here. 

View list of BC graduation related events on the BC website.

Waban Hill Reservoir News

The CHA is happy to report that the request to purchase the Waban Hill Reservoir has passed the Community Preservation Committee, the Program and Services Committee and the Finance Committee. The last and final hurdle is before the Board of Alderman.

If you are interested in preserving this open space for Chestnut Hill and all of Newton residents to enjoy please make every effort to attend Monday night, March 16th, 7:00 pm at Newton City Hall.

For more information on the plans for the site and the history of this project, visit the Community Preservation Program on the City of Newton website.