25 Rustic St., Newton, MA 02458
I applaud the Charter Commission members, many of whom I know personally and respect. As a School Committee candidate, listening in hundreds of conversations, 2 things are clear to me: 1. Newton voters are educated and informed and will make choices based on their understanding of what is best both immediately and in the long term 2. School Committee representation is by Ward, elected at large. As a School Committee member, my firm commitment is to represent all students regardless of Ward.
Before even considering it, I would want evidence that outsourcing would result in significant and meaningful benefits for the district, including but not limited to financial benefits. Then the School Committee would need to consider all of the issues and determine what is in the best interests of the entire school system. As a candidate, I have not seen any confidential information on the topic. No option should or would ever be considered that would put our children at risk for safety.
Our school transportation policy should be a collaborative effort between the school system, local organizations and city agencies, supporting families in finding multiple safe routes to and from school. Encouraging kids to walk or bike to school for the physical and emotional health benefits including brain activation and reducing stress is highly important. My experience collaborating with agencies and organizations in Newton would allow me to be an effective leader in this effort.
152 Pearl St., Newton, MA
Yes. Effective/responsive government. The new charter maintains ward representation requiring 8 councilors to live in their ward. Councilors will understand community concerns and look out for their interests. These councilors will be elected citywide, just like School Committee members. At-large elections attract minority candidates and candidates who advocate for a particular interest while mobilizing voters from across the city. The new term limits give new candidates an opportunity to run.
Simply using privatization to reduce cost is not as effective as it may first appear to be. There is a social cost to the work place, such as harm to employees, the community, schools and students. Before considering privatizing, there should be a review of the underlying administration and cost drivers. Then the city needs to determine if there is a more efficient or economically viable solution such as cutting out waste and managing cost through attrition.
1. Provide safe biking and walking accessibility
2. Improve cross walk signage and markings
3. Reduce congestion by improving Blue Zones
4. Increase bus ridership by reviewing bus fees and incentivizing bus usage
5. Reduce bus related costs (e.g. increase the number of bidders, find less costly ways to park buses, etc.)