Has extremism has come to Newton? The unbending will of the old right has been copied and embraced by the new left. The words of Sir John Dalberg-Acton are as true today as they ere in the mid 1800’s, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
While the voters of Newton prepare for another summer of vacation, Bar-B-Que and visits with friends and relatives the political elite have been hard at work.
A new Municipal Charter will be recommended to the voters; a Charter that abolishes one of the historic, fundamental principles of our democratic republic; a Charter that eliminates half of the Councilors at Large and all of the Ward Councilors. With a sly smile and a toot on their dog whistle, the Charter Champions will say the change is needed to make government more efficient. Efficiency is not a hallmark of democracy. It is however, an essential tool of a more restrictive form of government.
Second, the Newton Democrats have voted to abrogate our tradition of non-partisan municipal elections; a tradition incorporated in our original Charter, our current Charter and our proposed new Charter. Newton Democrats intend to participate in our local non-partisan elections by supporting and endorsing candidates for election to local office and opposing candidates the party elite disagree with.
Finally, on June 19th, the City Council intends to vote favorably, after making a finding that the four and five story, two block long project, 150 feet south of single and two family homes in Newtonville, will be in a visual scale with the residential neighborhood. They will vote for it claiming Newton needs more diversity in its housing stock. But then, they’ll be echoing the concerns of their constituents; like the concerns of the woman who spoke up at one of the public hearings and said, “I’m glad they are putting this project in Newtonville. Now they won’t have to put one in my Village.”