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I ask for your vote on November 3rd

I am running for a seat on Newton’s Charter Commission and seek your support on November 3rd.

I moved to Newton in 1973 as a young mother of two with my husband Bob Larner who was returning to teach at Brandeis University. I quickly made connections by becoming active on school issues, joining and leading a number of community groups.

Why am I running for a seat on this Commission?

quoteHaving spent over forty years serving as an elected official and as an activist helping to address concerns that frustrate Newton residents, I have the broad perspective and on-the-job experience to help a commission move through a time-consuming process of gathering input, analyzing options and vetting possible alternatives to current practices.

During my years on the School Committee, especially my eight years as Chair, I faced challenging issues of redistricting, siting new school buildings, cutting programs in tough times, pushing for overrides, eliminating one of the two early release days for elementary schools and helping to bring “Getting to Yes” contract negotiations to the school system.

I care about this city and my fellow residents. I value civic engagement that includes many stakeholders having input. I value different perspectives and want to make sure varying points of view get to be heard and considered in this process and in the way government operations are structured going forward.

My Experience

Early training in historical research, my MBA, and my years leading a regional watchdog agency have sharpened my analytical skills and ability to review existing conditions and data.

My experience on various taskforces and committees either as member or chair have given me a perspective on the importance of keeping dialogue civil and respectful and providing citizens adequate opportunity to express their concerns. More than 12 years of contract negotiating and extensive training in conflict resolution have provided me tools to move forward solutions that meet the interests of varied stakeholders.

And finally my work with three different Newton Mayors and a half dozen other Mayors from the greater Boston area as well as a number of town executives has given me practical knowledge of some of the common pressures facing communities and an understanding of the pros and cons of various ways governments can be structured in Massachusetts.

What about the Charter?

I have a track record of working constructively toward consensus when challenges arise.

I believe that I would add significant value and perspective to the Commission as it sorts through ideas and concerns from citizens, municipal staff, and elected officials about how to make our government more efficient and responsive to community interests.

I ask for your vote on November 3rd.