About the City Council (and Newton government)
The City Council is Newton's local legislature, the other half of city government from the Executive and School Departments. While citizens elect one Mayor and eight members of a School Committee to lead those parts of Newton's government, they also elect 24 Councilors, three from each of eight wards. Two of these are elected at large or city wide, and one ward councilor is elected by the citizens from their ward, like Lisle, who often is the first point of contact for citizens from Ward Seven with a question or a problem (see map of City wards, opens in new window).
While the Mayor is the Chief Executive of the City, the City Charter provides that " ... Except as otherwise provided by law or the Charter, all powers of the City shall be vested in the City Council..." For example, those powers are exercised by the Council in passing over a three hundred million dollar budget, setting the tax rate, and shaping land use policy for the City.
The Council allocates its work among a number of smaller committees comprised of members from each ward, which in turn report to the Council as a whole for final action. (A special act of the legislature changed the name from the Board of Aldermen to the Newton City Council in 2016.)
For more information, read Lisle's 2009 President's Report (PDF file, opens in new window).
The Clerk of the City Council has assembled useful information about the Council, which can be accessed on the City's web site at: http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/aldermen/default.asp
More information about other parts of Newton government can be found on the City's web site at http://www.newtonma.gov/ .
R. Lisle Baker
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The Baker Committee
137 Suffolk Road, Newton, MA 02467
Lawrence C. Bauer, Chairman
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