When voters went to the polls this past Tuesday, they voted for those they wanted to represent them and their interests on the Newton City Council.
While it is disappointing there were no contested races, through which the public could have had an open discussion of the important issues the city faces in the coming years, it’s important to acknowledge the current members of the council have been doing exactly that the past few weeks. After all, that’s what we “hired” them to do when we voted each of them into office.
Deliberation. Debate. Discussion. These are all very healthy in the execution of good governance. Without them, the voters — the people the council represents — are not served. Their votes are all for naught.
Councilors Jeff Price, Evelyn George, Dennis Julius, Noreen Otto, Craig Trotter and Steve Mullan should all be commended for taking the time to truly deliberate issues like the creation of a Development Specialist position, the launch of the Newton Housing Initiative, and even issues as simple as parking regulations.
Mayor Mike Hansen should be equally commended for his leadership. He has weighed in appropriately during important decision-making processes, and has both allowed maximum public interaction at meetings, while also keeping discussions focused to matters at hand.
Even though many of the city staff’s recommendations have been great ideas, rubber-stamping those recommendations would not be representative government. Even the best ideas should be thoroughly analyzed before they are executed.
Those initiatives that are approved should be representative of Newton as a community. With our current city council, that’s exactly what we’ve been getting of late.