Police Task Force Discussion
The 12-member Police Reform Task Force outlined these draft recommendations February 3 to the Public Safety committee.
They also told us that police morale is poor, possibly linked to both the state of their workplaces as well as their relationship to the community. But they also found that the community is generally satisfied with safety, with Black residents expressing less safety and comfort with police than other demographics in Newton.
A final report is due to the mayor on March 1. To join the email list for Task Force updates, click here.
Following release of the final report, I will be working with the Public Safety & Transportation committee, the mayor and the department to outline areas where Council can help make changes and in planning how to move forward. We will start at our March 27 meeting with Interim Chief Howard Mintz. Like the Task Force and the department, I want to ensure that everyone in Newton is and feels safe.
Budget SeasonCouncil is already preparing for our next big task--passing the next city budget. Councilor Grossman, who chairs the Finance Committee, is asking for questions from councilors so that these can be answered by the administration before our deliberations begin. What are your questions?
Village vitalityEven before the pandemic I and my colleagues were looking at ways to enliven our village centers. Here are two initiatives I am excited about:
Food pantry exploring new locations
(From the Chamber of Commerce (excellent newsletter, by the way):
The Centre Street Food Pantry in Newton is exploring options for new space.
Cost is very important and the pantry is open to partnering with religious organizations or other non-profits or commercial partners who want to be generous with their space at low rent.
Needs include: 2000 square feet (minimum) open floor plan or one that allows for a reconfigurable room division; ground level access, with no stairs, for moving food easily; and space where cars can pull up near the entrance, or a parking lot. Email Saadia Baloch for more specifics or you have any ideas.
Hoping you get vaccinated soon!
Almost every month I write constituents about a topic before the city