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Setti Warren holds town-wide summit

By Dan Agarkov
Published: December 2009

Mayor-elect Setti Warren held a summit of Newton residents to establish where Newton stood on six key areas of city life and to set future goals for his administration. This event, which attracted close to 200 people, was held at his campaign office on December 5.

Warren planned the event as a way to communicate directly with residents of Newton.

“They were really excited about the opportunity to come and participate and talk to the next mayor about what was important to them, Warren said, explaining that the residents who attended were split up into six groups – Public Safety, Energy and Environment, Economic Development and Housing, Infrastructure, Education, and Community Life.

Those chosen to participate either had expertise in the areas covered, signed up on Warren’s website, were elected officials, or won a ‘Ëœlottery’ in which the winners received phone calls from Warren’s offices inviting them to come.

After holding separate discussions, the six groups reconvened and presented their thoughts and ideas to Warren and the rest of the groups.

Prevention/Intervention Counselor Rich Catrambone, who was invited to the summit because of his expertise, thinks that this is the first step to gain the trust and respect of Newton residents. “[Warren] is really interested in developing a common vision, Catrambone said.

Catrambone appreciates Warren’s new approach to governing Newton and thinks that people’s input is very important in a city government.

Just a few of the suggestions presented at the summit were to improve energy efficiency of buildings, improve road conditions, and appropriately challenging all levels of students in the school system.

The summit was the beginning of a series of communication improvements that Warren plans to implement.

“The fact is that this is the beginning and this is not a one-time event, Warren said, adding that he hopes to hold “mini town hall meetings throughout the city in each of the 13 villages.

Warren also hopes to utilize the city website more effectively in the future as well as chand change the atmosphere of Newton politics.

“It’s ok to disagree, it’s a good thing to disagree, but we should do it in a respectful fashion, said Warren. As mayor, he believes that the community needs to change its tone regarding city issues.

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