Ken Parker's WBZ Interview

If you missed Ken Parker's appearance on WBZ earlier this month, click here to listen to the full interview.  Let us know your thoughts!



Alderman Parker's Statement on Tomorrow's Override

I'm writing to share some of my thoughts on tomorrow's override and to let my friends and supporters know why, despite my concerns regarding City management issues, I plan to vote yes.

Many of my friends and supporters are skeptical about whether a yes vote will lead to the change we need at Newton City Hall. I have concluded that it is in the best interest of the long-term fiscal health of the City and the quality of life for Newton residents for the override to pass.

The override presents us with two difficult options: vote yes and face higher taxes or vote no and face cuts in services. I believe the reality is that if we do not pass the override, the mayor will make significant cuts to services that will negatively impact the quality of life in Newton. Can the Board of Aldermen stop these cuts? Perhaps a few, but most will not be preventable. These cuts include significant reductions in maintenance that will likely result in our needing to spend millions of dollars in renovation and replacement down the road ­ not to mention higher energy costs for heating and cooling our buildings.

Despite the best efforts of a number of Aldermen in recent years to improve management practices at Newton City Hall (and we have had some successes), it is unrealistic to think that there are quick fixes that will solve our current deficit without significant cuts in services.

I completely understand the frustration and hesitation on the part of many to support this override and frankly I don¹t blame them one bit. It¹s a personal choice that everyone has to make. For me personally, the reality of cuts in services outweigh my frustration with the current administration and for that reason I plan to vote yes on the override.

After Tuesday's vote, we will need to come together as a community to pursue new ideas to make our government work better. I hope that regardless of whether the override passes, we will all be open-minded about ideas to make our government more efficient and effective at addressing the needs of Newton residents. That means making use of the best ideas of override supporters and opponents alike.

Alderman Ken Parker 


Statement of Alderman Ken Parker Regarding Mayor Cohen’s Decision Not To Seek Re-Election

I’d like to thank Mayor Cohen for his nearly four decades of public service. While he and I have had some strong policy disagreements in recent years, I have never doubted his commitment to our community and concern for the people of Newton.

I am well aware of the challenges associated with serving as Mayor of Newton and the effort Mayor Cohen has put into his job. He has worked long hours and made time to participate in a great many community and civic events.

Despite our policy disagreements, Mayor Cohen and I have worked together on a number of issues of concern to Newton residents, including the Crystal Lake beach expansion effort and I look forward to continuing to work with him during his remaining months in office.

I wish Mayor Cohen and his family the best.

Alderman Ken Parker 


Alderman Parker Saves Newton Ratepayers $1 Million

The TAB highlights another example of Alderman Parker's strong commitment to good government:

Aldermen adjusted the amount they [the Board of Alderman] directed to replacing all water meters in the city, after Alderman Ken Parker said Newton is paying too much.

After approving the original $12.5 million, Parker learned that Newton would be paying 46 percent more for the meters and 74 percent more for installation than Brookline had less than three years ago.

Aldermen agreed to a lower amount in the Monday night meeting of the Board of Aldermen.

Alderman Parker has also issued a full press release detailing the process of achieving the new $11.5 million amount, which you can find here.  Parker also continues to find ways to lower the price.

~ Shawn