The IdeaBlog

Welcome to the Ken Parker for Mayor of Newton IdeaBlog!  In 2008 over 100 people came together with Alderman Ken Parker and prepared an exciting plan for our city called A Blueprint for Newton's Future.  Together, they have proposed innovative, creative ways to address our financial challenges, reinvent local government in Newton for the 21st century and restore excellence to our wonderful community. 

Here on the IdeaBlog we will be highlighting their ideas and welcoming your input--so have a look and let us know your thoughts!


Escuela primaria....école primaire......小学....начальная школа?

Elementary school years offer a unique opportunity to prepare children for foreign language fluency. Difficult budget years in the past led to the elimination of foreign language instruction in Newton elementary schools. With our schools already offering a fantastic international exchange program, and given the increasing connections we share with the rest of the world, the time is right to bring this essential education program back to our elementary schools. 

Could this program be restored now, even given the difficult economic times? We think it's possible. With good planning and innovation a citizen task force could help restore this important program in Newton's elementary schools.  To learn more, click here.


Turning Water Into ....Money?

While no study of the amount of water wasted by the City of Newton has been conducted, there is strong anecdotal evidence that thousands of gallons are wasted every month. A faucet at Horace Mann Elementary School leaked for 76 days before being repaired...while others have yet to be fixed. A leaking (and overflowing) urinal in one of the fire stations was not fixed for months, and urinals in the basement of Newton City Hall that have been running continuously for several years.

The City pays for all of this wasted water. Each leaky faucet costs the City approximately $300 per year in MWRA charges, which does not include the energy costs involved when hot water is wasted. With a little focus Newton could save money and improve the environment through good maintenance, use of grey water and expanded use of well water.

How? Read more here.



Philanthropy for Newton?

Here in Newton many city residents generously support local non-profit institutions by making personal donations. Could we enlist similar help financing schools, parks, recreational facilities and more?  A "Newton Foundation" could be created in the mold of the Newton Schools Foundation, which would make it easier for willing individuals to contribute to the betterment of our city.  Other cities have had success in this area, and Newton could as well.  Read more about this idea here, and let us know your thoughts.

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