Newton’s spending should be challenged

In 2010, CNN Money ranked Newton the third best city to live in. In October, Money magazine found the city to be the fourth best place to live in the United States, saying “Newton’s educational opportunities and community activities are what boosted it to the top of list.”

So what’s the problem? Newton’s chief financial officer works for the mayor, so of course she supports and defends his three override proposals (“Aldermen to vote on overrides,” Dec. 2). I agree the numbers seem conservative; too conservative, in fact, to be realistic. Yet there appears to be no opposition from voters to the projected figures or to current spending levels. No taxpayer scrutiny and no demand for accountability is unacceptable.

The mayor’s override request failed in 2008, given the state of the economy at that time. And the economy is worse now. What’s remarkable is no one has the backbone to confront and challenge the unsustainable contracts Newton continually negotiates, because salaries, pensions, and benefits comprise the majority of Newton’s expenses.

Brenda Loew  

Newton Upper Falls