Newton started the new year off with a new City Council and a new School Committee.
Both bodies of the city’s government had their members sworn in on Monday at City Hall, right before the city kicked off its 150th anniversary celebration.
The City Council has six new members—David Micley of Ward 2, Randy Block of Ward 4, Rena Getz of Ward 5 (at-large), Martha Bixby of Ward 6, Alan Lobovits of Ward 6 (at-large) and Stephen Farrell of Ward 8—and a new president, Ward 7 At-Large Councilor Marc Laredo.
“I will work hard to earn the support and the trust that you have shown me,” Laredo said to the Council after he was officially elected council president on Monday.
Laredo focused much of his speech on a theme of cooperation.
“We have a duty to deliberate thoughtfully, and that means listening to each other.” Laredo continued. “It also means that we can disagree, and that is healthy,”
Councilor Lisle Baker, who has served on the Council for more than 40 years.
The School Committee had no competitive races this past election, but there are two new members—Amy Davenport of Ward 7 and Barry Greenstein of Ward 8—elected to fill seats of outgoing members Kathleen Shields and Cove Davis, respectively.
Christopher Brezski is now chair of the School Committee, at a time when Newton schools grapple with a post-pandemic learning and emotional crisis and the teachers union fights both the School Committee and the mayor for a better contract.
“Our challenge, as we continue to work through this moment, is to ensure that Newton continues to thread that needle for the generations to come—being a city of 90,000 and delivering that high-quality education, producing strong academic output and providing what is required for the diverse needs of our students,” Brezski said.
“And to manage these two realities, I simply ask that we be productive,” Brezski continued. “Being productive includes an honest assessment and, if necessary, reevaluation of the path we are on.”
Below are more photos and videos from Monday’s swearing-in ceremony.
School Committee Chair Christopher Brezski speaks at Newton’s inauguration ceremony.
NewCity Church Pastor Devlin Scott delivers inauguration Benediction.