Welcome to the Newton Beacon’s override coverage

Welcome to the Newton Beacon, Newton’s new nonprofit, nonpartisan and independent news site!

For the next several weeks, the Beacon will offer coverage of the three Proposition 2 ½ override questions on the March 14 ballot. My colleague Dan Atkinson and I will work together to provide news stories that aim to educate voters about the questions, filling a gap that was created when the Newton Tab ceased publishing a newspaper.

A bit about me: I lived in Newton for 37 years before moving to Cape Cod in 2021. My husband and I raised our family in the Garden City and our children attended Newton Public Schools. My career as a journalist has mostly focused on Newton. In addition to working as editor of the Newton Tab, I covered Newton for the Boston Globe, taught Boston University students to cover Newton for the Globe, and authored the book, “Legendary Locals of Newton.”

I am delighted to be working with Dan Atkinson again. Dan was my assistant editor at the Tab for two years, and I have great respect for the work he has done covering several metro communities, including Boston. Dan covered Boston City Hall for the Boston Herald and continues to work as an investigative reporter for DigBoston. He currently teaches journalism at Lasell University and advises the campus newspaper.

Our mission is to provide override coverage exclusively. While the Beacon plans to offer full-fledged coverage of Newton in the future, we will not cover any non-override related news for the next several weeks. We welcome your input and would love to hear your thoughts, story ideas or news tips. Please send them to us at news@newtonbeacon.org.

Our intent is to help answer questions you might have about city finances, school budgets and what “yes” and “no” votes might mean. We will report on Proposition 2 ½ override history in Newton, break down the reasons Mayor Fuller is seeking to raise property taxes, look at the conditions behind the requests for additional funding for Countryside and Franklin, and discuss other override-related issues. We hope to include a few columns from community members to help bring you different opinions.

Neither Dan nor I live in Newton; we will not be voting on these questions and we have no stake in the outcome. We are professional journalists producing professional, objective stories. In the case of errors, we will issue corrections promptly and thoroughly, and will explain what we got wrong.

Our short and fast schedule limits the number of stories we post each week and does not allow us time to moderate or engage in comments on articles, but we encourage you to post and discuss on social media. Email is the best way to communicate with us: gspector@newtonbeacon.org and datkinson@newtonbeacon.org.

Please sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and stay informed as we post stories. We look forward to showing you how a non-profit news site can serve the community.

Gail Spector and Dan Atkinson­