Mayor David B. Cohen of Newton -- who has come under political fire for the $197 million price tag for the Newton North High School project and for briefly considering taking a pay raise even as he asked city voters for a $12 million override -- announced this morning that he will not seek a fourth term in office.
This is the full text of his statement:
It has been my privilege to serve as Mayor of the City of Newton for the past 11 years. I take great pride in the many accomplishments we have achieved as a community throughout that time, keeping ours a City without equal in our commitment to educational excellence, cutting edge environmental initiatives, an exceptional record of public safety and for providing a wide range of outstanding programs and services to citizens of all ages.
Our ability to continue providing these programs at the level we have all grown accustomed to is in jeopardy on May 20th. The outcome of this override vote will determine whether we build on the progress we’ve made together, or whether we will be forced to make deep and painful cuts that will have a significant impact on students and residents from every village and in every neighborhood in Newton.
My support for this override is unequivocal, and it is rooted in a deeply held belief that the citizens of Newton deserve the same quality of life that I enjoyed growing up and attending public schools here. The hard working proponents for the override publicly expressed their concern that if I stood for re-election it may have an adverse effect on the override. The outcome of this override is far more important to me than my political career. It is for this reason that I have decided that my third term as mayor will be my last.
Over the next 19 months you can be sure that I will work as hard as ever to see that the people’s business continues to get done. The important work to construct Newton North, the improvements to the Newton South fields, the acquisition of property at Crystal Lake, the many projects underway to conserve energy and improve efficiencies all will continue.
We will not stop our efforts to provide Newton schoolchildren with the highest quality educational experience, to provide important and meaningful programs and activities to our senior citizens, and to continue promoting and hosting events that unite the citizens of Newton. The people of Newton can be assured that its mayor and employees will continue our efforts to provide the safest and highest quality of life in our community.
I want to thank the people of Newton for their continued support, and I would urge each of them to move Newton forward by voting Yes on May 20th.