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Newton mayor giving 2009 exit 'careful consideration'

Posted by David Dahl, Regional Editor May 8, 2008 02:33 PM

Newton Mayor David Cohen, facing calls from allies and critics alike to announce he won't run for re-election, said he is giving "careful consideration'' to the request and will make an announcement on Friday.

Cohen's former campaign manager and Move Newton Forward, a group pushing a $12-million property tax override, called on him to announce he wouldn't seek re-election in 2009. Their moves came amid a furor over Cohen's request for a $27,500 pay raise, which he has since decided to decline.

"As you know, I received a request yesterday from the Move Newton Forward pro-override advocate organization asking that I consider announcing I will not seek re-election in 2009,'' Cohen said in a statement. "I care deeply about the passage of this override, and I am concerned about the fate of the quality of our schools, level of public safety, and the overall quality of the Newton community should this override fail on May 20th. I am therefore giving this request careful consideration.''

Some backers of the property tax hike fear voters will reject it because they distrust Cohen.

Former Cohen campaign manager Gerry Chervinsky has speculated that Cohen is unlikely to run for re-election. Cohen has been mayor of Newton since 1998.

6 comments so far...
  1. "concerned about the fate and the quality of our schools." Yeah, right. Concerned about the fate and quality of his income is more like it. Override? How about cutting back on fat pensions -- I bet there are a few dollars to be saved there!

    Posted by DC May 8, 08 04:02 PM
  1. If Mayor Cohen isn't able to give "careful consideration" about whether or not he should leave office, I'm sure the voters of Newton will be more than willing to help him decide by voting him out in 2009.

    Posted by Newton Centre May 8, 08 04:15 PM
  1. You people in Newton think that your schools are better than other towns, think again. You can't keep shoving more money at schools thinking your buying better quality. How do parochial schools accomplish so much on so little? It's not about the money. How many times can you expect the people of Newton to keep adding more money to their already bloated property tax bills? And... remember, these overides never go backwards and assessments never go down. Teachers are very important to the education of children, but they are not Johnny Damon; someone has to stop the Steinbrenner approach to education.

    Posted by hms May 8, 08 04:55 PM
  1. While I concur the timing of his request was really poor the guy has declined raises for the past 10 years, which the article conveniently leaves out so it will elicit the usual sarcastic/angry comments in the forum. He makes ~$97000 a year, not much given the size of Newton and the demanding demographics.

    Posted by SS May 8, 08 05:04 PM
  1. Major Cohen's salary is no match to the school superintendent. I believe every employee should have the right to have at least a cost of living adjustment. I would like Major Cohen has a raise but I would not vote for him if he decided to run for re-election.

    I felt the pro-override group is using the same approach as Bush on the Iraqi war. If override doesn't pass, teacher, police will be laid off. Class size will increase, road will not be repair and library will be closed. How about cut some extra city hall staffs and trim operating cost, increase fees..I am willing to pay for the service I need. You know what, I am willing to endure all the these and live thru this fiscal crisis. When you are short of cash, you don't dine out. BTW, I have 2 school age children in the Newton school system.

    Posted by newton resident May 8, 08 05:26 PM
  1. hms,
    do you honestly think the money is going to the teachers???? what rock do you live under? this money is going into the ridiculous, over the top HS they are building. The teachers don't benefit whatsoever, in fact they are on the verge of losing jobs!

    Posted by Joe May 9, 08 11:10 AM
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