Newton Override Vote: Share Your View in Video

How will you vote on March 12? Submit your 1-minute video making your case to Newton voters: should they vote "yes" or "no"? Click the "Upload Video" button below or email YouTube video links to Melanie.Graham@patch.co

After four and a half months of discussion, debate and number-crunching, the Newton voters have just a week left to decide how they will vote on Mayor Setti Warren's $11.4 million proposed override.

While many may have their minds made up, there are some undecided voters out there who still need convincing -- and now is your chance to make your case before the March 12 special election.

Newton Patch is inviting you to upload a 1-minute video clip with your position/pitch on the override. This is an opportunity for residents to present their evidence and have their voices heard.

If you would like to upload a video, please remember the following:

  1. Keep it clean. Make sure you follow our Patch Terms of Use.
  2. Keep it on topic. Override-specific videos only.
  3. Keep it under 1 minute. We want that quick, elevator pitch.
  4. One video per user, please.

As you can see above, we have a couple of example videos showing support and opposition to the override. Feel free to take a look at these before uploading your own. 

Here are the steps to upload a video to this story:

  1. Make sure you are signed up and logged in to Patch (Click "sign in" in the upper right corner of the page)
  2. Click the "Upload Photo and Video" button above
  3. In the caption include any info about the video you feel is important for viewers to know

You can also feel free to upload any videos to a YouTube channel and email the YouTube link to Melanie.Graham@patch.com and we will add it to the video roll above.

Thanks for contributing! 

Check out our Newton override page for more stories, blog posts and letters to the editor

david9876 March 06, 2013 at 06:18 PM
The METCO burden is so much more than financial. It is the time and headache overhead, the distractions, the increased class sizes, the bus coordination, teachers who cannot get in touch with the parents, not enough teacher aids, not enough social workers, not enough psychiatrists, increased meals/lunch effort, the list goes on and on.. Seriously, ask any teacher what percent of their day they spend on behavioral/social/family issues, vs teaching. You would be shocked! Why are we taking on this responsibility when we cannot even manage our own problems? We have a duty to get our house in order first, before solving out of town student needs.
Stephanie March 06, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Are you asking METCO to be dropped for next year? What about the kids that have spent six years IN Newton? You want to have them go back to Boston? We accepted these students, and they should finish up here. In addition, one of my kids has NO METCO kids in her class. I think it was a space issue.
Stephanie March 06, 2013 at 07:33 PM
David, Interesting comments. Do you speak from personal experience? Because in my personal experience the METCO students in my son's class SHOW UP and are PRESENT for conferences, student performances, etc.
Moving Newton Forward March 06, 2013 at 08:06 PM
David, we find it amusing that Geoff Epstein says that non-resident doesn't represent much of a material cost when we consider that his boss told us that 36% of METCO kids received SPED services. We find it amusing that Epstein said that we shouldn't include elementary school teachers as part of our modelling when the same tax grabbers are demanding $9.2M/year in new education spending for teachers, buildings etc because we have "record levels of kindergarten enrollment". If they were performing their fiduciary duties on behalf of Newton taxpayers, they would go to Boston and tell Mayor Menino and Superintendent Johnson to either pay Newton $7.5M/year for the privilege of sending their children to our school system or make arrangements with other school systems because we do not have the capacity to take any more of their kids.
Moving Newton Forward March 06, 2013 at 08:08 PM
David, will Stephanie explain to us how the experience of non-resident kids in Newton Public Schools would suffer if Boston sent us a $7.5M/year check in appreciation for educating their children in our school system?
Stephanie March 06, 2013 at 08:14 PM
We should review each year if there is space for new METCO kids. I don't think Boston is going to send us $7.5 M. What I am stating is that when the current kids started in METCO, Newton (we) made a committment to them. I think attending school with kids who are not identical to every other student in Newton is a great experience. Yes, Newton should receive money from the program, and it does. I am stating that in my opinion you should not kick out any METCO students who are in the program, performing well, and we have made a committment to. When I use the word we, I mean WE as a community - the whole community, no matter what your view is or what my view is.
Geoffrey N Epstein March 06, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Why is it so hard for MNF to do the homework? Check my analysis instead of moving onto other hand waving. Tell me where I am wrong. It takes just a few minutes to do this. My point is that METCO kids don't trigger additional elementary teachers. Other kids do. It's that simple. From the 12/14/2009 report to the SC when Jim Marini was interim superintendent: "The policies and guidelines that govern the administration of the METCO program are designed to minimize potential costs to the school system. Specifically: 1. METCO students enter the Newton schools in Grades K, 1, and 2. They are only placed in classrooms with available seats. No METCO students would be added to a school's roster if it would require the system to hire an additional teacher. The wide distribution of students (see attached chart: METCO Placements by Grade) throughout the school system minimizes any need to add specialists as well. 2. If a METCO student with special needs requires an out of district placement, that student's placement is handled and funded by the Boston Public Schools.
Moving Newton Forward March 06, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Once again the lines of communication have broken down. We asked Stephanie a simple question. We wanted to know how the experience of non-resident kids in Newton Public Schools would suffer if Boston sent us a $7.5M/year check in appreciation for educating their children in our school system? She did everything except answer our very question!
Moving Newton Forward March 06, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Geoff, if you want to pay $360/year in taxes to underwrite the education of Boston children, that is your business. But please, please do not make it our business. We have demonstrated that an incremental cost model does not apply here, as your people are engaging in rhetorical doubletalk and doublethink. If 538 non-resident kids represent minimal incremental cost, then why is that 1,164 new kids in Newton Public Schools resulted in spending growing by $66.8M/year from 2002 to 2013? You, Claire and Jonathan Yeo still remain from the David Cohen era School Committee. 16 of the 23 Aldermen are remnants of David Cohen's regime. What in G-D's name were you people doing over there? 1. Yet the pro-override crowd demands $9.2M/year in new spending due to higher levels of kindergarten enrollment. 2. That's exactly why 36% of METCO students are receiving Special Education services (Hat Tip Claire Sokoloff)
Geoffrey N Epstein March 06, 2013 at 09:01 PM
You have made no such demonstration. The costing of the override is based on an incremental cost model. With your math, the override ask would be $11M more. I have used the same incremental model to estimate METCO costs as was used to set the educational component of the operating override at $4.5M. You have the use a consistent model or your numbers have no meaning. David Cohen would be amused to think of me as part of his regime. That's a first! We cannot have a rational debate when your numbers are anchored to nothing solid. My numbers are anchored to p.14 of the FY13 budget book: http://www3.newton.k12.ma.us/sites/default/files/school_committee/documentsFY13/superintendent%27s_fy13_budget_book.pdf Take a look there and you'll see the incremental cost model in action. Then you can tell me where, specifically, my numbers are wrong.
Moving Newton Forward March 06, 2013 at 09:17 PM
"David Cohen would be amused to think of me as part of his regime." Last we checked, you, Claire and Jonathan began serving under Mayor David Cohen and last we checked, the 2008 override happened while you were all providing loyal service to the Cohen regime. "Take a look there and you'll see the incremental cost model in action. Then you can tell me where, specifically, my numbers are wrong." Because we're being asked to pay $9.2M/year in extra taxes for new teachers, new buildings and other school department related projects and programs to accommodate 865 new Newton kids on top of the 3% spending increase the schools have pulled down from 2010 to 2013. Even if these three extravagantly expensive overrides fail, we expect Newton to increase its school system spending by 3% CAGR from 2013-2018
Really? March 06, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Last we checked, the 2008 override didn't actually happen. And BTW - SC members are elected independently, not as some sort of "mayoral slate". If you think Geoff Epstein was a Cohen loyalist, you really are new to Newton politics.
Geoffrey N Epstein March 06, 2013 at 10:04 PM
I have never provided loyal service to anyone except the kids in Newton. They are they only ones who matter to me in the final analysis. That's why I take the positions I do and put so much energy into the effort. We have 12,000 kids who cannot vote. They need a voice in this campaign. Shall we invest in them or make them pay for the mistakes of adults?
Moving Newton Forward March 06, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Geoff, we appreciate the sales job. If you really cared about the 12K kids who can't vote, you and your boss Claire Sokoloff would be on the phone with Boston to insist on a $7.5/year annual payment for educating Boston kids in Newton Public Schools. Think of all the schools we could build with that money! And it would be... for the children! Really and Geoff, last we checked, Mayor David Cohen and Geoff Epstein were Democrats, as is the rest of the school committee and 22 of our 23 Aldermen. We've had nearly 20 years of one party dominance by tax and spend Fabian Socialists from the Democrat Party and it appears that our fiscal chickens have come home to roost. "Shall we invest in them or make them pay for the mistakes of adults?" How does spending $61K/year on janitors equate with investing in children? How does paying a portion of the salary of the Teachers Union President equate with investing in children? It's time to take the money from elsewhere (lavish pay for city workers) and use the money from elsewhere to invest in our children. That is what we call Moving Newton Forward with Fiscal Responsibility.
Janet Sterman March 06, 2013 at 10:35 PM
" Investing" in the kids (which is the total GUILT argument for these overrides), means handing over more money to government officials to SPEND as they see fit. How about closing City Hall one day per week? (Keep only specific services like Inspectional Services open). Can't the planning department run at 32 hrs per week? How about closing the library on Sundays? Sheesh... How about some out of the box thinking? How much more do we have to pour out??
Moving Newton Forward March 06, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Janet, it's glad to see independent thought in Ward 1. You should be celebrating the fact that Geoff Epstein is not running for a fourth and final term on the School Committee.
Joshua Norman March 06, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Janet, can Mr. Epstein explain why 84.2% of Newton's 2013 school budget goes to pay lavish salary and benefits for government sector unions? Is that... for the children too? An 18 month pay freeze would be enough to fund these projects sought by the overrides? Why don't the overpaid city workers do it? Why won't they... THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
Janet Sterman March 06, 2013 at 11:21 PM
@MNF In fact, I am very disappointed that Geoff Epstein is not running for re-election. He is one of the few independent thinkers on Newton's School Committee. He is one most thoughtful and respectful public officials Newton has had in years. Although we do not agree on these overrides, I respect his position and feel I may have a civil conversation with him on these matters without feeling insulted when he does not agree with me. I have always disliked the stance that we must do anything for the children with no regard for the tax burdens some can no longer endure (or choose not to for their own darn reasons). Someone on the Newton Lower Falls listserv actually had the chutzpah to tell someone (I am paraphasing), "maybe you should consider moving if you can no longer bear the cost of living in Newton."
Really? March 07, 2013 at 12:03 AM
I disagree with Janet on the override issue (and probably many other issues) but I respect the fact that she clearly makes up her own mind and is not beholden to party or group - another independent thinker. MNF, on the other hand, must not be full of "independent thinkers" - not if they believe that all Democrats are the same (bad). I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume they must also believe that all Republicans are the same (good). Or is that just Joshua Norman's view? It's getting hard to tell,
Geoffrey N Epstein March 07, 2013 at 12:57 AM
Ain't got no boss!
Joshua Norman March 07, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Janet, why is it when I've criticized Republicans such as George Bush, John McCain, Mittens Romney and Tears Boehner, people have called me a "Liberal Jew Democrat from Massachusetts"? Why is it when I criticize the Democrat Party for embracing Fabian Socialism, Globalism and other tax & spending schemes, trolls like "Really?" think I'm some Republican caricature. I guess being an independent thinker for limited government and fiscal responsibility means that no matter what I say, I end up pissing off both sides.
Janet Sterman March 07, 2013 at 03:27 AM
This person 'Really' is REALLY annoying me by not disclosing who they are...
Really? March 07, 2013 at 03:38 AM
The fact that you've criticized *4* members of the Republican party - with more childish name-calling - at some other time in some other forum is somehow proof of your open-mindedness? I don't belong to either party, so I really don't care. You end up "pissing off both sides" because you can't seem to articulate your arguments without resorting to nasty talk-radio catch-phrases and childish name-calling. BTW - a troll is someone who posts inflammatory messages simply to provoke others, without really caring about the issue. People here care about this issue - we all live here, some of us own property here, some of us work here, some of us have kids who go to these schools. Referring to anyone who disagrees with you as a "troll" just further weakens your argument.
Janet Sterman March 07, 2013 at 03:47 AM
OMG - that comment is so undeserving of a legitimate response...
Joshua Norman March 07, 2013 at 04:25 AM
Janet, good observation. "Really?" really has no credibility.
Really? March 07, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Why is that - because I called Joshua out for his name-calling and catch-phrases? (I'm not the first.) Or is it because I post anonymously, like many/most people who comment on Patch - including many MNF supporters? Are they also "not credible"? I can't use my real name to comment on public websites due to the nature of my work. But I can tell you who I'm not - I am not (and I have never been) an employee or an elected official in the City of Newton. I'm also not related in any way to anyone who has. I'm not a member of BNF, or any political party, and I am not part of any "pro-override crowd" (I opposed the site plan referendum in 2007 and the override in 2008.) I comment under one screen name (which dates back prior to any override discussion) in keeping with the Patch TOS. Just a Newton resident with a different position on the override.
Joshua Norman March 07, 2013 at 09:16 PM
It doesn't matter why I say, "Really?" will just refer to it as name calling catch-phrases anyway.
ellen sing March 08, 2013 at 12:37 PM
How come 18,000 dollars a year is not enough for one household property tax?
Geoffrey N Epstein March 08, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Wow! What property is that?
Janet Sterman March 08, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Someone who's home is assessed at $1.5M which is not unusual in Newton!


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