CPA passes in Waltham, Cohen is mayor in Newton

The big news from the elections in Waltham: The Community Preservation Act passed by 9 votes! Barring a recount and overturned vote, this means Waltham property taxes will go up an average of $40 per household per year, but the city will get matching funds from the state to preserve open space, create affordable housing, and other benefits.

Whether you supported the CPA or not, this close race is yet more proof that you need to get off your duff and vote, even when there is no major state or federal balloting taking place. I am sure a lot of anti-CPA folks who thought the "nays" would carry the day (like in 2001) and stayed home are wishing they had made the effort to vote.

In the Newton races, Mayor Cohen kept his seat with a landslide victory. No indication in the News Tribune article if Michael Striar will keep trying to gain an elected foothold in the city -- but I am sure we will continue to see interesting letters to the editor from Striar in the Tab. In fact, I think some of Striar's pre-campaign letters to the Tab may have really hurt his candidacy, such as the idea to wipe out all coyotes living in Newton -- it really made him seem like he was obsessed by fringe political ideas. His silver spoon upbringing -- "Daddy let me run the country club at age 20" -- didn't impress me, but as we've seen in George Bush, John Kerry, and Al Gore, coming from a upper class background seems to help more than hinders political candidacies.

One other race I had been keeping an eye on was Republican Greer Swiston's second attempt to gain an elected position. She has pluck, she tries hard, but in the end she couldn't win the alderman-at-large seat in Ward 3 -- but she came awfully close, with 26.3% of the vote, just a few percentage points short of Leslie Burg (28.3%). That's a difference of about 400 votes. Despite her party affiliation, she makes a strong effort to play down traditional Republican issues and I do believe she cares about the community -- for instance, she is a teacher at the Chinese Community Center in West Newton.

I won't get into the other races in Waltham or Newton. Incumbents seem to have carried many of the alderman/city council/school committee races. Unofficial Newton results are here, but I can't find results on the Waltham city website.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Waltham and the CPA wasn't even on my ballot. I live right by you on Washington Ave.

I'll have to try to research what the heck is going on if my property taxes go up and I didn't have a vote on the matter.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Borderline said...

Hello Anonymous

Before you go storming off to the Waltham election commission, you should know that it wasn't on the 2006 ballot for a very good reason: It was actually passed in Waltham two elections ago, which would have been in 2004, I believe. It added around $40 to the average local tax bill, but I am not sure if it shows up as a line item.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does show up on a separate line and so you can see exactly how much the CPA amount is vs the rest of your prop tax.

10:02 AM  

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