Page last modified on April 19, 2016


Newton is facing challenges that require clear-eyed and energetic leadership. In November 2015, I won re-election for my fourth term as Councilor at Large in Newton’s Ward 7. These years of service have honed my understanding of the work still in front of us. For example, market forces are challenging our economic diversity; we are underfunding some critical needs, particularly our roads and retiree benefits.

With an energized City Council working with our Mayor, Setti Warren, we can create a clear vision and economic plan for the City’s future consistent with both the values of our citizens and a sober analysis of available resources.

RuthanneI believe Newton needs policies that will:

  • Invest in our infrastructure – buildings, roads, and water/sewer/stormwater systems
  • Support excellence in our schools, including updating our buildings
  • Promote strong financial planning and management
  • Retain strong neighborhoods and a high quality of life in Newton
  • Support appropriate, thoughtful development projects that provide economic vitality in our village centers
  • Encourage a variety of housing types that meet the different needs of our residents, including affordable housing
  • Protect public safety, public health and Newton’s environment
  • Pay particular attention to our children, our seniors, and those with special needs or family circumstances

Video linkWatch a short video
recorded as part of a
candidate message forum
hosted by NewTV
before the 2015 election.


My legislative and committee work has focused on these priorities. Through my work as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Financial Audit Advisory Committee, member of the Public Safety & Transportation and Real Property Re-Use Committees, and deep involvement in the Angier & Zervas & Cabot and Water/Sewer/Stormwater working groups, I have:

  • Helped shape the Angier, Zervas and Cabot elementary school projects
  • Worked to create long-term investment plans for our water, sewer and stormwater systems
  • Re-framed with the administration our Financial Management Guidelines (including helping design multiple vehicles for increased levels of reserves and creating policies to maintain our triple A bond rating)
  • Encouraged the Mayor to set aside funds for long-term retiree health care benefits and helped draft and pass an ordinance establishing a fund for these monies
  • Served as the lead author of a white paper on our $1 billion dollar of unfunded liabilities for retiree benefits, both pensions and healthcare. Read the report.
  • Helped draft and pass an ordinance creating a committee that focuses on our audit work; I now chair the committee
  • Lobbied for a comprehensive survey of our capital infrastructure and a more robust capital investment strategy
  • Worked proactively with the management of Boston College on Stokes Hall, with New England Development on Chestnut Hill Square, and with WS Development on The Street
  • Worked to improve the health of Hammond Pond, acquire the Waban Hill Reservoir at the top of Heartbreak Hill for passive recreation; currently, I am deeply involved in trying to assure the protection of Webster Woods

A Fresh Approach and Responsible Change:The city needs to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement. We need to be clear about our goals, put resources towards the highest priorities—schools, fire and police, roads and parks, and neighborhoods—and measure the results relentlessly.

My approach is to:

  • Be available
  • Listen carefully and respectfully to all perspectives
  • Do my homework
  • Think deeply about the alternatives and understand the potential tradeoffs, acknowledging our finite resources (both time and financial)
  • Be clear about my views once I have reached a conclusion

You can be in touch with me by telephone at 617-738-5311 if you have a question or to let me know about an issue that concerns you. Click here to send me an email. I’m here for you.

Warmly, Ruthanne

  Contact Ruthanne        
Phone: 617.738.5311
  163 Suffolk Road
Newton, MA 02467
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