Newton Conservators logo Nahanton Park
Conservators Annual Dinner Meeting
May 26, 2010
  Also at the dinner ...  

Newton Mayor Setti Warren:
"Help Government Work"

Mayor Setti Warren gave the keynote address at the 2010 Newton Conservators' Annual Dinner Meeting. He stressed the importance of conservation and of citizen involvement in local organizations like the Conservators, as part of the active engagement that characterizes healthy communities.

Mayor Warren described his own efforts at openness and transparency in government. He meets regularly with reporters from local media and has set up office hours to make himself accessible to citizens at City Hall. Not only in Newton but at the state and national level, the mayor stressed how important it is that citizens be able to believe in their government. Quoting Congressman Barney Frank, he said that "government is what we decide to do together." Without trust in our government, collectively, we can accomplish little. If citizens are to have confidence in government, "we {in government} must bring our A game every day."

Americans, he said, honor personal liberty, but "liberty without accountability is a path to destruction." The financial crisis of 2008 and the ecological disaster from the blown out oil well in the Gulf are both examples of "a callous pursuit of profits" and of what happens when government fails to protect Americans' basic interests. He said, "We must reverse course."

The mayor reminded the Conservators that "people get the government they deserve." He chided those who sit on the sidelines in the belief that "someone else will do everything."

He praised the Conservators for their part in the preservation of over 350 acres of open space since 1961. Newton, he said, has been a leader in the effort to reduce waste through its single stream recycling program and as one of only 35 Green Communities in the commonwealth eligible for state grants. He cited the Conservators for their recent work organizing invasives removal projects in parks. That work is vital, he said. He challenged the Conservators and the community to "do more."

--Eric Reenstierna


Seen at the dinner...

Deb Howard and Conservators board member Frank Howard

Former board member Doug Dickson with current members Peter Kastner and Mike Clarke


--photos by Henry Finch




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