If you ask Scott Lennon what makes him qualified to be the Mayor of Newton, he will quickly rattle off three adjectives: tested, trusted, and committed. Tested, because of his almost 20 years of experience as a City Councilor, much of it spent as its president; trusted, because of his experience working in the private sector in the Middlesex County Auditor’s office; and committed, because of his deep roots in the city of Newton. This final trait, committed, is what comes through when you talk to Lennon about why he wants to be Newton’s next mayor. According to Lennon, his parents live just “a stone’s throw away” from the house his grandfather built, and his daughter is a first-grade student at the same elementary school he attended.
This appreciation for the city that raised him is evident when Lennon reflects on campaigning. “It’s the people,” he says immediately. Lennon’s campaign has knocked on over 1,600 doors since he announced he that he was running in the 2017 Newton Mayoral elections, and they have hosted over 60 dinner parties. Lennon loves the face-to-face time he gets with people, and is always eager to answer their questions.
“The dinner parties are great—some people come with one specific thing they want to talk about, that’s worrying them, and other people come with a wide range of topics and ideas to share,” Lennon said.
A big part of what makes Newton a place people can be so passionate about, in Lennon’s eyes, is the education that you can receive from the Newton Public Schools.
“It is the cornerstone of the community, and I want to ensure it stays that way,” Lennon said. “Nowadays, with technology, we need to make sure that our kids are ready not just for the world out there, but for the world that is coming to them as well.”
Lennon wants to make sure that students who go through the Newton school system are ready for every challenge the 21st century throws at them.
Lennon wants to work on infrastructure and supporting all the public servants that help make the community of Newton run smoothly. He cites his work on improving the fire stations throughout the city as one of his proudest achievements on the City Council. And when asked about Newton’s relationship with Boston College, he was very open to wanting to hear about the college students’ perspective on the city, and hopes that it can become even more of a place that feels like a second home to so many college kids.
In terms of his road to running for mayor, Lennon had a rather roundabout way of becoming a public servant. He started out working for the Newton Boys and Girls Club, and while attempting to acquire a site to build on, he witnessed the workings of the city government from the other side of the table. He realized then that he belonged on the governing side. After an unsuccessful run for City Councilor in 1997, Lennon ran again in 2001 and has been on the council ever since. The Ward 1 Councilor-At-Large has been elected by his peers to be the Council president four times, and hopes to continue to have a good working relationship with the Council if elected in November.
Lennon plans to hit the ground running, and would work with current mayor Setti Warren and the City Council to ensure that there was a completely smooth transition.
“January 1st would just be a formality,” Lennon said. “I’m going to get started right away.”
Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Editor