I feel fortunate to live in a city where there are two candidates for mayor who have been excellent city councilors and have demonstrated their integrity and leadership through their service to our city. I have great respect for each of them and struggled with my choice of which candidate to support. After careful consideration I am endorsing Ruthanne Fuller for mayor.

Mayor Warren has made significant progress on resolving such issues as the need to replace aging school buildings and repairing streets and sidewalks. But more challenges face us. In addition to continuing to improve our schools and infrastructure, we face a substantial liability in the pension fund for city employees, a need for planning and zoning reform and a severe shortage of affordable housing.

Ultimately, I think Ruthanne can lead the city better in addressing the increasing problem of division in the community over issues of development, affordable and low income housing and what Newton will be in the future. Ruthanne has the patience and the ability to hear the concerns of each side, solve disagreements and bring people together. She is attentive, respectful and understanding toward people who have different views and opinions.

Ruthanne has extensive experience in finance and strategic planning, skills that give me confidence. But it is her ability to work with diverse groups of people and to harness the great talents of Newton residents to maintain the quality of life that we have enjoyed over the years that make her my choice to be our next mayor. Please join me in voting for Ruthanne Fuller on November 7.

Howard Haywood