92 Huntington Rd., Newton, MA
Yes, I do. I believe the proposed structure of the City Council will increase leadership & effectiveness. At-large races hold candidates accountable to voters in every ward, which is important since the Council votes on issues that affect the entire city. Also, I like the addition of term limits on the mayor & City Council, as it ensures periodic opportunities for new ideas & energy. Newton is a fabulous place to live, but we can improve; I believe passing the new Charter will help us get there.
I will seek out & listen to differing opinions, engaging in respectful dialogues with our residents. I’ve committed to holding office hours in each ward over the course of my term; I will go where our residents are, seeking to understand each neighborhood & view controversial topics through varying lenses. I believe we make the best decisions as a community when we welcome disagreement. By talking through tough issues, Newton can lead in healing the divide we all feel in this country right now.
I would look at the following: ability to enhance the services, vibrancy & overall quality of that village center; access to transit; creation of affordable units for our seniors, working families & young professionals; energy efficiency; ability to grow Newton’s commercial tax base; parking, traffic & density. When development is done right — in an open, well-planned, & collaborative process, we are able to create more amenities & opportunities for residents & ensure Newton grows responsibly.
31 Philmore Road
I do not support the proposed city charter. Our current system of government provides for equal representation and diversity of opinion on our City Council. The proposed charter would replace that system of equal representation with one that reduces diversity of opinion, is inherently unequal, limits accountability, and is more likely to lead to special interests dominating our city government.
In my fourteen years in public office (eight on the School Committee and six on the City Council) I have demonstrated that I believe in civil, respectful discourse within our city and on the City Council on the difficult issues that we face. As the chair of the City Council’s Land Use Committee, I have worked hard to run our meetings, even on highly controversial projects, fairly and efficiently, making sure that all citizens are heard.
Each project that comes before the City Council needs to be considered on its own merits. I voted in favor of both the Austin Street and Washington Place projects because I felt that the zone changes to Mixed Use 4 were appropriate given the projects’ location and their overall benefit to the city. I support responsible development in our village centers that provide for an appropriate mix of uses that add to our commercial tax base and village vitality.