Ward Councilor Ward 7
The City Council, Newton's legislative branch of municipal government, is made up of 24 members - sixteen at-large Councilors and eight Ward Councilors. Councilors are elected every two years.
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R. Lisle Baker
law professor, Suffolk Law School
Do you support the proposed new City Charter? Why or why not?
Partisanship is at an all-time high in our country: how would you as a city councilor promote civil discourse and engagement on controversial issues in Newton?
What specific, objective criteria would you use to decide whether any site should be rezoned Mixed Use 4 in village commercial centers?
137 Suffolk Rd.
Newton, MA 02467
No. It would eliminate the role of the Ward Councilor who can spend the time to help constituents. For example, my Ward Seven focus allowed me to work to help the City acquire The Newton Commonwealth Golf Course and the Waban Hill Reservoir, and, ultimately, I hope, preserve the unique Webster Woods as open space. This focus also allowed me to help save historic buildings like the Durant-Kenrick Homestead, and to help gain neighborhood support for affordable housing on Commonwealth Ave.
Act with civility ourselves. In my almost 34 years on the Council, I have tried to treat both citizen and colleagues in government with respect, even when we disagree, Today’s opponent may become tomorrow’s ally in getting things done that matter to Newton.
I look to the public benefit, which may be both general, like affordable housing, and local, like design to avoid traffic problems nearby. Then I also look at whether the impacts on neighbors have been responded to appropriately. Finally, I look to see if the rezoning focuses on a site that appears to meet good planning criteria as not appearing to be arbitrarily selected, but already public use or commercial in nature.
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