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Ward Councilor Ward 4

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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    Christopher Markiewicz CPA

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    Alison Sharma Enterprise Systems Consultant

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Biographical Information

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?

Campaign Website http://chris4ward4.org
Campaign Email chris4ward4@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (617) 332-7231
Address 382 Wolcott Street, Auburndale, MA 02466
I oppose the Charter change. While a smaller council is worth consideration, it should be comprised of both ward-only elected councilors as well as at-large elected councilors. The ward elected councilor is the closest connection that residents have to their local government.

An at-large campaign requires significant funding which may discourage new local candidates from participating, especially from less affluent wards and could concentrate power in a few wards. This is anti-democratic.
We are all running for City Council because we care about Newton and want the best for our City and residents. We share a common mission. Working together leverages the significant experience, wisdom and energy we have collectively.

On specific issues I would not dismiss any point of view because it represented “the other side”. I respect the opinion of anyone who has considered it carefully. I would look for ways to bridge our wants and concerns to find common ground.

MU-4 is intended to allow compact pedestrian oriented village centers that are a mixture of housing, office and business. MU-4 allows up to a 5 story building by special permit. A project seeking MU-4 should make sense for the neighborhood and be supported by the community.

We have approved MU-4 projects, but no actual experience with them yet.

We should monitor how these projects actually benefit residents and learn if our schools and infrastructure can support them before we permit more
Campaign Website http://www.allisonsharma.com
Campaign Phone (617) 216-4130
Address 46 Kingswood Rd. Auburndale, MA 02466
I plan to vote yes for the proposed City Charter. I have faith in the process that our democratically elected charter commission followed to arrive at their recommendations. Our current city council is too large, and a smaller council will result in more contested races, increasing accountability to voters. I am confident that ward-based councilors who are elected by the entire city will effectively represent the unique aspects of their ward, just as Ward 4's at-large councilors do today.
There's more that unites us than divides us in Newton, and it's important to keep that frame of mind when working on controversial issues. We all love Newton and want to do what's best for our city; we simply have different opinions on what that is. As councilor, I'll model positive and respectful interactions at all times, especially online, where discourse can quickly become uncivil, and I will call out disrespectful and unproductive behavior when I see it.
I would base my decision on the following criteria: Will the MU4 zoning promote a more diverse, walkable, bikeable and vibrant civic space? Will it encourage shops, restaurants and other amenities that improve our quality of life? Will it promote a range of housing options, including accessible units for seniors and small units for young people and young families just starting out? And is the site near transit, minimizing the necessity of single-occupancy vehicle travel to and from the site?

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