Candidate for Councilor at Large, Ward 5
Campaign Website: http://www.andreae4newton.org
Andreae Downs is a first-term City Councilor. Before assuming her current position as director of the Wastewater Advisory Committee to the MWRA, Andreae worked as a journalist. She has lived in Newton 27 years with her husband, and raised two daughters, Susannah and Juliette, both NPS graduates.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Discuss an experience where you made a decision that you now regret.
In 1990, we bought our current home on Chestnut Street. Knowing what I now know about noise and emission pollution, I wish we had spent a little more money or time to find a home on a quieter street.
Question 2: Do you support the proposal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in Newton by 2050? Why or why not?
Yes, absolutely. We must do what we can with whatever tools we have to buy time for our children and grandchildren to adapt to and mitigate the changes we are already seeing in our climate. The Climate Action Plan has many strategies that can both mitigate emissions, make Newton more resilient in the face of extreme weather, and improve our quality of life.
Question 3: What is your opinion of the current development proposals such as the Northland and Riverside projects?
We have a choice—controlled development that adds to the quality of life in Newton or uncontrolled. In the process for Northland, I have seen the proposal improve to include parkland, cutting-edge transportation mitigation measures, high efficiency buildings, stormwater infiltration and flood controls, high quality design, affordable retail options and more. I think a similar outcome is possible for Riverside. If council simply rejects these proposals, then the city could well face, through the 40B anti-snob zoning law, more residential density without any of the above improvements. These developments are an opportunity we should not squander
Question 4: There are a number of expenses that the City needs to grapple with: union contracts still being negotiated, tight school budgets, NewCAL (a new Senior Center), the acquisition of Webster Woods, possible rehabilitation of the Armory, etc. What are your priorities and why?
1. Protect school quality—includes the contracts AND buildings 2. Addressing our Debts—these include retirement benefits as well as the infrastructure debts we have incurred by deferring maintenance—to buildings, roads, pipes and parks 3. Getting more for what we spend—in some cases, we rebuild when we should be rethinking what we are building.