Candidate for Ward Councilor, Ward 4
Campaign Website: https://www.chris4ward4.org
Newton resident since 1991, elected to the Council in 2017. Professional background: Management consultant and CPA delivering large scale business transformation programs. Married with adult children who attended Newton Schools. Personal interests include travel, singing and photography
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Discuss an experience where you made a decision that you now regret.
Time is wealth; you can make anything of it. Learn and grow from every experience, that includes missed opportunities. I travel to experience the diversity of individuals and places, this makes the world spin, embrace it and get friendship and understanding in return. For me, regret is too strong a word when looking back at things that didn't work out the way I had hoped. The sun will come up tomorrow.
Question 2: Do you support the proposal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in Newton by 2050? Why or why not?
Absolutely, but let's work to get it done sooner. I am working with others and supporting initiatives to get energy efficiency and passive building standards into our zoning ordinances and to provide assistance/resources to our residents who want to learn how to be protect our environment at home.
Question 3: What is your opinion of the current development proposals such as the Northland and Riverside projects?
Given open meeting laws, councilors are advised not to comment on matters before them outside of public hearings. Both of these petitions are being heard presently and discussions are ongoing. You can listen to tapes from the hearings that I have participated in to hear my comments/questions along with those of my colleagues. Visit the City website to listen. Thank you for understanding.
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?
The Mayor creates the budget. While the council has the power to approve it and thereby has some influence on its direction. The council does not negotiate with unions or set City employee salaries. During budget hearings, I pointed out that our aggressive debt reduction plan is likely to force some difficult tradeoffs in the near future. We must be fair to all of our employees and provide competitive compensation to attract and retain talent. We should continue to invest in our schools, protect green space and improve our infrastructure. We should maintain the high level of safety provided by our police and fire departments.