Candidate for Councilor at Large, Ward 3
Campaign Website: https://wrightfornewton.org/
As a 20 year resident of West Newton my husband an I raised two children and a foster teen who went through NPS. Professionally I progressed from being an engineer to a program manager of multi-million-dollar projects. I now manage our rental properties and volunteer in the community.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Discuss an experience where you made a decision that you now regret.
I regret not running for public office sooner. One has the greatest effect locally both by running and voting. Starting Unite West Newton recently with other like-minded residents tuned my ideas and concerns for the city. I have the energy to bring in other residents and ideas to shape our city.
Question 2: Do you support the proposal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in Newton by 2050? Why or why not?
I support eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in Newton by 2050. Everyone needs to do their part to combat climate change. We can each try to do our small part but cities, states and countries need to do their part too. Working as a community with shared knowledge and resources is the most effective way to make this happen at the local level. As a city we must embark on a campaign to educate our residents on what they can do to reach these goals starting today.
Question 3: What is your opinion of the current development proposals such as the Northland and Riverside projects?
I believe the Northland and Riverside proposals are too dense. They are being developed in silos with little consideration to the neighborhoods. Traffic is a great concern to many. The D line goal is to add capacity by 2040. This is not soon enough. Most residents tell me they would like to see 3 to 4 stories on Washington Street but that’s not in the proposed vision plan. The current plans would allow over 3000 apartments in 2 miles but there is no plan for infrastructure or schools. This will overwhelm the North side. The vision plan must consider the overall effects on the city as a whole and on each of our villages and neighborhoods.
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?
First the union contracts must be settled to provide fiscal predictability going forward. Next, the pressing big development proposals need to be negotiated taking into account the neighborhood concerns and the cost to the city in infrastructure, traffic and schools. I would like the city to acquire the Armory as it is a very cost-effective way to increase the city’s assets for future uses. A new senior center is needed as Newton has the state’s fifth largest senior population. In concert with these priorities the city budget has to be considered at each step, especially whittling down the $1 billion plus unfunded pension and OPEB liability.