Candidate for Ward Councilor, Ward 8
Campaign Website: https://farrell4newton8.orgBiographical statement
I have spent my life listening, organizing, negotiating and managing large nonprofit projects such as the Massachusetts College of Art, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. These skills prepared me to successfully serve as a Newton City Councilor.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Was your motivation to run for office prompted by an issue which impacts the community that is not being adequately addressed?
I decided to run for the City Council seat following 24 years of frustration with my Ward Councilors failure to listen to local concerns and provide guidance and resolution. I want to ensure residents that I will listen, respond and proactively communicate with them as well as all appropriate City Council committees and departments.
Question 2: Housing affordability and its role in increasing racial diversity in Newton has been a stated goal. What measures would you take and support in order to meet this goal?
Affordability is when people who teach our children, protect our lives and property, serve us in any capacity and/or have lived and want to retire in Newton are financially able to do so. Most of the proposed MBTA/VOCD housing is not “affordable” to moderate - much less low-income - people. We should change zoning to disencourage “McMansionization,” and prioritize the reuse of structurally-sound small homes. I would use public land, with federal/state support, to create projects such as the converted Armory with subsidized housing.
Question 3: Small businesses are the heart of our economy and they are struggling. How can you help the city support these businesses?
Eliminate By-Right development in Village Centers and use Special Permit process to negotiate appropriate rental agreements with developers and interested small businesses. In all Village Center development I would require that all existing business that wish to return be provided transition space. I would also support small business development throughout the city with appropriate zoning changes.
Question 4: Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Newton. Residential and commercial buildings need to be weatherized and electrified. Relying on voluntary action produces extremely slow progress. What incentives or mandates would you put in place to motivate home owners to weatherize their houses?
Newton is on the right path to requiring electrification of all new construction. I would support using all available “incentives” to encourage our State and Federal representatives to use their good offices to direct and work with City officials in securing as much State and Federal support as possible to help homeowners weatherize their houses. While searching for State and Federal weatherization assistance, and prior to mandating new costs for homeowners, I would as quickly as possible mandate full participation in a comprehensive, no exemption (except for dangerous trees), tree program to would preserve our tree precious canopy.