Rep. Stanley responds to League of Women Voters of Waltham questionnaire
As a candidate for Waltham City Council, the League of Women Voters of Waltham asked Rep. Stanley to respond to the following two questions:
What are two significant issues facing Waltham and how do you think they should be addressed?
1) Two significant issues facing Waltham are the siting of a new high school and the reuse of the Fernald property. These issues are glaring examples of what is wrong with our local government. Both have taken far too long and decisions must be made in order to move forward.
Planning for Waltham’s future needs requires foresight. For the last decade, Waltham has fought to control the 190-acre Fernald property and has known it needed to either renovate and upgrade the high school building or build a new school. To date, the city has been unable to site a new high school location or begin the process to develop plans for the reuse of the Fernald property.
Two of the three priority locations for a new high school selected by the school building committee and school committee are not viable options. The city does not own the Stigmatine property and it is not for sale. New school buildings were excluded on most of the Fernald property by the mayor and city council when it was purchased with Community Preservation Act funds. The remaining portion has significant topography challenges, environmental hazards and development restrictions the mayor and Mass. Historic Commission.
Leaders should stop avoiding tough decisions and move forward with the location adjacent to the current high school, which is the only viable site for a new high school. Our community also needs to Implement a community-driven, comprehensive asset assessment and reuse plan process in regards to the Fernald land. To do otherwise is a serious neglect of responsibility.
To read more of my thoughts on these issues, visit my website at http://tomstanley.org/2017/09/22/rep-stanleys-waltham-citizens-for-education-position-statement/.
What will be your first activity, or most important accomplishment?
2) The first thing I will do as city councillor is resubmit my Resolution passed by the Council in 2014 requesting that the mayor fund and issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to hire a professional firm to conduct an asset assessment and community-driven reuse plan of the Fernald property.