League of Women Voters of Waltham Questionnaire
1. What are your proudest accomplishments achieved during the current term in office?
Ending a divisive two-year struggle within our community, I filed a successful motion to take the Stigmatine property by eminent domain for the purpose of building a new state-of the-art high school and preventing a massive private housing development along the Lexington Street corridor. Now it is time to ensure proper funding and timely construction of our new state-of-the-art public high school.
2. What are your major priorities for the upcoming term of office?
The nation is facing a critical affordable housing crisis. There are far too many individuals, families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities who lack access to clean and safe affordable housing. I worked with my colleagues on the council and WATCH Inc. to pass a new ordinance increasing affordable housing requirements for housing developments from 10% to 15%. Over the next two years, I will work with colleagues to better understand the viability of increasing this requirement to 20%.
After years of work and collaboration between Mayor McCarthy, the Waltham City Council and the Waltham Fire Department, the Moody Street Fire Station design plans were approved and construction funded to build a state-of-the-art fire station. The modernized building, which will feature clean practices for the City’s 166 firefighters, will be a great asset to our community. Over the course of the next two-year term, I will work hard with my colleagues to successfully construct the new fire station and prioritize the site selection, design, funding and construction of a new modernized police station for Waltham.
I led the effort and made the motions for the City Council to vote in support of the Fernald Working Group’s recommendation to hire an outside professional planning consultant to manage the reuse process of the Fernald property. In addition, I made the motion and gained council approval to fund the process. During our next session, I will encourage our mayor to embrace the Fernald Working Group’s vision of a community-driven and professionally-assisted re-use process. Waltham residents deserve an inclusive and transparent process for planning the future use of the Fernald. The future of this 189.7 acre campus, a National Historic Landmark, is vitally important to Waltham and deserves a professionally developed and competently-managed comprehensive master plan to achieve the best possible outcome for the City.
Working together with community advocates and both state and local officials, we successfully prevented the development of the UMASS Field Station property. Our next step is to secure ownership, ensure non-profit organizations use and develop a viable long-term plan to protect the farm land promote sustainability.