I am running to represent Ward 7 to promote sustainable development for our community, and will work to improve city services while being responsive to the concerns of residents.
Waltham High School
Carefully considering the potential sites for the new Waltham High School is vitally important, and I respect the current city council for wrestling with this issue and doing what they believed was best for the city. At this time, the possibility of using the Stigmatine site for the new high school appears out of reach; five votes on the fifteen member council would have to change for the city to begin eminent domain proceedings. If this site remains the preferred site and if the issue is brought before a new city council in 2018, I will vote in favor of acquiring the property. I hope to earn the opportunity to work with the School and School Building Committees to select and acquire an appropriate site for the new Waltham High School, and to fully fund this project.
A more detailed statement is available here.
Did you know you can report infrastructure problems to the city of Waltham through an online form? This is a good first step in making it easy for residents to report potholes and other concerns, but I think we can do more. Carlos Vidal, a current at-large city councillor and candidate for re-election, originally proposed that Waltham should implement a 3-1-1 system, and I agree. Rather than hunting for the correct department, residents can simply pick up the phone and easily access the help they need with paving, trash pick-up, snow removal, or other problems. This investment will also help the city identify ongoing maintenance problems and address them early, before they worsen.
City Website Improvements
The city of Waltham’s website contains a lot of useful information, but can be confusing to navigate, lacks accessibility features, and does an incomplete job of communicating current issues and available services. I support devoting additional resources to the city’s IT department, including funding a dedicated web development position if requested by the department.
Green City Certification
In addition to providing rebates to homeowners for investing in sustainable technology, the state-funded Mass Save program also offers a Green Community program. Waltham should seek to qualify for this program, and funding could be used to improve the energy-efficiency of older city-owned buildings. Additionally, the new high school should be built with sustainability in mind, incorporating the most up-to-date technology and energy efficiency standards.