Greetings and happy fall! Here are a few things going on in Newtonville and beyond.
Election Days! Vote Yes on 3
Election Day has begun! Because for the first time Massachusetts is allowing early voting. Thanks to the efforts of our City Clerk David Olson, Newton was awarded a Gold Medal
by the Massachusetts Election Modernization Coalition for going above and beyond to make voting easy. There is no excuse for not voting.
- For President I recommend the person this guy speaks so highly of.
- For ballot questions, I urge a Yes on 3 vote, to prohibit the most extreme forms of confinement suffered by farm animals.
Charter Commission – my short video
Speaking of Election Day, I am already gearing up for November 2017, when we will have a chance to vote on a proposed change to Newton’s city charter. As I have mentioned
, the Charter commission has taken a straw vote to eliminate ward councilors. Here is my short take
on why I think that is a terrible idea. (Why am I starting so early to talk about this? Have you ever tried to get everyone’s attention in Newton about anything? If so you’ll understand why)
Also here is Newton Tab editor’s take
on their possible vote to eliminate Area Councils. (Cartoon above courtesy of Mark Marderosian)
The next hearing of the Washington Place project proposed for the corner of Walnut and Washington Streets is Tuesday, November 1, 7PM at City Hall. The Newtonville Area Council will be making a presentation. The Area Council will be discussing their presentation at their next meeting tomorrow night (Thursday October 27, 7PM, Room 222, Newton City Hall).
Accessory Apartment Hearing November 14
The City Council is holding a hearing November 14, 7PM at Newton City Hall on a docket item to reduce barriers to creating accessory apartments. (See page 2
, #343-16) I am excited about this option to create more affordable housing without the negative impacts of high density luxury rental developments.
Winter Overnight Parking Ban
The Public Safety Committee has docketed an item to review and possibly eliminate the winter overnight parking ban. (Go to page 2
Park & Pedal
Park & Pedal
launched in Newton last week. It is a free network of parking lot hubs that make it easier for people to commute by bike – you drive to a Park & Pedal lot, park for free, then bike the rest of the way to work. For people who live too far from their jobs to bike the whole way, this makes it possible to be a bike commuter. Here
are the Newton locations.
Leaf Blower Restrictions
The Programs & Services Committee voted September 21 to approve a seasonal restriction on the use of leafblowers. It would ban leaf blower use from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and reduce the hours of operation the rest of the year. Leaf blowers must be rated at no higher than 65 dB (virtually all leaf blowers in use now are at least 75 dB). The item is now being considered by the Finance Committee (which I serve on) and is expected to be voted on in Finance on November 14. See page 39 for the draft ordinance.
Tolls Disappearing Friday--costs rising for Newtonville commuters
Tolls on the Mass Pike disappear starting this Friday. Under the new tolling system, drivers with an EZPass transponder will be scanned as they drive under overhead "gantries". Those without EZPass will have a photo taken of their license plate and receive a bill in the mail. I highly recommend getting EZPass if you haven't already because without it you will pay more. Heads up, even with it you will pay more - this toll calculator shows the before and after...if you get on the Mass Pike in Newton Corner and go to Exit 24 and back, you will pay 70 cents more per day than currently.
Office Hours this Friday
My next office hours are this coming Friday, October 28, 9-10AM at the Newton Senior Center, 345 Walnut St. in Newtonville. I hope to see you there!