Greetings and Happy Spring! Here is some news from Newtonville and beyond.
Affordable Housing Lottery: Deadline May 2
From the Newton Planning Department: SEB LLC is accepting applications for nine affordable condominium units on Court Street in Newtonville. The project includes two 1-Bedroom affordable units, six 2-Bedroom affordable units and one 3-Bedroom affordable unit. These units will be awarded through a lottery. Note the lottery is being handled by the lottery agent, SEB LLC and not the City of Newton. For more information click here.
SURVEY: Charter Commission votes on final change; what do you think?
On Wednesday the Charter Commission voted 5-4 to make a slight change to their recommendation for a charter change. Their previous model would eliminate ward councilors, have eight at-large councilors with a residency requirement (one from each ward) and four at-large with no residency requirement, for a total of twelve councilors (down from the current 24). They changed this model to add residency requirements to the four at-large seats, but did not clarify the geographic limitations for these seats; rather they leave it up to the Elections Commission to draw the boundaries. All twelve councilors would still be elected at large. As I have stated previously, I think it would be a mistake to eliminate local representation in our city government. If you agree with me, please consider taking this survey to say why you oppose it, and indicate if you’re willing to be public about your opposition, i.e. on a website or mailing.
School budget cuts
The Newton School Department has reported a $2.75 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2018. Click here for more details in a power point presentation. I am particularly concerned about the idea of raising fees on families as I believe fees are already too high. The City Council has a vote on all department budgets including the School Department, so I look forward to a robust discussion with the School Committee and administration on how we can work together to address this deficit in the most equitable way possible.

Washington Place to be re-submitted

The developer of the Washington Place project at the corner of Washington and Walnut Streets has withdrawn their petition. They are expected to resubmit it at a later date. Here is the Newton Tab coverage.
Newton Goes Solar April 8
A public information session for Newton Goes Solar will be held Sat. April 8, 10:15--11:45 am at Historic Newton's Durant-Kenrick House, 286 Waverley Ave. Newton. Green Newton will discuss the benefits of going solar. This initiative aims to educate our community about the benefits of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, and to increase the number of residential solar installations in our community. For more information visit www.newtongoessolar.org.
Rooming House Ordinance
Councilors Ted Hess-Mahan and Deb Crossley have proposed amending our zoning rules to create a “lodging house” ordinance that would set parameters around the creation of lodging/boarding houses. I am interested in pursuing this option as a way to create more affordable housing in Newton. For more details see the Planning Department memo here.
Commonwealth between Lowell & Centre eligible for sidewalk betterments
If you live on Commonwealth Ave between Lowell Ave and Centre Street, congratulations! The street will be repaved this year. With that comes the opportunity to have a sidewalk installed if you lack one and would like one. There is a cost share. See this letter which was mailed to all residents.
Transportation Strategy launch April 6
A presentation on Mayor Warren’s new Transportation Strategy, Newton-in-Motion, will take place Thursday, April 6, 5:30-7PM at Newton North High School lobby. Set up as an open house, residents can come and circulate among booths representing different components of the strategy: roads, parking, bicycles, shared ride, etc. RSVP here.
Clean Energy Purchasing
I reported in January that Newton was considering implementing “green municipal aggregation” which means the City enters into an electricity contract on behalf of the City, the residents and the businesses—anyone on the default basic service (i.e. Eversource). It gives us the option to add more renewable energy to the mix -- thus greening up our grid. Melrose, Dedham and seven other communities – so far – are taking this route. (Anyone can opt-out; no one is forced into the aggregation.) I am pleased to report the City Council voted unanimously to authorize the Mayor to move forward with aggregation. It is a many months-long process. I will keep you updated!
A Man Gets His Van
In case you missed it, a wonderful story ran in last week’s Newton Tab about local artist Robert Solomon and his extraordinary persistence in obtaining a van that will allow him greater mobility. Congratulations Robert!
Office Hours Friday March 31
My office hours are the last Friday of every month, 9-10AM at the Newtonville Senior Center, 345 Walnut Street in Newtonville. I'll be there tomorrow, hope to see you there!

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Contact Emily

Email: emily@emilynorton.org

Phone:  617-795-0362
Cell:  508-397-6839

www.emilynorton.org

Councilor Emily Norton
58 Prescott Street
Newton, Massachusetts 02460

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Contact Emily

Email: emily@emilynorton.org

Phone:  617-795-0362
Cell:  508-397-6839

www.emilynorton.org

Councilor Emily Norton
58 Prescott Street
Newton, Massachusetts 02460

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