Many important issues face the City Council in the coming year. Amongst them:
Schools Construction - The approval of the Overrides has enabled work to proceed on the replacement of the Angier School in Waban, the last village school in Ward Five. I'll also work to upgrade the Cabot and Zervas Schools while seeking creative solutions to overcrowding in the schools.
Zoning Reform - The City of Newton Ordinances were last review and updated over 25 years ago. In order to bring the Ordinances into better compliance with Newton's Comprehensive Plan a Zoning Reform Initiative was commenced in February of 2013. This first phase is intended to augment the usability of the Newton Zoning Ordinances with the assistance of the hired consultant, Code Studios. Please visit the City of Newton website to find current information on the progress of Phase I (http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning/lrplan/zoning/zoningref.asp).
Historical Preservation - The Civil War Memorial in our Newton Cemetery, one of the first to be built in the Commonwealth, will be repaired this year, well in advance of its 150th anniversary in 2014. I've joined the Historic Burying Grounds Committee of Historic Newton and work to use previously appropriated Community Preservation Act funds to continue repairs to the Burying Grounds. The repairs to the graves of Revolutionary War veterans, including my great great great great grandfather Samuel Richardson, at the South Burying Ground have been particularly welcome.
Upper Falls Greenway - The city is converting the unused railroad line behind Needham St into a new mile long parkland. I am a member of the Greenway Task Force that's overseeing details of the construction project to add to Newton's green spaces. Please visit http://www.upperfallsgreenway.org for the latest information on the status of the project.