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Who are the City Council candidates in Newton’s Ward 1?

In the local ward councilor race, Allan L. Ciccone Sr. is running to replace Ward 1 Councilor Maria Scibelli Greenberg. At-large councilors Alison Leary and Allan Ciccone Jr. are running unopposed for reelection.

With voters preparing to cast their ballots in the Nov. 5 municipal election, the Globe sent questionnaires last month to every City Council candidate about a range of topics.

On Sept. 19, Newton city solicitor Alissa Ocasio Giuliani advised city councilors that they should not respond to the Globe’s questions regarding whether they supported or opposed two mixed-use developments now under review by the City Council — a 524-unit proposal at the Riverside MBTA station and an 800-unit project at the corner of Needham and Oak streets in Upper Falls.

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A copy of Ocasio Giuliani’s written opinion is here, and a Globe report on the issue is here.

When candidates used the same language to respond to separate questions about the two projects, their responses were condensed into a single answer.

WARD 1 COUNCILOR RACE:

Ward 1 councilor candidates Maria Scibelli Greenberg, left, and Allan L. Ciccone Sr.
Ward 1 councilor candidates Maria Scibelli Greenberg, left, and Allan L. Ciccone Sr.CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Maria Scibelli Greenberg

Age on Election Day (Nov. 5): 56

Village: Nonantum

Position sought: Ward 1 Councilor (Incumbent)

Profession: Cardiac Sonographer at Newton Wellesley Hospital

Why are you running for City Council?

As the incumbent Ward 1 City Councilor I’m running to continue my commitment to be the voice of my constituents. I pledge to expand the impact of my community service to ensure the needs of Nonantum/Newton Corner are addressed.

Explain why you either support or oppose the following proposals:

Riverside and Northland:

Both of these projects are currently before the Land Use Committee, of which I am a member. I have been advised by the city’s Law Department that it would be legally inappropriate for councilors to comment on these matters given our quasi-judicial role.

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If elected, what is one specific action you want to accomplish during your new term, and why?

The intersection of California and Bridge streets is often gridlocked and will only worsen with increased development in Watertown and along California Street. I’m working with the Watertown councilors and transportation departments of Watertown and Newton to rectify this problem.

How should Newton balance the need for more housing against the impact of development?

Achieving balance for Newton’s need for more housing against the impact of development requires a detailed analysis that includes input from residents and key stakeholders. Ultimately the final project must include affordable housing, add value, and address traffic congestion.

Allan L. Ciccone Sr.

Age on Election Day (Nov. 5): 80 years

Village: Nonantum

Position sought: Ward 1 Councilor

Profession: Retired Newton Police officer, former alderman of 12 years

Why are you running for City Council?

I want to protect the character of our neighborhoods from over development and make sure the concerns of our residents are heard before any decisions are made.

Explain why you either support or oppose the following proposals:

Riverside and Northland:

This is an item presently before the city council and most likely will be disposed of before the new board takes over. If I were voting for this item I would be voting with the concerns of the neighborhood.

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If elected, what is one specific action you want to accomplish during your new term, and why?

When elected I would like to see the city council reduced from 24 to 16, one at large councilor and one ward councilor from each ward. I believe that is what the electorate wants.

How should Newton balance the need for more housing against the impact of development?

I believe the city should work with home owners that want to rent out part of their homes so they do not have to sell them and it will assist with the housing needs that we are now facing.

WARD 1 AT-LARGE COUNCILOR RACE

Ward 1 Councilor-at-large Alison M. Leary
Ward 1 Councilor-at-large Alison M. LearyCONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Alison M. Leary

Age on Election Day (Nov. 5): 56

Village: Nonantum and Newton Corner

Position sought: Ward 1 Councilor-at-large (Incumbent)

Profession: Program Manager for a Social Service agency and lifelong environmentalist.

Why are you running for City Council?

One reason I ran for office was due to the dire impacts of global warming and I did not see state or federal government taking effective action. I want to continue the important work of building more resilient and sustainable communities.

Explain why you either support or oppose the following proposals:

Riverside and Northland:

As both the proposed Riverside and Northland developments are under review, I am not yet taking a position. Many of the principles in both plans are laudable, such as passive house design, low-impact development, and a significant increase in smaller and more affordable units.

If elected, what is one specific action you want to accomplish during your new term, and why?

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Zoning reform is a big priority I am hoping it will be passed in 2020. Before the end of this term I would like to see the adoption of the Climate Action Plan/Citizens Climate Action Plan as an amendment to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan.

How should Newton balance the need for more housing against the impact of development?

Any new development must be thoughtfully planned and well designed. At a minimum, it must be consistent with our climate action plan and the comprehensive plan, including passive house standards, improve and expand green space, and reduce reliance on private vehicles.

Allan Ciccone Jr.

(Incumbent)

No response.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.