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Who are the City Council candidates in Newton’s Ward 7?

Incumbent at-large councilors Marc Laredo, the council president, and Becky Walker Grossman, along with Ward 7 Councilor R. Lisle Baker, are running unopposed for re-election. Grossman is also running as a candidate for the Fourth Congressional District.

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.

Lisle Baker
Lisle BakerCONTRIBUTED PHOTO

WARD 7 COUNCILOR RACE

R. Lisle Baker

Age on Election Day (Nov. 5): 77

Village: Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, Newton Corner

Position sought: Ward 7 councilor (Incumbent)

Profession: law professor, Suffolk University Law School

Why are you running for City Council?

I am seeking my nineteenth term on the City Council to continue to strengthen our public

schools, save open spaces, preserve historic resources and support affordable housing, as well as further enhance public safety and improve controls on land development.

Explain why you either support or oppose the following proposals:

Riverside and Northland:

As this project is still before the Council for decision and has not yet been reported by the Council’s Land Use Committee, it is premature to declare a position, as we have been advised by the Newton City Solicitor.

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

For years Newton citizens have enjoyed quiet walks in the 17 acres of trees, pond and wildlife habitat known as Webster Woods behind the former Temple on Hammond Pond Parkway. I want to help the Mayor permanently preserve Webster Woods.

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

Newton’s 13 villages are a combination of strong neighborhoods and valued commercial areas. Ideally, new housing should fit into the fabric of these villages so that it enhances the quality of life in Newton.

WARD 7 AT-LARGE COUNCILOR RACE

Ward 7 councilor-at-large candidates Becky Walker Grossman, left, and Marc C. Laredo.
Ward 7 councilor-at-large candidates Becky Walker Grossman, left, and Marc C. Laredo.CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Becky Walker Grossman

Age on Election Day (Nov. 5): 39

Village: Newton Corner/Newton Centre

Position sought: Ward 7 councilor-at-large (Incumbent)

Profession: Attorney, City Councilor

Why are you running for City Council?

I love serving our city, and I want to continue working on critical issues like school improvements, combating climate change, and transportation and infrastructure challenges.

Explain why you either support or oppose the following proposals:

Riverside and Northland:

Unfortunately, because this is a pending special permit proposal before the City Council, it is not appropriate for me to answer this question.

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

I’d like to strengthen our crossing guard program and make a more robust plan for our kids to be able to walk and bike to school safely.

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

Responsible development means transit-oriented, mixed-use projects that enhance our village centers, create affordable housing opportunities, grow Newton’s tax base, and preserve green space. When development is done right, we’ll create more amenities and opportunities for residents.

Marc C. Laredo

Age on Election Day (Nov. 5): 59

Village: Newton Corner/Newton Centre

Position sought: Ward 7 Councilor-at-large (Incumbent)

Profession: Attorney

Why are you running for City Council?

I am running for re-election to the City Council as a councilor-at-large from Ward 7 because I care deeply about our city and my experience, leadership, and judgment will enable me to continue to help meet the challenges and opportunities that we face.

Explain why you either support or oppose the following proposals:

Riverside and Northland:

Since City Council members serve in a quasi-judicial capacity on land use matters, it is not appropriate for me to answer this question on a project that is currently before us.

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

We need to enact a climate action plan with both short-term and long-term action items and tangible, measurable goals. Newton must continue to be a leader in this effort.

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

We cannot remain stagnant — socio-economic diversity and thoughtful development are good for our city. At the same time, development must be appropriate in design and context, address traffic and parking issues, and preserve and enhance open space.

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