Former alderman and retired Newton Police officer Allan Ciccone Sr., 79, is challenging incumbent Maria Scibelli Greenberg, 56, for the Ward 1 City Councilor seat.
Greenberg, who first won the seat two years ago, said in a phone interview that her time in office has been positive and she wants to continue addressing neighborhood concerns.
“I find it so satisfactory that the issues get resolved so quickly, that the residents become happy and satisfied with the city and that I’m able to be that facilitator,” said Greenberg, who added that she receives phone calls and e-mails from residents concerning neighborhood problems ranging from the city’s safety and upgrade of sidewalks to uncollected garbage.
“It’s such a benefit to the city to have a local representative who can get those things done immediately, so I find that that’s my role,” said Greenberg, who has lived in Newton for 27 years and has been involved with local organizations, such as Nonantum Neighborhood Association.
Ciccone did not respond to several requests for a comment about his candidacy.
“People are being priced out of living in Newton,” said Greenberg. “Our housing is geared more toward the wealthy and we need more diversity in our city.”
She said the city needs to pursue development to provide more affordable housing for seniors and young families who are unable to live in their hometown while preserving the city’s green space preservation.
Greenberg has supported the development of the 55-unit apartment in Newton Corner, Haywood House, which offers 70 percent of its units for seniors and low, moderate-income families.
“The opposition has an easy answer to the complicated issues that face our city right now,” Greenberg said. “I am going to work hard at finding the balance where our neighborhoods and constituents are represented and these issues become resolved.”
“I’m really against big development. Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Ciccone in the candidates’ debate presented by NewTV and the Newton League of Women Voters last month.
Ciccone, a lifetime resident of Newton, said in a questionnaire from the Globe that Newton should maintain the original cityscape of Newton’s villages rather than pursuing rapid development.
He said the city’s housing crisis can be addressed by encouraging the current householders to rent out their spare rooms.
“There’s a balance. We have to have development, but we also have to have green space as part of the requirements of these developments,” said Greenberg whose top priorities include preservation of green space and public parks.
“I’m working hard at traffic congestion here [in] Ward 1, working very hard,” said Greenberg.
She said she will continue her effort to keep traffic flow stable as residents are concerned that the development of high density clusters will impact their mobility.