On October 11th and 12th, the Waltham Land Trust held the Green Possibilities Forums for City Councillor candidates. With the At-large Councillor candidates on the first night and the Contested Ward Councillor candidates on the second night, these forums provided Waltham’s voting public an opportunity to directly hear candidates’ views about environmental and conservation topics. Seven of twelve At-large candidates participated: Colleen Bradley-MacArthur, George Darcy, Stephen Duffy, Tim King, Emily Saperia, Thomas Stanley, and Emma Tzioumis; and five Ward candidates participated: Robert Davis (Ward 7), Eamon Dawes (Ward 9), Bill Hanley (Ward 3), Robert Logan (Ward 9), and John McLaughlin (Ward 4).
During the forums, the candidates answered our five questions:
- In the coming years, the MWRA will be digging a new tunnel through Waltham and building infrastructure at Lawrence Meadow, the property owned by the University of Massachusetts on Beaver St. What are the opportunities to use the two million dollars set aside for the cleanup of Lawrence Meadow and to ensure this important wetlands area is protected, cleaned up, and made useful to the public in the future?
- Very few of the open spaces in Waltham are protected from future development. What is your plan for ensuring that land designated as public open space, such as land purchased with CPA funds, is permanently protected from future development, such as with a conservation restriction?
- We are lucky to have many greenspaces in Waltham, but there’s a particular lack of it in the densely populated South Side area of Waltham. How could the City bring greenspace to this area?
- The Riverwalk along the Charles River is a popular trail for residents and tourists alike, but some areas of the Riverwalk are experiencing an increase in illicit activities. What is your vision for ensuring the safety of people who want to use Waltham’s Riverwalk?
- How should the City deal with the ongoing rat problem in a way that won’t harm Waltham’s wildlife?