Spring into the Politics of Housing

Spring is here and with the arrival of the season, sun shines on the politics of Newton that seems to be finding a balance of influence, as politically we pass into the first year of the two year term of office.  Elected officials have been listening and meeting with residents to find a balance that will satisfy the need to add to residential development with the needs of  existing neighborhoods.  The fall is mostly forgotten now as the “presumed” mandate to change the city with “must have” key votes on density and mass housing a thing in the past.

 The City Council is working hard to balance the need for housing with the quality of life in the neighborhoods.  Projects that seemed likely only months ago have either been trimmed in size, or eliminated altogether.   Quick action by the Zoning and Planning Committee is putting the brakes on demolitions, and putting developers on notice that profiteering on projects like “snout nose” housing will not fly for new construction.

Developers and city planners alike are hearing from the residents, better organized now  in groups that represent all types of agendas to include: limited, balanced, affordable, and low income housing.  Though some of these groups are seemingly at odds with each other on housing issues,  the effects have been profound with a focus on keeping existing housing affordable for those residents that want to remain in Newton.  This while we continue providing opportunities for those who desire to live in Newton.

Of course we have challenging large projects on the horizon, that if approved would certainly create greater automobile density, and strain an aging commuter system, but the Newton resident of today is both better organized and informed to work with elected officials for development within doable parameters.

Spring will look greener this year.

Councilor at Large, Ward 3

http://www.newtonma.gov/images/aldermen/city_newton_cotew.jpg
Ward 3

508-983-4535
jcote@newtonma.gov

First Elected: 2013

Occupational / Professional Experience:

Personal Financial Advisor/Retirement Plan Specialist/Mediator, Concord Wealth Management: (Current)

Recruiting/Financial Transition Director: Cote, Pulitzer & Alvarez, Inc. (1999-present)
MetLife Agency Manager 1987 to 1999 (Personal Financial Services)
US Marine Corps: First Sergeant, 1975 to 1995

Worcester State University: BS in Business Management
University of Mary Washington: MBA in Management Sciences

Current Board Committee Assignments:

Public Safety & Transportation
Land Use

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As someone who has lived in big cities like Manhattan, Paris, San Francisco, Detroit, and Boston, then moved to Newton for the wonderful balance of old homes, open space, great schools, and suburban pace, I appreciate what Newtonites treasure and what makes this city unique. Newton staved off annexation by Boston to control its destiny, it makes no sense to trade that in now after generations have worked to make this the Garden City. We must recognize that architecture, landscape, and density, all are key factors in the character of Newton – they are worth preserving.

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