I frequently walk around my part of Auburndale, not listening to music and not on my phone, with no particular purpose other than exercise. My physical rambling leads to mental rambling:
1. Given the City’s need for publicly accessible open space (not to mention developers’ interest in Newton land), is it time to revisit the potential of the publicly owned lots on Pine Street near River Street? The 10 fenced-in acres of contaminated land were an unregulated dump for years. They are currently used, based on visible trash, for night-time drinking parties. Some past info at http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/newton/2009/07/10/pine-streets-overgrown-green-spaces-a-quick-bit-of-history/
2. Why do some Newton villages have elected Area Councils under the City charter, but the rest do not? What are the pros and cons experienced by Newton Highlands, Newton Upper Falls, Newtonville and Waban which have Area Councils? If it wanted to, could an organization like the Auburndale Community Association morph into an Area Council? Why would that be a good or bad move?
3. How can Newton non-profits partner with the City to create affordable housing acceptable to existing neighborhoods? What can we learn from other projects, such as community land trusts or the Charlesview development in Allston, a joint effort of three congregations which recently built a mixed use, mixed-income complex, including a community center?
Though I have lived in Auburndale since 1985, until I retired frequent travel for work limited my community involvement. It has been a great pleasure getting to know more of my neighbors and becoming more familiar with our City government. I encourage everyone to get involved, even if only to ask questions. Voting is only one part of civic life.