October 12 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 7:30pm, Windsor Club
A. Possible need for donations to WAC Treasury to fund 2019 Election Showcases.
B. Website updates in cooperation with other Area Councils per Newton Highlands Council Discussion. 
IV. BURNING ISSUES: Community comments for future agenda or immediate resolution. (5 min)
A. Staples-Craft House at 1615 Beacon Street/ Suzuki School of Music –RG, (5 min)
B. 37 Radcliff Road – Historic Commission Meeting on Thurs., October 26, 7pm, Rm. 205, City Hall - SL,KW,RG (10min)
C. Waban Common, Inc.: Incorporation process (continued) and Fundraising Plan- Kick-off event date – Jan. 20, 2018 - SL (5 min)
D. Election Showcases and Charter Debate –1) Report on At-Large City Council Showcase on Oct. 8;  2) Preparations for Oct 22 Mayoral and School Committee Showcases and Debate on Charter Proposal Ballot Question - SL et alii. (15 min) 
VI. AREA COUNCIL ELECTION INFORMATION FOR NOVEMBER 7 (5min) Need to advertise Area Council Elections to our catchment area so that people ask for Area Council ballots on November 7.
VII. NEW BUSINESS: New items that may lawfully arise for discussion.
VIII. ANNOUNCEMENTS: On November 7, you may vote on two ballots:
1.) The Newton Municipal Election Ballot which will have a place for you to choose:
A.) A Mayor from two candidates running.
B.) 16 At-Large Councilors (two who live in each ward) and voted on by all voters in the City.
C.) One Ward Councilor voted on only by voters in your own Ward. 
D.) 8 School Committee Members (one who lives in each ward).
E.) To accept or reject the following Ballot Issue: A Proposal for a Revised Newton City Charter. 
2.) The Waban Area Council Ballot:  Waban Area Voters who live in the Waban Area Council catchment district, may choose up to nine Waban Area Councilors by asking for the Waban Area Council Ballot which is separate from the Newton Municipal Election Ballot. (Voters in Newtonville, Newton Highlands and Newton Upper Falls will also need to request their Area Council Ballots at their respective voting places.)
IX. ADJOURN. Next regularly scheduled Waban Area Council Meeting: November 9, 2017, at 7:30pm at the Waban Library Center.
   The location of this meeting is handicap accessible, and reasonable accommodations will be provided to persons requiring assistance.
If you need a special accommodation, please contact the city of Newton’s ADA Coordinator, Jini Fairley, at least two business days
in advance of the meeting: jfairley@newtonma.gov or (617) 796-1253. For Telecommunications Relay Service, please dial 711. 
Meeting Date: 
Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 7:30pm

Meeting Minutes

October 12, 2017, 7:30pm

Members in Attendance: Joe Corkery, Sallee Lipshutz, Chris Pitts, Isabelle Albeck, Rena Getz, Kathy Winters

City attendees: John Rice

Other attendees: Colleen Nolan, Dinah Bodkin, Barbara Brustowicz, Stephanie ?



  2. APPROVAL OF SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 MEETING MINUTES: IA moves to approve the minutes as amended. SL seconds. Unanimously approved.


  1. APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 12, 2017 TREASURER’S REPORT: RG reports current balance $1259.43. May have two additional checks for $25 to tip custodian for both election events as he went above and beyond in terms of setup. JC moves to approve. IA seconds. Unanimously approved.



    1. Possible need for donations to WAC treasury to fund 2019 election showcases. SL should we raise funds for next time? CP I bring in a number of people to support the video for whom we get relatively cheaply. We may need more for the future. SL we pay for a lot to put on the event. It would be good to have a mechanism to pay for it. RG we do need funds for some basic operations. I would suggest that perhaps we solicit the city for some funds or a stipend going forward (with or without the charter). JC perhaps we could ask the city clerk’s office. KW will look into it. If we can’t get funding, we will need a fundraiser.

    2. Website updates in cooperation with other Area Councils per Newton Highlands Council Discussion. SL reports that Newton Highlands Council were talking about updating their website in conjunction with Hyde or others. Question was raised whether it should be coordinated across all area councils to have a single platform to host all councils. RG think this started with it being difficult to find minutes from the city webpage. The connection from the city site is weak. SL that’s a whole different story. KW what communications would be useful? CP mostly calendaring. JC we could just setup calendars for each council and share them. We should suggest other councils set up their own calendars and share. SL they were really hoping to share design. General consensus is not make any changes.



    1. SL reports that Jean Max (Cotter Rd) emailed the council that she hit head on a board between two telephone poles. IA showed pictures that she had taken of the poles. SL reports that Shane Mark sent an inspector out to look at this today. Answer is that is not a city pole. It is a Verizon pole. Has called Verizon to move the board higher.



    1. Staples-Craft House - RG reports that the applicant needed to apply for a certificate of appropriateness for the Suzuki School going into the site (because the house has been landmarked). Has to go to Newton Historical Commission. Mass Historical Commission gave the approval for that use. Was reviewed at Newton Historical Commission. They approved latest plan for Suzuki. JR reports that he talked with attorney a couple of weeks ago but not sure if the sale has been finalized.

    2. 37 Radcliff Road - SL reports the house at 37 Radcliff Road is no longer there except for the first floor facade, the hole where the basement is, and some buttresses to hold it up. A builder/architect bought the property, came in front of planning dept to get permission to put an addition on the side of the house and in the back (with other conditions as well). SL says that she talked with city hall, they sent an inspector out to review it. Inspectors issued a cease & desist order and put a stop to work. Now in discussions. Now left with hole in the ground and half of a front wall. SL (among other individuals) will be going to historical commission on Oct 26 to speak out on this. Attorney for individuals acknowledge what they did was not what was permitted. City can potentially slap developer with a 2 year delay. Property could be sold to another developer or could let bank take it and nothing could be done about that. SL what can we do about this? SL with RG help have put together a letter that they are sending to their neighbors. SL read the letter to make sure people are aware of it, but that this her opinion as an individual. RG at this stage of the game, the property is locked down for 2 years per the ordinance and so there is not a flexibility in what a new purchaser could do.

    3. Waban Common - SL reports that they are in the process of setting up a non-profit org, as well as a preliminary website. Meeting with Parks & Rec next week to hopefully finalize plans. Barbara also notes want to finalize irrigation plans. SL will go into kick-off fundraising mode in early 2018. Will have a kick off fundraiser on January 20th at 12 Radcliff Road.

    4. Election Showcases - SL reports that we have already completed one showcase on October 8th. Will be able to see it online once Chris has finished editing. SL shared many letters of praise that were sent in by the community. SL to send CP final credits to use in the video. SL shows numerous articles in the Tab about the showcase (including 2 on the front page). JC can we get a mention in an upcoming Tab for the next event. JC will reach out to Andy Levin about that.

  2. AREA COUNCIL ELECTION INFORMATION FOR NOVEMBER 7: We need to make sure people are aware of the upcoming election event as well as that people need to ask for the ballot. JR you might be able to ask David Olson to educate the poll workers to make sure they let people know about the other table for WAC voting. SL and RG will reach out to David Olson to discuss the process.



    1. IA we need to make sure we have a delegation at Rodney Barker’s funeral out of respect for his accomplishments in the city. It is on Saturday October 21st.

    2. IA reports that someone from the city came by and said they were going to plant trees in front of their house.  Want to know why city has communicated that to the residents. RG recommends reaching out to Julia Malakie about this. JR says that the type of tree they are recommending are good for trees with wires in front.

    3. RG reports that the lawn signs on her property were stolen. Reached out to city offices to inquire about if anybody from city removed them. Nobody from city removed them. Filed a police report.

    4. SL reports that only 8 people submitted enough validated signatures. Need to figure out process for filling that seat. Write-in candidates would need to get at least 25 votes. Otherwise can appoint somebody after council is sworn in after January.



On November 7, you may vote on two ballots: the Municipal Election Ballot which will have a place for you to choose:


1) a mayor

2) at-large councilors city-wide

3) a ward councilor

4) at-large city-wide school committee members.

You will also be able to choose to accept or reject the Proposal for a Revised Newton City Charter. In addition, you may choose up to nine Waban Area Councilors by asking for the Area Council Ballot which is separate from the Newton Municipal Election Ballot.

Videos of the events: Showcase 1 Showcase 2

  1. ADJOURN: SL moves to adjourn. JC seconds. Meeting adjourned at 9:01 PM.


Next meeting will take place on November 9, 2017 at 7:30 PM.




Respectfully submitted,

Joe Corkery