Newtonville Area Council Members
The following people have been elected to the Newtonville Area Council. New terms start in January 2016.
My family moved to Newton twenty years ago. We have enjoyed wonderful neighbors, excellent schools and sports, and great natural beauty. I want to preserve what’s best about Newton and improve it by: stimulating resident participation shaping the future of our community; promoting bottom-up planning with other villages and fighting overdevelopment and; increasing transparency in government. I have a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT, and a decade of experience teaching American Politics. I also studied survey research at U Conn, and was a researcher at its Roper Center for Public Opinion. I have since worked as a freelance researcher, writer, and cab driver. I served in the U.S. Army 1967-1970 (Honorable discharge). I helped organize a group petitioning against the Austin Street Project. I have attended numerous City and NAC meetings, and become educated about development issues. If elected, I will serve the best interests of Newtonville residents and businesses.
Joy Huber has lived on Whitney Rd., in Newtonville, for 25 years. Her three children attended Newton public schools. She has a Ph.D. in economics from Boston University. She led the effort to create the Newtonville Area Council, and was its first president. Under Joy’s leadership, the Newtonville Area Council has taken responsibility for Newtonville Village Day, which has brought businesses, community groups, and citizens together to celebrate and promote Newtonville. Joy has also been active in the Austin Street development process. She analyzed additional parking data to assess the validity of the Austin St. parking study, evaluated the Austin St. proposal including touring a similar building built by the Austin Street Partners Development team, attended and spoke at multiple meetings. Her efforts, and that of the Newtonville Area Council, have been instrumental in improving the Austin St. proposal to meet the needs of Newtonville.
Marc D. Kaufman
I am currently president of the Newtonville Area Council (NAC) and have been involved in all NAC activities for the past 2 years. They include a survey of Newtonville residents, critiquing the Austin St. development process and developer proposals, working to implement improvements to the commercial section of Walnut St. (wider sidewalks, adding benches, landscaping), lobbying for the new Indigo Line on the MBTA’s Framingham tracks, participating in Alderman Land Use Committee hearings on Austin St., critiquing other proposed developments in Newtonville, and helping the NAC to be a forum for citizen voices and concerns in the city. For the next 2 years, I want to critique the many development proposals in Newtonville and help to align them to the village’s vision. In the past, I was a member of the Design Review Committee for Newton North, and served on the school councils at Newton North, Day and Cabot schools
Wayne Koch is a practicing architect specializing in the higher education and commercial sectors. He has lived on Greylock Road in Newtonville with his wife Lisa Kamisher for the last 24 years. Their two sons attended Cabot, Day and graduated from North. Wayne’s public and professional service includes serving on the Newtonville Area Council for two years, Newtonville Historic Commission for five years as well as the Boston Society of Architects Board of Directors. Wayne has significant experience in working with client groups and planning boards to achieve consensus and hopes to continue his work on the NAC with a focus on the quality of the built environment, helping to make Newtonville a more vibrant and beautiful place to live, work and shop.
Tom Kraus has been a Newtonville resident for 38 years. His three children attended Newton Public Schools. Currently he is Vice President of the Newtonville Area Council (NAC). Tom believes that citizen input and transparent government are essential to the integrity and quality of government decision making. Tom took a leadership position on the NAC, contributing to the design and analysis of a citizen-survey on the Austin St. development. As part of the NAC, Tom focused on issues of parking, and is concerned that the current proposal would negatively impact our businesses. He also volunteered for the working-group on construction parking, should the proposal prevail. Tom’s technical background and analytical skills have enhanced the NAC’s ability to collect and assess data and encourage data-driven decision making. Tom brings both historical knowledge and business understanding to the NAC. Tom looks forward to helping maintain and enhance the village character of Newtonville.
When my late husband Ken Minaker accepted a clinical research position at the Beth Israel hospital we moved from Toronto to Newtonville with our children. The village offered a unique respite from the rapidly growing city we left. Quickly we grew to love Newton and its friendly villages.
As I talk to neighbors here and surrounding villages they tell me they want to preserve the village character. The role of an area councilor is to listen to residents and business owners and represent their views. I will support local businesses and oppose loss of public land for out of scale development. Our village needs amenities for easy shopping, dining and strolling. Trees, gardens and benches will help the village become a relaxing destination. Over the years I have learned about city government while serving on the Newton Conservators, the League of Women Voters and many local political campaigns. In the years ahead I shall devote my time to the residents of Newtonville who look for leaders to listen to their concerns during these challenging times of intense pressure for village development.
My husband and I have lived in Newtonville over 20 years and raised our son here. Having grown up in the South Bronx, I really appreciate Newtonville’s beauty, scale, and friendliness. I am running for Newtonville Area Council to preserve Newtonville’s essence as we move forward. I am so concerned about the impacts of the Austin Street proposal that I (and like-minded friends) have collected almost 1500 petition signatures against it. If I am elected to the council, whose monthly meetings I’ve attended, I intend to ensure that neighborhood views help shape village development. Outreach, public meetings, and surveys are all important. As a technical writer, I always worked collaboratively to produce excellent, award-winning documentation. Now retired, I will collaborate again, this time to address issues of density, traffic, and parking. I also support Beautiful Newtonville’s efforts to make Walnut Street more inviting. I would so appreciate your vote. Thanks!
Helene Sroat wants our village to be an inviting place where people come to run errands, meet others, eat, drink, walk, and sit outside and enjoy themselves. She will advocate for more attractively designed sidewalks, plantings and public space as well as sufficient parking. Helene has a PhD in architectural history and a long standing interest in improving the built environment. She has done an extensive design review of the public plaza component of the Austin Street development. Helene and her family live on Wildwood Ave. in Newtonville. Her children attend the Horace Mann and Day Middle Schools. She has been a member of the Newtonville Area Council for two years and is currently serving as its treasurer.
In his first NAC term, Tim Stone led development of the resident survey for the proposed Austin Street development. If re-elected, Tim will work to ensure that the City and Board of Alderman meet their obligations to account for resident feedback when considering whether to proceed with the development, and if so, only if the project significantly improves downtown public space, visual appeal, and sustainability for independent businesses without increasing traffic congestion. As founder of Beautiful Newtonville, a non-profit organization, Tim also secured a City commitment to revitalize Walnut Street’s commercial district with new sidewalks, benches, and lighting. Finally, he led Beautiful Newtonville’s collaboration with residents, businesses, City government, and Newton North High School students, which beautified the Washington Street commercial district with flower planters and the newly renovated bus shelter. He lives on Briar Lane with his wife and son, a rising junior at Newton North High School.