Waltham City Council steamrolls residents, mayor on pro-developer zoning change

Anyone who cares about development in Waltham must read the front-page Globe West article in today's Boston Sunday Globe by Stephanie Siek. The article, "Waltham City Council overrides zoning veto," sums up what's been going over the past few months, as developers lick their chops over the chance to replace office buildings with more lucrative structures that include stores and restaurants, and pratically every Waltham city councillor helps them out by changing the zoning regs, and then overrides Mayor McCarthy's veto.

It's clear that Mayor McCarthy and a handful of councillors are the only ones who want to protect our interests against the neverending wave of development in Waltham. The only councillors who supported the mayor's veto, notes the article, are Councilor George A. Darcy III of Ward 3, Councilor at Large Patrick J. O'Brien, and Councilor Stephen F. Rourke. Councilor at Large Kathleen B. McMenimen wans't able to vote, but she has been against the zoning proposal in the past. Good for them, for actually showing some backbone when it comes to saying "no" to developers.

Then, on the developers' team, we have Council President Edmund P. Tarallo of Ward 2 and the rest of the Council gang. Tarallo couldn't vote for the veto for procedural reasons, but has supported the zoning changes in the past. All other councillors apparently supported the veto, i.e., they want the pro-developer zoning changes. I wonder why?

Unlike the previous Globe article on the proposed zoning changes (see "Sloppy reporting on Waltham development"), this time the Globe talks to people opposed to the zoning plans -- namely, the citizens of Waltham who are fed up with the development that is ruining our city. Here's a quote that I think sums up the feeling in the city:
Several attendees said the council was ignoring the public.

"My reaction is and has been that the council seemed to be working in a vacuum," said Herbert Henderson, who lives on the south side of Waltham. "There was no effort to gauge the public's will for or against this proposal."
For a sample of other residents' feelings on this issue, check out the July 18 and July 19 letters to the editor in the News Tribune. Also check out the August 2 editorial in the same paper, "Let the mayor's veto stand".



Anonymous Vahram Sookikian said...

Clearly Mayor McCarthy is looking out for the resident tax payers of Waltham as are a minority of Councilors.

Major development in the city and along Rt 128 only add to the tax burden because of the concurrent increase of municipal services.

The City Council should be thinking of their broad base of private home owners rather than siding with large corporations. There is no advantage to the average homeowners for Rt 128 to be developed any further.

That's the bottom line: What's in it for the homeowner but an increase in taxes. Hooray for Mayor McCarthy, the People's Advocate!

Thank you Mayor for all the good you do for Waltham. Vahram and Helen Sookikian

10:13 PM  

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