2017 mayoral candidates’ responses to Tree Questionnaire
Seven candidates are competing to be the next mayor of Newton. As a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, we are not permitted to endorse candidates for public office. However, we wanted to find out more about how the candidates would use their powers and influence as mayor to impact the city’s Forestry budget and tree policies, and share their responses before the September 12 Preliminary Election, which will narrow the field to two for the November election. On August 23, we emailed this questionnaire to all seven candidates.
The Newton Tree Conservancy is a non-profit organization established in 2008 to restore, enhance and protect Newton’s Urban Forest. It was born out of the recognition that the city is not in a position to cover all the costs necessary to maintain our City trees – the trees along our streets and in our parks and other public areas, and that in order to continue to enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of these trees, we must take action to develop initiatives that will supplement what can be supported through the city’s budget.
Our goal is to promote the health of Newton’s trees through:
- Funding for planting and care of new trees, as well as preservation pruning and tree maintenance in a way that will supplement – not replace – city funding
- Educational programs to build public awareness of the value of trees and the risks of not properly caring for and replacing trees along streets and in parks and other public places, and to help people know how to keep their own trees healthy
- Training programs and volunteer opportunities to give citizens an opportunity to participate in tree maintenance and planting
Directors and Officers
Julia Malakie, President
Penny Caponigro, Recording Secretary
Ron Joseph, Membership Chair
Barbara Darnell, Treasurer
Nate Cenis, Director
Katherine Howard, Director
Hal Lichtin, Director
Jack Wittenberg, Director
Ex officio: Marc Welch, City of Newton Director of Urban Forestry
The Newton Tree Conservancy thanks its sponsors: Newton Community Pride (www.newtoncommunitypride.org), the Charles River Neighborhood Foundation (www.charlesriverneighborhoodfoundation.org), Newton Conservators Inc. (www.newtonconservators.org), and the City of Newton Division of Urban Forestry (www.newtonma.gov/gov/parks/forestry/default.asp).