Medford candidate survey responses; Meet & Greet for Stephanie Muccini Burke

Stephanie Muccini Burke responded to our candidate survey; Upcoming volunteer & meet & greet opportunities.

Survey questions are out and results are coming in! Do to the busy nature of our volunteers, it took us longer than we’d hoped to get out a survey to candidates. We sent the same questions to the Mayoral & City Council candidates and we are currently consulting with progressive education advocates on questions for School Committee candidates. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see Stephanie Muccini Burke’s responses.

Meet & Greet for Stephanie Muccini Burke:
Please join Stephanie at the home of Karen Shack
Saturday, October 17th 11AM – 12:30PM
147 Fells Ave, Medford MA
Also on Facebook

Question #1 – Community Preservation Act
Over 1600 signatures of Medford residents were collected to put the Community Preservation Act on the ballot. It will be Question #1 and residents will have to turn over their ballot to vote on the BACK. The committee is now recruiting volunteers for yard signs and to distribute flyers. More information on the ballot question on their website and you can learn more about what they need and volunteer here

Volunteer for Stephanie Muccini Burke:
Phonebank at their HQ
74A High St
10AM – 1PM
1:30PM – 4:30PM
5PM – 8:30PM
The campaign is using VAN to help connect you to likely voters, if you prefer to call a specific neighborhood, just ask! 

Talk to residents in person!
Saturday, 10/17 2PM – 4PM
Sunday, 10/18 2PM – 4PM
Pick up your walk lists and literature at 74A High St

To sign up directly with the campaign for most timely notification of help needed, click here!

More of a data geek?  Miss using VAN? They need help with data entry too! Email us at or contact their field director at

Questions about these opportunities?  Call Ian at 917-494-5194 or email him:

Volunteer for John Falco:
John needs volunteers for:

Visibility (stand outs)
Lit drops 
Election Day help.

To volunteer email to or call 781-395-1290 or join Team Falco by going to and click on “Get Involved”.

Volunteer for Chris D’Aveta & tell him what you think!
Chris has a survey where you can share your thoughts on Medford issues. 
Sign up here to volunteer for Chris
More information about Chris and his campaign are available on his website.

Volunteer for Neil Osborne & tell him what you think!
Neil has a feedback form to share your concerns and signup to volunteer on his website.

Upcoming Events

October 21 – School Committee Candidates Forum! Hosted by Jay Campbell and moderated by Frank Parker
6:30 PM
McGlynn Elementary School, Freedom Way, Medford, MA 02155  [New Location]
More info and RSVP on Facebook
Please email your questions to

Survey Response
We sent these survey questions to all the Mayoral and City Council Candidates last week. As we receive responses we will send them out and put them on our website. To date we have received Stephanie Muccini Burke’s, which is included, in its entirety, below.

Name: Stephanie Muccini Burke-Candidate for Mayor 
Former City Councillor 
Email Address (for public use)

What are three issues you want to address if you are elected to become Mayor?

  • Medford Square Revitalization and development of the Riverfront. Additionally, a thorough review of zoning throughout all business districts
  • Review of Public Safety initiatives for greater visibility throughout the community along with options for a new Police Station.
  • Review and incorporate policy changes to the operation of City Hall from an efficiency and customer service perspective

What is your understanding of climate change and what do you think Medford’s role should be, if any, in preparing for climate change?

I believe that Medford, in concert with the region, should collaborate on research and initiatives concerning climate change. Medford should play an active role in the research and dialogue concerning the future. Medford should collaborate with our research university in the city, Tufts University, to identify opportunities for growth management.

Do you think that residents understand enough about our city’s government? What changes would you push for to increase or decrease that understanding?

No, I do not think that residents understand enough about our city’s government. I would propose quarterly ward meetings, similar to Resistat in Somerville, and education programs provided by the city concerning the following processes: budget, home assessment, procurement, zoning etc. Also, the City’s web site will be redesigned in a more interactive format so that efficiencies can be gained from automation. The City website will provide a forum and a blog for citizen comment as well as survey techniques to elicit and incorporate citizen engagement with dialogue and a concerted effort we will be able to broaden the understanding of government’s role in the daily lives of its citizens.

Do you support the Green Line extension to College Ave? Do you think Medford should push for the extension to Route 16?

I am on record as supporting the Green Line extension to College Ave and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s efforts to fund to Rt. 16.

Medford’s streets have become treacherous to walk, bicycle and drive on. What plan would you push for to get all of our streets brought back to an acceptable level during your term?

I would plan on aggressively utilizing annual Chapter 90 funds of roughly $950,000 that the City is allotted each year to first focus on the main streets throughout the community with special attention to crosswalks in and around schools and senior housing. Community Development Block Grants will also be leveraged to accomplish the greatest amount of construction possible. The City will develop a program to fill potholes until permanent funding is approved. Further, the condition of all roads will be incorporated into a detailed five and ten year Capital Plan for the City that will be cooperatively prepared with input from City Council, School Committee and citizens.

Are you familiar with “Complete Streets” policies? Would you encourage or discourage the adoption of a “Complete Streets” plan for Medford?

Yes, I am familiar with “Complete Streets.”I would encourage the adoption and also a seat at the table for the Bicycle Commission in reviewing and recommending projects to be undertaken. Also, if adopted, the legislature appropriated $50 million to be allocated to communities that adopt a Complete Street policy/ordinance over a five year period beginning in FY15. This could augment road work needs mentioned in question 5.

Do you think Medford should adopt the Community Preservation Act? Regardless of whether you believe we should adopt it, if it passes in Medford, what project would you like to see among the first 5 undertaken?

I do think that Medford should adopt the CPA. If the funds were available today, the first five projects that I believe should be reviewed by the committee are: 1) Parks and playgrounds should be enhanced for accessibility for children, elders and people with disabilities (ADA compliant). Playing fields should be upgraded for safety and increased length of use. 2) Additional sprinkler parks and community gardens should be built 3) The Historic Brooks Estate should be preserved in compliance with the Preservation Agreement. 4) Chevalier Theatre should be upgraded with air conditioning and new façade and 5) creation of affordable housing units

The Mystic River is one of Medford’s great natural resources. Several organizations have been collaborating to improve the paths along the river to provide connected routes for recreational, transportation, and commuter walking and bicycling. One such path is the proposed “Clippership Connector” between Medford Square and the middle school complex at River Bend Park. What is your view about how the city should work with stakeholder on such a path? Should the city help to fund such a path?

The City has been highly successful in obtaining grants to increase the connectivity along the River way. I would pursue these grant opportunities aggressively to continue the connectivity along the River. The City should be the catalyst to include stakeholders and interested parties in the discussion on the future of this path.

What is your position on affordable housing? What steps, if any, would you push for to see more affordable housing in Medford? What would you do to keep Medford affordable for lifelong residents?

Affordable housing and housing that is affordable are two goals that Medford should strive to increase. An element of all housing production should encompass an affordability component. An Inclusionary Housing Proposal should be completed and moved for adoption.

Do you think Medford has too many or too few liquor and entertainment licenses? Should Medford’s entertainment licensing rules be changed? How and why?

I believe that there should be an unlimited number of liquor and entertainment licenses from the state and the local licensing, via community input, should determine the awarding of these licenses. There should not be a limit as set by state statute. In addition, the licensing commission should adopt the “trial” rules established for entertainment licenses. When on the city council, I initiated the discussion that led to a home rule petition to allow for beer & wine licenses in our community in concert with residents and small restaurants. We should not have to travel to outside communities for our entertainment venues.

Surrounding cities and towns have “sidewalk cafes” as part of their lounge and restaurant businesses, including those where the front of the building effectively opens up to the sidewalk. Would you support changes to ordinances and regulations to allow that type of establishment in the city?

I was a supporter of “sidewalk cafes” when on the city council and continue to fully support them. I think that they should be allowed by right without the need for a special permit from the City Council as long as spacial requirements exist. We should be trying to encourage small businesses by reducing obstacles and not creating them.

What is one ordinance in Medford you would like to see changed? What change would you push for?

There is a Massachusetts General Law that I would like to see amended: the Owner Occupied Exemption. Currently, it is a fixed dollar amount based on the average value of homes in the city. The fixed amount is applied to all properties resulting in an added burden to owner-occupied properties valued over the breakeven point and savings to owner-occupied properties below the break-even point. I do not believe this was the law’s intent. The exemption should be pro-rata which would benefit all owner-occupied properties. I offered an amendment several years ago that failed to be voted on by the legislature. I would introduce this again.

Do you think there should be changes to Medford’s zoning? What sort of changes?

A detailed review of all ordinances should be conducted to determine if the standards established are necessary or an obstacle to development for both residential and commercial. Medford Square should have its own unique zone that provides for a reduced need for parking spaces and setbacks among other changes. The sidewalk café ordinance listed above should also be amended.

Boston and Cambridge have energy disclosure ordinances:

“In 2013, the City of Boston enacted the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO). This Ordinance requires Boston’s large- and medium-sized buildings to report their annual energy and water use to the City of Boston, after which the City makes the information publicly available. Additionally, every five years, buildings need to complete an energy assessment or energy action; exemptions are provided for buildings that are already efficient or are making significant progress on energy efficiency.
Cambridge has a similar ordinance. Should Medford follow suit? Why or why not?

Yes, Medford should adopt such an ordinance, joining many US cities in the effort to conserve energy and water. Medford would phase in the requirement over several years, with a set compliance date for building owners to adopt a tool to measure energy use, water use and green house emissions. Initially the City would lead the way in reporting requirements in its buildings and release online these results.

Adopting a reporting and disclosure ordinance is a protocol to guide building owners to operate energy efficient buildings. Medford will make all information available online so building owners can share and identify best practices. Energy audits benefit both the business community and the public by identifying opportunities to save resources in a sustainable way.

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