The above photo shows the 2019 City Council candidates for each ward.

L-R Row 1 Peg Crowe, Paul Condon, Amanda Linehan, Julie Orsino

L-R Row 2: Ryan O’Malley, Barbara Walsh, Danyal Najmi, David Camell

L-R Row 3: Neal Anderson, Jadeanne Sica, Andrew Vanni

 

These questions were asked by members of the Facebook group Malden (MA) Politics and compiled by Prisco Tammaro.


1. Would you support a plan and provide resources to have Committee of the Whole, Subcommittee and License Board meetings be live streamed and archived for the public?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): I do think it makes sense to have meetings streamed and archived for the public. The new City Hall is equipped with state of the art technology which I believe will allow us to more one step closer to making that happen. At this point I don’t have a proposal to review and offer support and as I always say “the devil is in the details”.


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): Yes. I believe public meetings should be as accessible as possible, and streaming and archiving more of them allows citizens to stay informed, even when they can’t attend in person. Right now, we rely on dedicated citizens who are going above and beyond to provide extra streaming, but our new City Hall should be wired to do this, and if Granicus doesn’t provide the level of support we need, there are other platforms to explore. I know first-hand that it’s hard to stay involved in local politics when you work full time, commute, or have caregiving responsibilities and can’t attend in person, and we risk losing those voices in decision-making if we don’t provide an additional way to stay up to date. I’ll support finding additional resources to do this and I believe it would ultimately also help us recruit a broader diversity of candidates for local positions as well.

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): Yes. I also support MATV and their role providing important public services such as broadcasting public meetings. Many in Malden get their information via MATV. It would be helpful to work with MATV to formalize a way to balance all means of meeting coverage including social media.


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): Yes, absolutely. Government transparency has been a primary goal of mine since joining the Malden City Council. Through the help of citizen journalists, we have been able to document more public meetings than ever before. While this grassroots approach has worked well we should make it at priority to fully utilize Granicus, the tool we already pay for, to record and document all of our public meetings.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): Yes, I would support a plan to have Committee of the Whole, Sub-Committee and License Board meetings be streamed and archived. In fact, in the future, technology should allow us to go beyond just those meetings. As a member of the City Hall Municipal Building Committee, I have ensured that the three public meeting rooms in the new City Hall, easily accessible on the ground floor, will be outfitted with state of the art conference technology. They will have the capability of streaming live to the internet, broadcasting to MATV and archiving to Granicus. While we currently have technology resources, my goal would be to expand support to provide training and ensure that all staff is adequately trained to utilize that technology so we take advantage of those expanded capabilities.

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): I support making government as transparent as possible. Presuming the resources are available, I see no reason not to do this.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): Yes. Right now we have citizens doing this work, getting it our on various streaming sources. But we should do our best as a City to provide this so our citizens can stay informed; it is crucial in a democracy.


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): Absolutely. We currently have some logistic challenges that make a consistent practice of streaming meetings difficult if not impossible. I understand those challenges will be a thing of the past when we move to a permanent City Hall, and expect that will be a catalyst for making this goal a reality.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


2. What additional steps do you think the City could do to create more transparency in governance?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): I believe open, honest and respectful communication is key to transparency. That can be achieved in many ways. The responsible use of social media, using technology (that is easily searchable, timely and accurate). The use of technology cannot be the only manner of communication, you cannot discount face to face communication. I do believe interacting with the residents and having conversation with feedback and understanding goes a long way in creating transparency.


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): I’m hearing loud and clear from voters that more transparency is needed. At a minimum, a City Councillor should call constituents back when they have questions, problems or are seeking an explanation on a vote; I commit to always do this. To be inclusive and go the extra mile, an engaged Councillor should host neighborhood meetings 2-4 times per year, provide updates via e-newsletter, social media, and by mail, offer child care (or kid-friendly venues), translation of materials and interpretation at forums, and stream and record meetings for those who can’t attend in person. Holding meetings at a variety of days and times would also welcome more to the table. I will do these things, and will also commit to proactively sharing minutes and records so constituents don’t have to ask for them. I’d also like to see our City charter digitized, searchable, and publicly accessible online.

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): If elected as the Ward 3 City Councillor I will recommend that all department heads present a quarterly report to the City Council. It is important for residents to understand more about how city government is operating and for city leaders to understand expectations from residents. This would provide greater transparency. As Ward 3 City Councillor I will hold “office hours” at differing times during the day and evening. It is important for all our elected leaders to be available, approachable and transparent.


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): I believe it is time for a dedicated staff person to handle public records requests in order to speed up the process and improve the customer service level expected by the public when they request public records. Our public records are our most valued records. They are, or should be, the most accurate records of history we have. Journalistic review of this information is vital to the success of our representative democracy form of government.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): The new website the city has recently converted to has made great strides in improving transparency through a more streamlined sharing of all public information with greater search capabilities and, in general, the ability to deliver what the public wants to see. Having meeting rooms in the new City Hall capable of independently streaming and broadcasting and making sure all new technology is ADA compliant are important steps in being more transparent. For example, bluetooth technology will be installed in the new Council Chamber to support the hearing impaired. Font sizes can now be adjusted on the city website for the visually impaired and translation to multiple languages is available. Providing greater access for all our residents leads to greater transparency. I will continue to advocate for new technology to make government in Malden as transparent as possible and I do believe each year we make meaningful progress that our residents notice and appreciate

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): I love that the city budget is easily accessible on the city website. It would be great if voting records were more easily accessible. In light of the discussion around PAYT and the 20 year contract signed with JRM by a previous administration, I think there ought to be some limits to what kinds and lengths of binding agreements our city can enter into without more input from voters. When decisions are being made that affect a particular neighborhood such as determining the future of Roosevelt Park, I would like to see more input from residents, such as putting more issues to public referendum.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): I have been a strong (and slightly annoying) proponent to improve our electronic records. This ranges from our ordinances, to papers in front on the council, minutes, and agendas. Poorly scanned PDFs are not appropriate in the 21st century. I am very optimistic that our new City Clerk is as enthusiastic as I am about improvement, and there are some initiatives being worked on right now. As a Council, we must continue doing our due diligence and get regular status updates on the efforts.


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not Respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): I advocate continuing to utilize technology to the fullest extent possible to aide in this goal. The City recently migrated to a new web platform which will provide some much needed capabilities to further our efforts at transparency. In addition, I am currently working with our new City Clerk to digitize our City Ordinances, making searchable and accessible from the web. Finally, making it a common practice to record ALL meetings for later viewing should be our goal. I think we have made some meaningful strides here the past few years.

Andrew Vann (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


3. Malden River is being redeveloped. How do you suggest we plan to make the banks of the Malden River accessible to the general public?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): Did not respond.


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): I’m very encouraged by the work already underway to creatively reactivate the Malden River’s existing public amenities, and I support zoning for this area that would guarantee public access to the waterfront while also attracting future restaurants, retail and recreation opportunities. We should work with Medford and Everett to build an exciting regional asset. The underlying zoning along the River is fairly muddled and could benefit from a wholesale refresh, but an overlay would still be a helpful step. Opening up key sites such as the DPW yard and National Grid parcel to the public is critically important to making linkages to downtown Malden and the bike path.

(As a point of disclosure, I work for MAPC, the agency working with the city to explore new zoning for this area. I’m also on the board of the MRA, which owns the land the DPW yard sits on).

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): Planning for public access to the Malden River should align with the overall plans for Commercial Street and the city. This should be done with a long-term, strategic view with the city’s and public’s best interest in mind. As your Ward 3 City Councillor, I will work to pull together the number of studies already completed and look at the overall opportunity holistically. Also, I support additional enforcement of Chapter 91.


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): A rezoning of the land adjacent to the Malden River is needed to ensure that the economic development occurring downstream in Everett, Medford, and Somerville continues upstream to Malden. As part of this economic revitalization, it is crucial that we protect the public’s right to access the Malden River and it’s banks for recreation and passive enjoyment. We can do this through local zoning by making a significant setback required from the river. We can also introduce minimum design standards that ensure we have attractive and usable open space long the Malden River.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): As President of the City Council in 2016, I saw the need to create a Waterfront Access Committee (WAC) to formalize the commitment of myself and the entire City Council in working collaboratively with the Friends of Malden River and the MYRA on our mutual goal of advancing access to the Malden River. While much of the work we do goes on quietly behind the scenes, it is important work and I’m thrilled to still chair that committee. I have testified in front of the DEP to ensure National Grid complies with Chapter 91 to construct and maintain a public access walkway with a minimum width of 10 feet running along the Malden River. At the 08/14/19 Planning Board meeting I opposed granting a special permit to a business that had not complied with previous special permit waterfront conditions. I will continue to be a strong voice for our waterfront.

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): The new development is a great opportunity to create infrastructure for walking and biking, which will encourage public use. The zoning should ease the building of housing that is affordable for low and middle income families, and permit sufficient residential density to achieve this goal. Adding a bus route or eventually an orange line station will make the area more accessible and attractive toresidents and businesses alike.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): My primary concern as Ward Six Councillor is to make sure that if city-wide resources are dedicated to something, that all residents of the city, including those on the east side, benefit. Also, we have to balance what demands we place on the two interacting stakeholder groups of business owners and residents/taxpayers.


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): We need to continue to make it a requirement that developers working along the waterfront area improve access for the public. We have done a good job making sure we have a voice in local groups like the Mystic River Watershed Association, who shares our goals for the river. We need to continue that, while our own local riverfront committee focuses on those aspects most important to Malden. Lastly, we need to work closely with the cities of Medford and Everett as the goals of the Malden River are common to all three neighbors.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


4. How many housing units do you think is appropriate for the land at the former Malden Hospital?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): Did not respond.


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): We’d likely need to build a minimum of 80-100 units to make a project financially feasible and include some below-market units, which is important if we hope to help community members who are struggling to stay here, like recent graduates, down-sizing seniors, and families with young children priced out of our smaller single-family homes and condominiums. I am open to a higher unit count if done in a way that achieves community goals for the site. In canvassing here, residents tell me they want better bus service, more park space and trees, links to Fellsmere Pond, and minimal traffic. They are open to some housing, if built at neighborhood scale, alongside other public benefits. Even with the site vacant, Malden must prioritize serious strategies to minimize traffic, pave roads, and add classroom space citywide (either in a new building, or by adding onto existing schools) to address already-worsening crowding.

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): For years I have supported a reasonably sized form of housing for Malden seniors and veterans. This is the community vision, includes some commercial development and interactive open space that ties to Fellsmere Park. If we look at adaptive reuse options (repurpose structure) the community can create a neighborhood with mixed income seniors, families, visitors who can enjoy this incredible space and bring life, vibrancy to an area that continues to be a blight. As a Senior Project Manager, I know it is important to set the vision, development requirements, funding sources and create a plan. Adaptive reuse requires a different approach than knocking down the current hospital buildings. As your Ward 3 City Councillor I will approach this long-term issue, with renewed energy and a deep understanding of the challenges. I have a vested interest in moving forward with an appropriate solution and the expertise to plan/implement.


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): The best use for the former Malden Hospital site would be a commercial office park similar to what is along the Route 128 corridor. Many of these companies are looking to get closer to Boston but also want highway access which the site provides. As part of this project we could require that a significant portion of the site be dedicated to a privately owned and managed park that is open to the public similar to the waterfront park at the Encore.

As for housing, I am skeptical that a purely housing proposal would be economically viable unless the number of units were great enough for a profit to be made after the cost of acquisition, remediation, and construction.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): Limiting the conversation to the possible uses for Malden Hospital to the “right number of units” is to limit the true potential this site has. What needs to happen is an open and honest working dialogue with the property owner, the Cities of Malden and Medford, and the residents of the neighborhood to arrive at the right answer for this site. We should not limit our thinking to a number of units. I do not support a high density residential redevelopment of the site, but beyond that, hope that we can work together to arrive at a use for the site that adds to the community as a whole.

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): I am looking forward to hearing what residents have to say on what they would like to see happen with the Malden Hospital site. Housing is a critical issue facing our community, and I believe the site presents an opportunity for adding to our much needed housing supply, but I don’t have a specific number in mind.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): Again, refer to Question #3: I am absolutely biased on this: How will Ward Six residents benefit by any proposal? That will be my North Star.


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): I would prefer that the property owner, in concert with the city officials and local residents, explore other uses other than residential, preferably something that continues to be rooted in health and wellness. I look forward to working with whoever is elected to represent Ward 3 on this important issue.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


5. What can we do to increase the number of trees in the City, and preserve the existing stock we have?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): Did not respond.


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): This is an issue I hear about constantly while door-knocking: residents are upset at the rate of both private and public tree removal. Often, it is done to add parking or other paved surfaces that increase runoff pollution and GHG emissions from added vehicles, and it disrupts the ability of our tree cover to provide shade and mitigate urban heat island effects. We are lucky to have a dedicated Canopy Collective working to prioritize our urban trees and I’d be proud to partner with them on helping residents request trees, care for sidewalk trees, and advocate for delayed tree removal. Removed trees should be automatically replaced, and with appropriate breeds. As an environmental justice community, Malden must strive to add shade and tree cover, not eliminate it as a first step. Trees increase property value and clean our air. Sidewalk safety and accessibility don’t have to conflict with urban forestry.

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): As the Ward 3 City Councillor, I will support hiring an arborist as a consultant who can help us plan for planting native trees with slow growing and short expansion root systems. We are Tree City USA, yet we are often replacing trees that cannot survive in the urban environment and are not the right choice for sidewalk placement. We can do better! Adding to the essential tree canopy beautifies the neighborhoods and provides critical green material the environment needs. Analyzing the impact to the tree population in our parks is important. Lack of care over the years has led to many being infested with insects and overgrown with invasive plants that have destroyed many of our park trees. Grants are available for these types of projects. As the City Councillor, I will leverage my background and education (MS in Environmental Studies) to pursue these opportunities.


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): As the founder and chair of the Community Forestry Plan Advisory Committee, I have a proposal for a heritage tree ordinance that would protect large-diameter trees throughout the city. This idea was brought to my attention by a lifetime Ward Four resident who has seen many beautiful century-old trees cut down in her lifetime. We as a city also need to prioritize the protection and preservation of existing street trees when we are doing construction projects. Removing healthy street trees is expensive and so is planting new ones. It’s more cost effective to protect than to replace. While I believe the DPW Director, who also serves as the Tree Warden, is doing the best job possible with the resources available, I believe that we should have a dedicated Tree Warden to advocate for and plan the strategic growth of Malden’s tree stock.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): In the past the city has planted on average 150 new trees per year! This year, we are looking to increase that number to 200 and are well on our way with 157 planted so far and 30 more on the way to the DPW yard. Councillors, including myself, add to that number by purchasing additional trees with mitigation money. We now plant 6 different varieties of trees to ensure one type of tree disease does not adversely affect our canopy. The Tree Hearing is an important aspect of making sure existing trees, especially old growth trees, are given every consideration to be saved prior to any decision to remove the tree. Finally, our DPW Director has put in place a new process where a picture of every dead tree is taken and recorded before removal to ensure additional accountability before the difficult decision is made to remove a tree.

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): Engage all of our community in enjoying and protecting our green spaces. In our schools, give our children time to explore natural spaces outdoors (and plenty of recess time!) and inculcate a reverence of nature. Recruit volunteers from our community to take care of our parks, and plant trees in areas that don’t have enough shade. Set goals for number of trees to plant per year, and identify target locations.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): I have been in some great conversations lately with our administration and Councillors-At-Large about getting resources dedicated to more trees in the area of Maplewood Square.


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): We should explore out-of-the box thinking, like requiring any developer to plant a certain number of trees citywide for every xx square feet of developed space. It is a reasonable way for developers to give back to the city. We should also explore options for incentivizing residents for planting trees on their property within a certain number of feet of the public way. These act as shade trees as much as trees on the sidewalk. I think we have developed a transparent and comprehensive process for evaluating trees that need to be disturbed due to road work.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


6. What plan would you have to relieve traffic congestion and improve transportation in Malden?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): Did not respond


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): We missed the boat with our most recent developments by requiring one parking space per bedroom even in brand-new buildings adjacent to the MBTA; in planning for the future we must work quickly and decisively to update our parking minimums. Even so, state data show most of our congestion is due to cut-through commuters and TNCs (Uber/Lyft). While working with our State House delegation to demand adequate funding for the T and reduced commuter rail fares to get regional cars off local roads, Malden must also implement bus-rapid transit on major corridors, expand protected bike infrastructure, institute TNC drop-off zones to minimize circling and dead-heading, promote carpooling and walking to school, and mandate that developers subsidize transit passes and bar transit-adjacent apartments from obtaining on-street permits. Better coordinating school start times, improving sidewalks and crosswalks, and adding more crossing guards would help parents choose options other than driving to school.

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): There are many ways to improve traffic and transportation. Two examples are to add traffic signals at the Fellsway and Highland Avenue intersection and add solar on-demand pedestrian lights at several dangerous intersections to improve safety for those commuting by foot. The on-demand pedestrian lights could be funded with the $90,000 rideshare revenue the city receives from the state. We need to continue to invest and support travel by other means. The bike lanes being added throughout the city provide much needed safety for the cyclists traveling to and from their destinations. Working on providing safe travel routes for all within our neighborhoods has been a focus of my successful community advocacy for years.


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): Malden is not unique when it comes to having traffic congestion. All communities around Boston have to contend with increasingly bad rush hour traffic. Since we do not have the ability to build more roads, it is impossible for a dense community like Malden to add a significant amount of capacity for cars. What we can do is invest in public transit, pedestrian, cycling, and roadway infrastructure improvements in order to encourage other modes of travel which in turn will reduce automobile congestion. Our aging traffic signals also need to be replaced in order to handle cars and pedestrians in a more coordinated fashion.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): The 2020 budget includes a new position for a Transportation Planner. This is a position that has been needed for years and I supported. One of the first things I will request that the planner address is the timing of our traffic signals. I believe the opportunity exists to better sequence lights to relieve congestion and allow traffic (cars, buses and bicycles) to flow more smoothly.

Additionally, as a member of the Complete Street Committee, I’m proud of the work we’ve done developing a connected, integrated and safe network that serves all road users. Malden is an old city with limitations on laying out new streets. However, even small improvements to existing streets and intersections can make a big difference as evidenced by the 8 projects which we have finished to date, each of which has made for safer commuting for everyone. Four more projects are in the works!”

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): I will work towards improving our public transportation and bike infrastructure so that more people will opt not to drive, thus reducing traffic. I propose running more buses at rush hour and piloting dedicated bus lanes to keep buses efficient and not overcrowded. I would like to expand our bike infrastructure and keep it separate from automobile traffic as much as possible- my vision is for folks to be able to commute to any of the surrounding cities on safe bike paths. I am researching the possibility of bringing Circuit to Malden, a van that gives free rides and is paid for by advertising. I also would like to create a city wide carpooling program, ideally an app that could help people connect with others with similar commutes.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): We need to put our differences aside and put concentrated pressure, as a community, on our Commonwealth to deal with the chronically underfunded public transit system. I’ll add a bonus here: we also need to do that on school funding formula. Our delegation is doing a pretty good job articulating our position, but we need to find some leverage to bring the Governor and reps of well-to-do areas to the table on this!


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): Travelling East/West in the City during peak travel hours is one of the greatest issues we face. Eastern Ave seems to offer our greatest opportunity for creating more throughput for the system. There may be an opportunity to add an additional lane of travel on each side using existing road width. It of course requires exploring. However, the norm won’t do here, we need some out of the box thinking to solve this challenge.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


7. What percentage of units in new developments should be allocated to affordable housing?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): Did not respond


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): At a minimum, we should be pushing for an inclusionary zoning policy that would require 15% of units in a new building to be affordable (meaning targeted to households making 80% of the area median income, which is $89,200 for a four-person household). Of course, this requires additional production to take place, as 15% of zero is still zero. Key areas that could accommodate new housing would be Malden Hospital, Commercial Street, upzoning in Malden Center and selectively in other Squares, infill development such as the Habitat for Humanity site near Pine Banks Park, and subdividing larger homes into condominiums. Smaller gains could be made by allowing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also called in-law apartments, by right in neighborhoods. Overall, we should be focusing growth where infrastructure, jobs, and transit already exist, and be pushing for driving alternatives like frequent MBTA bus service and private shuttles from apartments to transit.

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): I fully support an inclusionary zoning ordinance in the city. In fact, it is far overdue. The percent of units is an important element of inclusionary zoning and is a piece of the larger puzzle. Today, we have the opportunity to leverage the work from other municipalities and create an ordinance that best fits Malden. I support the current City Council taking the lead with this important work as it is critical to keeping Malden affordable and in line with current zoning ordinances in Massachusetts as soon as possible. As your Ward 3 City Councillor, I will work with all City Councillors to implement this ordinance. Let’s not wait!


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): The Malden City Council is working hand in hand with Mayor Gary Christenson and the MRA to conduct a study to determine what percentage our inclusionary zoning ordinance should require. I am looking forward to utilizing reliable data to determine the figure that will work best for the Malden community and economy.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): Evan Spetrini, senior planner and policy manager, and Ales Pratt, community development director of the MRA, presented a Housing Strategy Plan for Malden on Sept. 3. I was a sponsor of these initiative and voted to move them to Ordinance Committee for further discussion. Three strategies are under consideration to address this topic, including an Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Inclusionary Zoning Financial Feasibility Analysis, and a Security Deposit Pilot Program. Specific to inclusionary zoning goals, we need the proper analysis to strike the right balance so that we maximize the creation of affordable housing without overshooting in a way that discourages developers from developing at all. The goal is to maximize the number of affordable units without becoming cost prohibitive. If we set the bar too high, it will prohibit development, which in turn will mean less affordable units. The proper analysis should drive the number, not gut instinct.

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): I support the Redevelopment Authority’s plan to conduct an assessment first, and decide the percentage based on what will have the greatest positive impact on overall affordability in Malden.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): There are ongoing efforts right now to pinpoint the right answer on that based on economic reality rather than rhetoric. However, besides inclusionary zoning, what I want to see is how do we achieve a livable city for our people who are already here? Do we have no strategy for affordable housing among our existing stock (and likewise solutions for impact of new units on existing capacity on traffic and schools, etc.)? So the overall strategy can’t depend solely on producing more housing stock. (But to not dodge the question, my gut does say that 20 percent seems at the moment a reasonable starting point for discussion).


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): Like the question about Malden Hospital and housing, I don’t think it’s as simple as picking a number. The discussion about housing needs to be much more comprehensive than that. We should be focused on affordable housing with a focus on making ownership affordable. I support working collaboratively as a community to find ways to make sure that families who are the fabric of Malden can afford to continue to call Malden home. We can do better in having requirements for developers that address the issue of cost of housing.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


8. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) projects that Malden will see demand for an additional 3,852 units between 2018 and 2030.

Do you feel Malden should attempt to meet these projections? Otherwise what quantity of additional units should Malden plan to build for 2030?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): Did not respond. 


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): I do believe we are already seeing a dramatic uptick in demand for housing in Malden, and a combination of generational preferences for urban living, our proximity to Boston/Cambridge/Somerville, plus our extremely constrained real estate market have worsened local affordability, competition, flipping, and displacement. As the MAPC demand projections are based on the existence of a healthy job market, I do believe we should work to meet that demand in a smart, locally appropriate way. If we do nothing, the market will only grow tighter, and we may face increased income segregation, more absentee landlords, and an intensifying eviction rate. Unfortunately, the market will not adopt an equity lens on its own, so we must work to preserve our diverse community through smart housing policy before it’s too late. (In disclosure, I work at MAPC as communications director, but have no role in developing housing or other data projections).

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): The workforce housing demand presented by MAPC is 12,400 housing units for those born after 1980. That is very specific! Also projected is 3,852 in addition to what is already being built. (3,852 new + 2,148 permits=6000 housing units recommended.) Since this analysis only considers workforce housing for a specific age group, it leaves many Malden residents who are looking for affordable options out in the cold. There will be a reduction to the Chapter 70 school funding we receive and an increase in the MBTA assessment to the city. These are examples of the negative downstream impacts resulting from trusting only one data source. We need to consider other perspectives. As a data person and your City Councillor, I will look closely at the numbers regardless of the source and ask the critical questions needed to keep Malden open to all and moving forward with smart growth. Let’s talk commercial development!


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): As Malden continues to become a community where people want to live, we have an opportunity to harness high quality redevelopment projects to extract a greater level of community benefits that increase our standard of living. The City Hall project, which was approved in 2015 before I joined the City Council, is a good example of using redevelopment to get community benefits like a new city hall, police station, and the re-connection of Pleasant Street. Other projects like the Combined Properties project at the old Mal’s Market/Super Fitness site on Exchange Street, and the development by Former State Representative Jack Brennan and Corcoran Jennison, are examples of projects that, in my opinion, were detrimental to the community because they didn’t not generate enough, if any, community benefits. For instance, the project spearheaded by Brennan and Jennison eliminated desperately needed public parking lots on Florence Street. We must learn from the mistakes of the past so that we do not repeat them.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): The continual growth of our community should only occur after a thoughtful and thorough review of the impact such growth will have on our ability to continue to deliver services our residents expect. There is no denying that with additional growth comes added strain on our school system, public safety, and city services. While the answer to the question doesn’t end with that analysis, it certainly starts there. Understanding the underlying data that goes into the demand projections and how to ensure it gets solved equally by all communities are critical aspects of this issue.

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): Absolutely. Housing costs are one of the most urgent issues facing our community, and we cannot hope to keep the costs down without creating more supply. But creating this number of units will not be enough – we have seen a lot of development in Malden that has been high-end and far out of the price range of most Malden residents and families. Future developments need to be strategic – built to cater to the needs of the full demographic that calls our city home, whether it be families or individuals, young or old, and across the income spectrum. We need to be selective about which developers we work with; they must be committed to the wellbeing of our people and community and not just looking for maximum profit. We also must be vigilant about preventing monopolies from manipulating the housing market, while supporting all of our residents, homeowners and renters alike.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): This is closely related to the answer for Q7. The real challenge from the City’ perspective is that of the climbing cost of living that threatens housing security for our Malden residents. Does the creation of more units alleviate that pricing pressure? Perhaps, but is housing production the most efficient way to address the issue, given the additional demands it puts on infrastructure? We have also heard this is a regional challenge. Where are regional and/or state resources? If the Commonwealth is asking Malden to provide infrastructure to support more units, how are they going to help? A negotiation must happen from a position of power, and currently we wield a strong position through our power to say”No.”If that answer is to change, we are going to have to hear something constructive from the Commonwealth.


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): With all due respect to MAPC, I don’t believe any outside group should be setting targets for us. There are so many variables involved, including the need for a deeper understanding of true demand and the short term and long term drivers of such. The answer to this question and the question of affordable housing really are mutually exclusive and need to be discussed in tandem and not in a vacuum.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


9. As an elected official, what is your philosophy: is it your responsibility to follow the will of the voters; or do what you think is best for the people?

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): Did not respond.


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): I believe that elected officials are entrusted with public office to use their best judgment in making decisions for the good of the ward and city. Any responsible elected official must do the hard work of gathering meaningful community input through as many means as possible to give all voters (and residents who can’t or don’t vote) an opportunity to understand and offer feedback before making decisions. As an expert in communication and community engagement, I’m very experienced in diverse, inclusive outreach and am committed to transparency, and I already do this in a public sector role, so I know I will hit the ground running in developing a meaningful civic engagement plan for Ward 3. Information gathering must be both broad and deep, designed to include partnerships with diverse community groups, and reflective of the makeup of the community in order to be statistically significant and impactful.

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): We live in a democracy. Elected officials serve at the will of the people. It is imperative that we elect leaders who are able to engage with constituents productively, openly and without a pre-conceived notion about what people should want. There needs to be a rich dialogue to generate ideas and learn from each other. Listening to differing viewpoints, respectfully disagreeing without being disagreeable and facilitating conversation that leads to a common goal are skills I will bring to the role of Ward 3 City Councillor. Constituents can trust that I will put Ward 3 and the City of Malden first!


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): Open and honest conversations with my constituents and colleagues inform my positions on various issues. I make it a point to hold judgement of issues until I have had an opportunity to research the matter and hear the discussion at public meetings and hearings. One thing I’ve learned from these discussions is that often times the public is intentionally misled by people who hold positons of influence. Sound bites in the newspaper and on campaign literature may sound convincing to those who do not have the time to fact check the public record. This is why I have been such an ardent advocate for the transpancy of meeting minutes and other public records. In order for the public to make informed opinions and decisions the people need easy access to THEIR public documents.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): My philosophy is and always has been to follow the will of the voters. Last year I put forth a bill to lower the height of residential dwelling units in the Central Business District from twelve stories to six stories. This was the will of our residents as was proven by the largest survey ever conducted in the history of Malden. This survey said that 75.96% of the respondents wanted the height for multi-story residential buildings to be six stories or less. Although it failed to pass the City Council on the first try, I did not give up. After waiting the mandatory time limit to resubmit a proposal, I put forth a compromise bill that would allow the City Council to approve a 7 story limit, a compromise I made to make movement on this goal. I am happy to say ultimately it passed.

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): Follow the will of the voters.  If I feel strongly that something is good for Malden, it is my responsibility to share the facts that make me believe this and convince the voters of its value.  I don’t know everything, and I am counting on the community to continue to guide and inform me to making the best decisions for Malden.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): I don’t think it has to be mutually exclusive. If there is a mismatch between those two goals, then we have to have a conversation as a community. I view it in a very similar way as my career in private industry as an engineer. My job ultimately is to serve clients and shareholders of my company (and in the case of being a City Councillor, my constituents). There are certainly times when I have more technical familiarity with a situation, and there is a difference of opinion with the client. There is a proper way to reconcile that difference, though it is not always the easiest way. It is incumbent upon me as a professional to provide as clearly as I can the pertinent information, give my recommendations and alternatives, and seek their feedback. In the end, unless it is a crucial moral issue, residents deserve the final say.


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): The role of Ward Councilor I think is unique in that we really are expected to be the voice for the residents of our Wards on day to day quality of life issues.  Of course, we also are involved in more global citywide issues.  However, for the most part, I see the role of the Ward Councilor as following the desires of the Ward we represent, understanding that on larger issues, we have checks and balances that will provide an opportunity for other elected officials to weigh on as it relates to the city as a whole.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


10. Who is your Campaign Committee? 

Peg Crowe (incumbent, Ward 1): Did not respond.


Paul Condon (incumbent, Ward 2): Did not respond.


Amanda Linehan (Candidate, Ward 3): My campaign includes myself as the candidate, my treasurer Nancy McPheeters, a Ward 5 resident and local attorney, and my campaign manager Matt Walsh, a Florence Street resident who works part- time as our only paid staff member. Because I am considered a public employee in my full-time job and have restrictions on both my time and financial involvement in the campaign per OCPF, my spouse Mark Linehan is playing a key role in helping to administer our social media accounts, deposit checks and facilitate donations, and pick up materials and supplies for campaign events during the week when I am on state time. Our door- knocking team is made up of several dozen local volunteers and our fundraising base is also local, with an average individual contribution of $68. I also rely heavily on childcare provided by family, friends,

Julianne Orsino (Candidate, Ward 3): My campaign committee is myself and my wife, Emily Rivera. I believe voters want to hear directly from the candidate and not paid staff people. With that said, I am very lucky to have a number of residents, family and friends who have volunteered their time to help because they believe in the strength of our community and the positive message we are presenting! My campaign is driven by grassroots efforts, community engagement and by being able to show I have a history of solving issues in Ward 3 and the city of Malden. If anyone would like to join us, please contact me  at JulianneOrsino@gmail.com.


Ryan O’Malley (incumbent, Ward 4): The committee is supported by many individuals, overwhelmingly Malden residents who donate small amount of money in order to advance our shared vision for a more transparent and respectful Malden. I am proud of the grassroots manner in which my campaigns have been run since I first ran in 2015.


Barbara Murphy (incumbent, Ward 5): My campaign committee consists of myself, my treasurer, Julie Greenbaum, and many family, friends and neighbors who have supported me at every step of the way and without whom I could not do this job.

Danyal Najmi (Challenger, Ward 5): Many people have supported my campaign with their time, effort, and dedication.  None more so than Blake and James Robert-Crall, whose knowledge and experience has been essential for me to run my first campaign ever.


David Camell (incumbent, Ward 6): This time around, the campaign is just my wife and me (and a few good pairs of shoes)!


Neal Anderson (incumbent, Ward 7): Did not respond.


Jeadeanne Sica (incumbent, Ward 8): My Committee has consisted of the same close friends and family since I got into politics.  I know if I start naming names I’ll forget someone who has helped me along the way.  So instead, I’ll describe my campaign as simply a passionate group eager to help me get my message out and get re-elected so we can continue the great progress we have made so far.

Andrew Vanni (Challenger, Ward 8): Did not respond.


Citations