District 3 City Council candidate Joel Winett
District 3 is Precincts 4 and 7
Editor’s Note: If a question is blank, the candidate did not answer it.
Occupation: Retired Software Manager
Years lived in Framingham: 50
Family (optional): Three children went to and now three grandchildren attend Framingham schools, My wife, Ruth Winett, is a Library Trustee and the President of the Public Library Foundation
Municipal experience: Town Moderator for two terms running Town Meeting fairly, effectively and impartially; Rules Committee (chair) for over 30 years where I authored bylaws to make Town Meeting more effective and votes available to the citizens through the use of electronic recording of votes. Town Meeting Ways and Means Committee (clerk) reviewing municipal budgets; Cultural Council (chair) providing grants to civic organizations; Bylaw Review Committee (clerk) recommending bylaw changes to transition the town to a city
Volunteerism: MIT interviewer of Framingham high school applicants, Mentor for a high school student through the Mazie program, Patient Navigator, supporting Framingham seniors at medical appointments, Past President of Access Framingham TV
In less than 100 words, why should someone vote you to represent them as a City Councilor?
In less than 100 words, describe your district: District 3 is a residential area and includes Framingham Centre Common, Callaghan State Park and the Millwood Golf Course which will become the Millwood Preserve, an over 55 development, with 30 acres of open space accessible to the public. There are residential developments off Grove Street, off Belknap Road, off Pleasant Street and the area known a Pheasant Hill. Major intersections are at Edgell Road and Belknap Road, Belknap Road and Pleasant Street, and Pleasant Street and Temple Street which leads to Route 9.
Website or Facebook page link: Winett.org
Editor’s Note: Candidates were asked to provide one-word answers only. If there is no answer the candidate did not submit a response.
How much would you vote to increase (or decrease) the tax levy in your first year of office? 2.5%
Framingham Centre Common is a part of your district. Is it used too much, not enough, or just right for events? OK
What business is needed in your district? NONE
What amenity is lacking in your district? Transportation
Should Framingham become a sanctuary city? NO
Would you support the creation of a dog park in Framingham? YES
Should the dog park be in your district? NO
Would you support the construction of a splash pad in Framingham? YES
Should the splash pad be in your district? NO
Do you support a split tax rate for businesses and homeowners? YES
Would you vote for a debt exclusion override to build a new school in Framingham? YES
Do you support Framingham State purchasing the Maynard Building for its new partnership with Danforth Art? YES
What is your favorite place in Framingham? (just one): Farm Pond
What is your favorite place in your district? (just one): Callaghan Park
Editor’s Note: Candidates were given up to 350 words to answer each question. Answers are copy & pasted into this report.
QUESTION #1: In your opinion, what is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you go about fixing it as a city councilor?
The biggest problem for the residents in District 3 is traffic. With more development in the area the intersections will become more of a headache. I would require that developers pay mitigation funds to be used to improve major intersections.
QUESTION #2: The Framingham Public Schools represent more than 50 percent of the total budget for the community. Would you support a level-funded budget, a level service budget, and increase in the school budget or a decrease in the school budget? Why?
In order to serve the growing number of students attending Framingham Public Schools we will have to increase the school budget over and above the amount that provides level service to the existing students. We will also have to build a new elementary school as well as a replacement for the Fuller Middle School.
QUESTION #3: Traffic is a major issue in your district? How will you work with the neighborhood, other city councilors, and the new mayor to solve the problem.
We need to have a priority list, set by the neighbors, of the intersections that have traffic problems. The councilors can interact with the people in their district to come up with such a list, and then the councilors can work together to set the overall priorities. In the past this has been left for consultants and professionals to make the plans without consulting with the residents. The professionals need to design solutions, and the residents need to review the plans. Then funds must be allocated to do the work.
QUESTION #4 – What is your view of open space vs economic development for your district? Do you have the same view for the City of Framingham?
There is limited open space, and we must have zoning laws in place to control how this land can be used. This issue is the same for all districts within the City of Framingham. We need smart economic development to bring in more taxes to the city.
QUESTION #5 – Recently there was an attack at Callahan State Park. Do you think Framingham is a safe community? How will your work with police to ensure the safety of residents in your district and the City of Framingham as a whole?
I believe that Framingham is a safe community.
The police are doing a good job to address situations in the district and throughout the community.
QUESTION #6 – What is your vision for the tech park, which is a part of your district?
My vision of the tech park is that the businesses in that area would serve as a catalyst for other innovative businesses.
QUESTION #7 – Do you support the proposed development at Millwood golf course? Why or why not?
QUESTION #8 – Do you support the proposed development at Staples? Why or why not?
QUESTION #9 – Do you think Framingham is family friendly? Why or why not? What would you do to do make the community more inviting to families? What can be done in your district?
Yes, Framingham is family friendly since there are a number of family activities currently available. The development of bike paths throughout the city will make the city more family friendly. The Bruce Freeman rail trail goes through District 3 and should be opened as soon as possible.
QUESTION #10 – In the last 18 months, the Danforth museum and art school was evicted from its home of decades, the Framingham Artists Guild had to find a new home, and recently dozens of artists including the Fountain Street Fine Arts gallery have left Framingham. How would you support the arts in Framingham as a city councilor?
As chair of the Cultural Council I work to support arts programs in Framingham. The Cultural Council has approximately $30,000 each year to award grants from $400 to $2000 to organization that bring the art to the community.
QUESTION #11 – How will you make sure that residents in your neighborhood have a voice in the new City of Framingham, if elected? Give specifics.
I will encourage residents in my district to contact me whenever they have an issue that the government could address. I welcome their comments by phone or email. I would like to see citizen committees appointed by the Council to advise the Mayor and the Council on various proposed projects.
QUESTION #12: How will you get residents in your neighborhood more involved in their community? Give specifics.
This city election has served as a motivator for residents in District 3, and other districts as well, to get involved in the community. I would encourage the Mayor to appoint members of boards and committees who reside in District 3.
QUESTION #13: Framingham is a community of full of social, economic and cultural diversity. What can you do as a councilor to not only represent your district but to the bring the nine districts together as one City?
I will encourage city-wide activities like the concerts on the common, a Flag Day event, and public activities such as MetroFest so that all residents can mingle and help form a vibrant community. I would encourage the Mayor to appoint members of committees from all 9 districts.