As promised, I used your thoughtful suggestions posted in the comments to this post and suggestions from folks offline to draft some questions to the Ward 5 ward councilor candidates. I sent the candidates the questions last Thursday with a reply deadline of today. I have received responses from Kathy Winters and Bill Humphrey and will post a single question and their responses in each of five separate posts. Through a spokesperson, Rena Getz declined to participate.

Here are the questions:

The Engine 6 project and its failure seems to have been a defining moment for Ward 5. If a project nearly identical to Engine 6 came up today — similar site, size, and residents — would you support it? If not, why not? How has your position changed since 2013?

Do you support the current NewCAL Working Group proposal in terms of both programming and site selection? If not, what part or parts of the proposal do you disagree with? What should the city do instead? Why?

Where in Ward 5 would it be appropriate to add more housing? Specifically, where would it be appropriate to add large developments? Small apartment buildings? Duplexes and triplexs?

How is the role of a ward councilor different than an at-large councilor? What current city councilor is the closest to how you expect to serve? In what ways?

Where would you put a statue of John Rice?

Note: I wish that I had asked about paying for the senior center as part of the second question and had asked about how many units of housing each candidate thinks Newton can/should absorb by 2030. Live and learn.

No comments on this thread. I’ll have Candidate Humphrey’s and Winters’s answers posted later this evening.