It has saddened me to see the Waltham Field Station property become a victim of political games in recent years. Although, I am heartened that the groups that use the field station have stood vigilantly for the preservation of this invaluable property. I stand with them and continue to be their most forceful advocate as the Ward 6 city councillor.
I was the first Waltham City Councillor to hold a town-hall on saving our only remaining farm. It was a very successful meeting in spite of the gag-order I received from the Council President and a failed sabotage attempt by one of the stakeholders. I had to call Attorney General Maura Healy’s office to make sure I could legally hold that town-hall. The town-hall meeting reinforced a clear and strategic call to action for the city, my constituents, the tenants, and friends of the farm. Moreover, before the town-hall meeting, I wrote a letter to Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy requesting a meeting. He sent his attorney in his stead, and we discussed the future of the farm. During this meeting, I learned that my letter was the first letter the Chancellor’s office had received from the Waltham City Council. I think that this fact, along with my record of consistent commitment to our farm, puts to bed the prejudicial and bigoted rhetoric suggesting that I do not support our farm. When I saw the memorandum of agreement, I was extremely disappointed because it was a staggering step-back from our progress. Of course, I voted NO.
However, I am happy to report that Mayor Jeanette McCarthy presented a CPA application to the Community Preservation Committee to procure funds to purchase the farm. The CPC recently approved the $14 million application. I wholeheartedly support this measure and pray for our desired outcome.
I grew up walking through farms and fields, eating food that comes directly from the land. I believe that it is essential that our children grow up knowing where their food comes from. They need to know what it means to be close to the land and to be a steward of that land. The organizations at the field station understand this. They have served generations of Waltham citizens and trained countless farmers who till the soil elsewhere across Massachusetts.