In her own words: Jen Wallace
1. What is the most important issue affecting your district in particular? How would you fix it?
By far, the most important responsibility of City Council in the next year will be choosing a new City Manager. City Council has an opportunity to choose a capable and experienced professional who can balance the challenges and the opportunities facing our City. This is a critical decision that will not only affect my constituents in District 3, but is of great impact to all Newarkers.
2. Do you support the capital referendum scheduled for June? How will you make sure your constituents are informed about the issue? I support the purchase of the Rodney dorm site and the construction of a stormwater management facility and I am also in favor of the public referendum process. Over the next few months, Council will be determining the final questions for the referendum. I have already been reaching out to District 3 residents alerting them to the upcoming vote in June and asking for input through a variety of methods, including: meetings with neighborhood groups, public constituent meetings, and updates in my e-newsletter.
3. What qualities are you looking for in the next city manager?
The City deserves a manager who is resident-forward with their approach and has the skills, experience, and enthusiasm to not only manage the City’s daily operations, but to prepare Newark for the future. Newark needs a City Manager who promotes open and transparent government, fosters a positive and productive workplace environment, understands the demands facing our City, and has the vision and the ability to creatively bring about solutions.
4. What steps, if any, should the city take to address concerns about downtown parking?
I have worked with the City to find cost-effective efforts to better manage municipal parking downtown, such as the addition of countdown parking signs, and I will continue to champion additional improvements, like a downtown parking map, better signage, and a range of parking
changes that can better help residents and visitors enjoy our downtown.
5. What steps, if any, should the city take to prepare for the planned increase in the UD student population?
Previously, the University had no plans to increase their student population, but with a new administration, their strategy has changed to include dramatic growth. In light of these changes, the city needs to re-examine its comprehensive plan to develop a strategy to ensure that Newark doesn’t lose our hometown feel. With the selection of a new City Manager, now is the time to renew and strengthen the relationship between UD and the City to make certain that the interests of Newark’s residents
6. Name one specific piece of legislation you would like to see council pass within the first three months of your term.
In light of a recent joint meeting between the Planning Commission and City Council, during which the topic of discussion was zoning, growth and the Comprehensive Plan, Council and the City should thoughtfully consider changes to bring more balance to development in the City. Council and the City must find ways to promote inclusionary housing, so we can attract and retain families, young professionals, and seniors. Newark is a college town, but it is also a hometown.