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Planning Board Assoc Member Candidate Jennifer Steel

Jennifer Steel for Associate Member of the Planning Board

I am writing to introduce myself to the community as a candidate for Associate Member of the Wayland Planning Board.

I grew up in Wayland and returned with my family 13 years ago. My parents, Colin and Ginny still live in my childhood home and are very active in town. My 17-year old son, Graham, is a senior and my 15-year old son, Drew, is a sophomore at WHS. My husband, Eric, is a biostatistician at MGH and active with the Dudley Pond Association.

I have over 20 years of experience in environmental planning and management. I have worked in regional coastal research and management with the EPA and NOAA, the Advocacy Department of Mass Audubon, and the Conservation Departments of several local communities. I am currently the Senior Environmental Planner for the City of Newton. In that role, I am responsible for staffing the Conservation Commission and implementing the Wetlands Protection Act, managing Newton’s conservation land, and engaging the public on issues of land stewardship. I routinely work with developers, residents and professionals to review development proposals and municipal planning initiatives. I have helped shape large-scale developments, transportation projects, stormwater projects, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Over the years, I have been involved with numerous boards and committees in Wayland, including the Conservation Commission, Surface Water Quality Committee, Town Meeting Committee, High School Building Committee, and Happy Hollow and Middle School Councils. I currently sit on the Wayland Housing Partnership and Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board. I have also been active with Wayland’s Destination Imagination program and the Unitarian church. Along with my professional position, these roles have provided me with a tremendous breadth of experience in matters of land use, planning, and regulation, as well as insights into the workings of Wayland’s Town government.

I am interested in being an associate member of the Planning Board so that I may contribute my perspective to town planning, my analytical skills to individual projects, my work ethic to specific tasks, my passion to sustainability and livability, and my experience to efficient and accessible public processes. I believe that by improving processes and public engagement with the Planning Board’s activities, we can improve outcomes.  Civil discourse and transparent processes are essential to arriving at solutions and developments that enrich Town character, improve quality of life, and best serve all Town members.

I am open, honest, objective, and hard-working. I take the role of public servant very seriously in my job and in my volunteer responsibilities. I promise to do my very best on behalf of the Town. I ask that you consider voting for me on Tuesday, March 28.

Jennifer Steel
16 Mayflower Path