Opinion » Editorial

News from...The South End Forum

Thursday Sep 3, 2015

Fall Meeting, Tuesday, September 8, 2015
United South End Settlements Tubman House, 566 Columbus Avenue, corner of Mass. Ave. and Columbus, Lincoln House Room.

Introductions of new Forum Neighborhood Association member representatives, new Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services Liaison Amy Mahler, and SE Forum Departures.

A Conversation with Mayor Walsh: The SE Forum is delighted to welcome the Mayor, and to have an opportunity to discuss issues of key importance to Neighborhood Associations and Southenders. Following introductory remarks from the Mayor, the dialogue will first focus on a couple of key questions/issues from Forum members, to be followed by an open Q&A until 7:00 PM. Some Priority Forum Issues:
•The BRA has requested a 10-year Urban Renewal reauthorization to include the entire South End.
•Massive development projects are reported in the press for the South End's back yard including the possibility of a whole new neighborhood at Widett Circle as well as Frontage Road site discussions about a new soccer stadium.
•South End Public Safety.
•As Fall approaches, we will need to launch our Year 2 education campaign asking neighbors to preserve the South End as a "Space Saver Free Zone."
•Last year the Forum included a "Weekend Building and Construction Permit Moratorium" (except in emergencies or extraordinary circumstances) in the South End as part of our 14 point initiatives plan. Can we have support in formally adopting a moratorium on SE weekend permitting unless specifically approved by the Commissioner based on his determination of emergency or exigent circumstances.
•The South End has always been proud to be a welcoming neighborhood hosting the largest concentration of social service, homelessness, and recovery support services per square foot anywhere in the city. While we continue to balance the needs of all Southenders, commercial and residential, service and civic, providers and clients, there is a rapidly growing consensus that additional services located in or near the South End, may be unwise in maintaining a reasonable balance.

7:00 hour
Public Safety Profile: Captain Paul Ivens and Sgt. Luke Taxter on the key SE issues including report on the successful directed bicycle patrol unit operating at Melnea Cass, Mass Ave, Albany, and BMC.

Public Works Update: Introduction of Clarence Perkins, new District 1 Highway Supervisor. Frank O'Brien will discuss a final proposal to expand street cleaning to twice a week on Harrison Avenue, Washington and Albany. Will also discuss Fall Clean Up (Boston Shines) Plan, and update on SE street construction projects for the Fall.

Forum Task Force on Parking: TF Chair and members will update Forum on progress to date including mapping component, specific areas of investigation, initial findings and timeline for Task Force work completion.

Decision on Joining ADCO (Alliance of Downtown Civic Organizations): What is now termed ADCO is currently formally comprised of the Beacon Hill Civic Association, the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, the Fenway Civic Association, the North End Waterfront Resident's Council, the North End Waterfront Neighborhood Council, the Bay Village Neighborhood Association, and the Chinese Progressive Association. The South End Forum has been an "informal" member until recently when our concerns about our ability to recuse the Forum and our members from decisions with which we disagree were finally addressed. With this protection now in place, and given the number of issues that are shared among the downtown neighborhood associations, there is no longer an impediment to the South End becoming a full formal member. Requires vote by Forum members.

Next Scheduled Forum Meeting: Tuesday, November 10