The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) braced itself for the impact of city budget cuts and said farewell to the Zoning Committee’s longtime chair, among other business at its Jan. 27 meeting at Curtis Hall.
JPNC member Mark Pedulla noted that pending budget cuts could affect many issues that fall under the JPNC’s review. He suggested that the JPNC review the proposed budget and consider taking positions on any significant issues.
Pedulla said he wasn’t sure of the right process for that kind of review, but suggested it would be “powerful for this body to consider.”
JPNC chair Jesús Gerena said he would work with Pedulla on devising a budget review process.
The JPNC has two member vacancies in Area A (Hyde/Jackson/Egleston squares) and Area B (central JP) following Edmund Cape’s resignation and Beatriz Rivera’s removal for lack of attendance. Resident Emy McSweeney briefly presented herself as a candidate for the Area A seat. Gerena said the JPNC will take a vote on her candidacy at this month’s meeting.
Kevin Leary resigned as chair of the Zoning Committee after 10 years and four months. Well-known for his mastery of zoning code, he also helmed the committee as it reviewed such major projects as Jackson Square and Blessed Sacrament.
“I would just say, thank you, Kevin, for the last 10 years,” Gerena said, sparking ap-plause.
“I can still stage a coup if it doesn’t go well,” joked Leary, who will remain a member of the Zoning Committee.
David Baron was approved as the new Zoning Committee chair, with Red Burrows and Andrea Howley as co-vice-chairs.
Leary said the Zoning Committee also has three vacancies for regular community members.
Anyone interested in the vacant JPNC seats or Zoning Committee positions can contact Gerena at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full JPNC approved a Zoning Committee decision that essentially allows the new Wildfire Wings restaurant in Jackson Square’s JP Plaza mall to obtain a non-transferable take-out license.
That decision was not controversial, but the restaurant’s proposed 1 a.m. closing time was. Michael Reiskind, chair of the Public Service Committee, was among the members who noted that there was controversy over late hours for Pita Hut, the previous business in that storefront, and the possibility that late-night food would encourage criminals to hang out there.
Colleen Keller, the JP Neighborhood Coordinator from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, told the JPNC that Wildfire is willing to discuss an earlier closing time with delivery only in the early hours. Reiskind indicated he will have that conversation.