JPNC nomination papers available

David Taber

Election Sept. 12

Nomination packets for people seeking seats on the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) are now available.

The JPNC is an elected body of 20 JP residents working to facilitate civic engagement in the neighborhood. The elections are open to JP residents ages 16 and up.

This year, the election will be held Sept. 12 at the JP World’s Fair in Hyde Square. There also may be a voting location set up at J.P. Licks at 659 Centre St.

“The purpose of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council is to increase and improve communication between the entire Jamaica Plain community and the city of Boston and other public agencies and parties,” according to the organization’s bylaws.

The goal, the bylaws say, is to bring “together a cross-section of the economically, ethnically, geographically and otherwise diverse Jamaica Plain community to make decisions and recommendations regarding development, service delivery, youth affairs, and other public issues in our shared neighborhood…offer[ing] the people of Jamaica Plain, including youth of all ages, the opportunity to participate fully and directly in governing neighborhood affairs.”

The JPNC fields four committees: The Zoning Committee reviews neighborhood issues come before the city’s zoning Board of Appeal and other building and land-use issues. The Public Service Committee reviews requests before the city for business licenses and looks at other public service issues including public infrastructure and safety. The Parks and Open Spaces Committee works on parks maintenance, management, location and access issues. The ad hoc Housing and Development Committee was formed in 2005 “to be aware of and monitor the development and preservation of housing stock and commercial buildings, and, in order to address an acute and specific Jamaica Plain problem, to encourage the inclusion of affordable housing where possible and practical.”

There are 20 seats on the JPNC. Five members are from three “areas” in JP. Roughly, Area A covers Hyde, Jackson and Egleston Squares; Area B covers west of Centre Street between Egleston and the Forest Hills T station area; and Area C covers Pondside, Jamaica Hills, the Forest Hills area and Woodbourne. There are also five “at large,” neighborhood-wide seats.

While elected council members chair the JPNC committees, other neighborhood residents are welcome to serve on the committees.

In order to qualify for the ballot, candidates for area seats must collect 25 signatures. Candidates for at-large seats must collect 50 signatures.

Election packets are available at the Jamaica Plain, Connolly and Egleston Square Branch libraries and at the Curtis Hall, English High School and Hennigan Community Centers as well as at the Hyde Square Task Force office. They can also be obtained electronically by contacting Jesus Gerena at [email protected] Completed packets must be returned by Aug. 12 to Noel Torres at the Curtis Hall Community center at 20 South St.

The council’s last meeting before the election is scheduled for July 28, 7 p.m. at Curtis Hall.

The September election date is the third the JPNC has scheduled this year. Only ten candidates sought places on the ballot for a previously scheduled election in June.

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