22 on JPNC ballot Sept. 12

August 27, 2009
By

David Taber

Some races contested

Twenty-two candidates qualified successfully to appear on the ballot for the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) election Sept. 12. [See candidates’ statements on pages 4 and 5.]

The Sept. 12 date is the JPNC’s third effort at an election this year. A July election was scrapped after only 10 candidates turned in nomination papers for the council’s 20 seats.

This time, there are some contests. There are nine candidates for five seats in Area B (east of Centre Street between Egleston Square and Forest Hills) one of the three JPNC sub-districts.

The council is made up of five members from each of the “areas” and five neighborhood-wide “at-large” members. There are six candidates for at-large seats.

“I have never seen nine candidates for an area…This should be a great election,” said former JPNC chair Jesús Gerena, who is running the election.

In Area A—encompassing the Hyde, Jackson and Egleston Square areas—there are only two candidates. In cases where there are not enough candidates to fill all the seats, the JPNC usually makes a public request for nominees and appoints new members itself. JP residents 16 and older are also welcome to run write-in campaigns, but must get at least 25 votes to get elected.

There are five candidates in Area C (Pondside, Jamaica Hills, Forest Hills and Woodbourne.)

The JPNC election is scheduled for Sat., Sept. 12, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. with polling places at the Jamaica Plain World’s Fair in Hyde Square, J.P. Licks at 659 Centre St. and the Forest Hills T Station.

The polling places will be staffed by English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers, Gerena said.

Gerena told the Gazette he is still looking for volunteers to take shifts at all three polling places. He can be reached at jesus@hydesquare.org.

“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 JPNC brings “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 bylaws say.