Vote Nov. 16. It’s ‘only for local city councilor

November 8, 2010
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District 6 city council is probably the “lowest” elected office Jamaica Plain voters fill. At least it’s usually on the ballot with citywide city council choices and even other races sometimes.

On Nov. 16, as it was in the October special preliminary, the open city council seat will be the only item on the ballot. Voters need fill in only one black oval. The special election, a choice between Jim Hennigan and Matt O’Malley, will only be held in JP, West Roxbury, a little bit of Roslindale and the Back of the Hill in Mission Hill.

The word “only” comes up a lot in describing this election, and it should.

The local city councilor is the front line, go-to person on almost every local issue, as well as citywide ones. The District 6 councilor is expected to take a stand on every development, zoning variance and license request in the neighborhood. The District 6 councilor keeps track of what’s going on but may not have been announced. The District 6 councilor delivers constituent services. Got a problem from a pothole to a hole being dug next to your house unexpectedly? The local councilor will look into it and try to get it fixed. The district city councilor is the only elected city official with that super-local responsibility.

Perhaps most important, the local councilor serves and spends time in a very small geography, taking the temperature of local residents and businesses about what their specific concerns, needs and opinions about issues are every day. Who better to introduce and push for them in City Hall?

The District 6 city councilor may “only” represent a small part of Boston, but it is our part, and we need to show how important we are by voting for our councilor in the special election on Nov. 16. It will “only” take a minute.

Sandra Storey