Letter: Today’s JPNC a far cry from the first

Oh, how the times have changed!

Various members of the original Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council accomplished many great things that have made JP a greater place to live. They include:

Establishing the Jamaica Plain World’s Fair; conducting the rezoning of Jamaica Plain; creating the Franklin Park Coalition; serving as executive director of The Tree of Life; helping create Friends of English High School; moderating numerous Southwest Corridor Transportation Project Task Forces; chairing the Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC); leading the community design review of the Johnson Playground renovation; participating in the Recycling Task Force (which introduced recycling to Boston); chairing the Jamaica Plain Historical Society; facilitating the Police/Community Relations Meetings; organizing the Annual Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Cleanup; serving on the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood House; serving on the board of the Jamaica Pond Project; chairing the MBTA Arborway Yard disposition; serving as the community representatives on the Problem Properties Committee; working with developers of the Stop & Shop Supermarket to establish funding to assist businesses adversely affected; and publishing and editing the Jamaica Plain Gazette, among other community contributions.

Members of the present Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council have done many things, too. They include:

Ignoring the MBTA Arborway Yard disposition, the Casey Overpass project, a spate of arson fires in JP, the sale of greenspace bordering Jamaica Pond, increased street crime in Hyde and Jackson Squares, and public school closings; approving a tattoo parlor, a tanning salon, a Payday Loans business, a pawn shop and an astrologist in JP; and disapproving a Whole Foods Market, unanimously endorsing a report justifying its position before reading it, failing to gain support from any elected representatives which it solicited, failing to reach consensus with the community which it sought, setting up a secret committee to demand transparency from Whole Foods, and unsuccessfully demanding that Whole Foods sign a “good neighbor agreement.”

It is said that the definitive example of the Yiddish word “chutzpah” is the person who murders his parents and then pleads for mercy from the court because he’s an orphan. I suggest it’s the JPNC incumbents seeking reelection. As of this writing, the JPNC has placed no public notice of its upcoming election, or where to vote, in this newspaper or its own website. FYI, the election is tomorrow, Sept. 24, but I don’t know where. Like the Whole Foods committee meetings, they’re keeping it a secret.

Bob McDonnell, Jamaica Plain

2 comments for “Letter: Today’s JPNC a far cry from the first

  1. Richard Parritz
    September 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I ‘echo” Gretchen’s comments for the most part, and would add that I think while  I may not choose to see an astrologer, I see no problem with one.  I also think a tanning salon with the proper information about healthcare is fine.  People need to take personal responsibility for their own purchases of goods and services. The community may choose to educate about  products or services, but I do not want to micro manage to the level that some do.  That said I did protest the Dominos for among other reasons, the neighbors pointed out that their ’30 minutes or free’ policy could mean delivery cars zipping around Moraine street at Autobahn speeds.  I also called in to the ZBA to object to gold buying in JP as I agreed with those who pointed out that could raise the liklihood of house break ins with it being very easy to sell stolen gold jewelry. 

  2. Gretchen Van Ness
    September 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Let’s not forget that the JPNC also approved the expansion of an autobody shop in the middle of a residntial neighborhood, despite proven widespread neighborhood opposition, just two blocks away from the new Whole Foods Market, which it disapproved without ever polling the residents of Hyde Square:

    I agree with everything in Bob’s letter except his reference to a “tattoo parlor.”  Fat Ram’s has been a great neighbor and Hyde Square supporter and I hope Juliette never leaves!

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