Editorial: Leading Bromley-Heath

February 17, 2012
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Just like that, 40 years of tenant management at Bromley-Heath is at an end and the Boston Housing Authority is in charge.

The silence from key players is deafening and the situation looks strange. But we believe this can become an opportunity for even more input from the housing development’s residents. And we trust that someone, somehow, will give the retiring Mildred Hailey the thank-you she deserves.

As it stands, we have a retirement without a retirement party—or even a statement from the retiree. And we have a Tenant Management Corporation that will hold elections this spring, but no longer actually manage anything.

Hailey and other TMC activists and staff members did dramatic good in Jackson Square and beyond. They gave some of Jamaica Plain’s most disadvantaged, and most stereotyped, residents a seat at some very big tables, and deservedly so. They pulled Bromley-Heath up by its bootstraps with many services.

TMC has remained a potent force for activism. But there have been signs it was overwhelmed by its huge management tasks and increasingly out of touch with the development’s changing demographics.

TMC apparently will remain as an advisory group. With the upcoming board election, it has a great opportunity to broaden its appeal and renew its voice. Residents are surely eager to hear what it has to say, and to be heard in kind.

And whatever her official role, Mildred Hailey will surely remain one of JP’s great community leaders.

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