O’Malley talks Olympics, Casey Overpass

April 12, 2013
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City Councilor Matt O’Malley, who lives in and represents Jamaica Plain, held his third annual town hall meeting recently where he spoke about past accomplishments and future projects, including the possibility of bringing the Olympics to Boston.

More than 60 people attended the April 1 meeting at the Connolly Branch Library.

But many attendees did not have a chance to ask O’Malley questions. The councilor was preceded by Billy Jones, a community officer from JP’s District E-13 Police Station, giving an update on the March 31 killing at 104 Minden St. and by a speech from Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins.

That left about five minutes for the attendees to ask O’Malley questions. Those five minutes were consumed by opponents of the plan to replace the Casey Overpass with at-grade roads. The opponents criticized O’Malley for not being more involved.

One opponent, Bernie Doherty, said he lives on Asticou Road and his “community is being sacrificed.” He told O’Malley that he “has not been around” and referenced an attempted meeting between the opponents and the councilor.

O’Malley said he had asked Doherty to set up the meeting and tell him when it was and he would attend. He said he wanted to “bridge people together” on the issue. O’Malley has not taken a position on replacing the Casey Overpass, but has said he wants to ensure a smooth construction process.

Doherty said, “You’re going to suffer” for not being involved with the process, referring to political fallout.

O’Malley talked earlier in the meeting about how he would like to see the City involved with discussions to bring the Olympics to Boston. He said there are “enormous benefits” to hosting the Olympics, while noting that there are also “huge risks” involved.

“I think we should be having this conversation,” said the councilor. He said there is already an effort under way in the state legislature to form a committee to investigate the possibility.

O’Malley also talked about past accomplishments, such as holding hearings on traffic calming measures and helping acquire funding for the Jamaica Plain Brach Library renovation. He also noted that he and Councilor Felix Arroyo are working on bringing citywide composting to the city and increasing urban agriculture.

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