The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) biannual election will be held Sat., Oct. 19.
Polls will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations: Forest Hills T Station (3700 Washington St.), J.P. Licks (659 Centre St.) and Stop & Shop (301 Centre St.).
Any JP resident 16 or older can vote and should bring proof of residence. Voters can choose up to five at-large candidates and up to five candidates from the area where the voter lives. (Poll workers can tell you your area.)
There are 12 candidates running for the JPNC’s 20 seats, so some seats will be left vacant until the new council appoints more members.
The JPNC is a neighborhood association for all of Jamaica Plain. It regularly reviews zoning variance and licensing requests, and also serves as a forum for a host of local issues. It was founded in 1985 by former Mayor Raymond Flynn to advise the City. The JPNC is currently involved in a controversial lawsuit against the City and a developer that claims the planned redevelopment of the former Home for Little Wanderers property at 161 S. Huntington Ave. was improperly granted.
The following are campaign statements provided by all of the candidates except for incumbents Benjamin Day and Martha Rodriguez, who did not submit statements. The Gazette provided some brief information about them based on prior candidate statements.
Dave Baron, attorney, 3 Glenvale Terrace: I have lived in JP since 1996. Although I am running at-large for the first time, I have previously served as one of the Area B representatives to the JPNC and have chaired the council’s Zoning Committee since 2009. I have also chaired the ad hoc committee that recommends updates to the JPNC election procedures and by-laws. By day, I have a small law practice specializing in real estate matters. As a member of the JPNC, my priorities are ensuring fair and open community processes, particularly around zoning matters, and serving as an advocate for our community to City government.
Michael Reiskind, lighting technician, 425 S. Huntington Ave.: I am a longtime resident of Jamaica Plain involved in many aspects of the community. I am presently on the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council and its Zoning Committee. I am also chair of its Public Service Committee, working on public safety, public works and transportation issues. I am a board member of JP Centre/South Main Streets, the Jamaica Pond Association, the Arborway Committee and the JP Business & Professional Association. In addition, I have been an early advocate of Neighborhood Policing and work in collaboration with the Boston Police Department on its implementation in Jamaica Plain.
Area A (Egleston/Hyde/Jackson Squares)
Martha Rodriguez: Incumbent. Former youth community organizer at Hyde Square Task Force and former president of Jamaica Plain Scattered Sites Cooperative.
Jeffrey Wiesner, attorney, 242 S. Huntington Ave.: I am an attorney at Stern, Shapiro, Weissberg and Garin, LLP, and I am running for re-election to the Council. JP is rapidly changing. Shaping JP’s future requires that JP residents have control over development and matters that uniquely affect JP. I spent much of my first term as lawyer for the council, challenging the City’s decision to give the go-ahead to a development at the Home for Little Wanderers site. The City gave the go-ahead despite unanimous opposition by the three JP institutions that reviewed it. Respect for local decision-making is what I hope to achieve for JP.
Area B (eastern central JP, part of Forest Hills, Parkside, Stonybrook, Sumner Hill)
Anne Barrett, architect, 30 Everett St.: I’m Anne Barrett, a local architect living and working in Jamaica Plain. I’ve been a part of the JP community for nine years. I specialize in small residential renovations in and around Jamaica Plain and Boston. I graduated from Wellesley College in 1991 and received my master’s in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. I really enjoy the creative, friendly atmosphere of Jamaica Plain, and feel that it is important to protect and encourage the growth of the many different types of businesses and cultures here so that JP remains a wonderful place to live.
Erin Colgan-Snyder, social worker, 29 Child St.: I have been on the JPNC for the past two years and I serve on the Housing and Development Committee. I am a geriatric social worker and I work with elders in all the neighborhoods of Boston. Through my professional and personal experience, I have seen first-hand the importance of inclusive communities. Neighborhoods are at their best when they reflect a diverse population, including residents of different ages, orientations, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. My vision of JP is one that accepts, includes and serves the needs of all our neighbors.
Jamey Lionette, food industry, 229 Amory St.: I am employed at City Fresh, in charge of procurement, and at City Growers Urban Farm in Roxbury and Dorchester. Previously, I owned Lionette’s Market and the Garden of Eden Restaurant. I sit on the board of directors of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Association. I am published on topics of local and sustainable food. I am an organizer and advocate for local foods and a consultant for small businesses. I was one of the organizers of JP Shopping Spree/Compra Aqui and the first two Boston Local Food Festivals. I am currently the chair of the JPNC’s Housing and Development Committee.
Jerry O’Connor, attorney, 22 Yale Terrace: Since 1991, I have lived in Forest Hills with my wife Liz and, now, our two kids. As a business lawyer in Boston, I work with start-ups and entrepreneurs. I am running for Neighborhood Council to help contribute to the continued vitality and growth of a unique neighborhood. I view the council mainly as a forum for neighbors to come together and make their views known so that, working together, we can define our shared priorities and communicate them to the elected representatives and the municipal agencies whose work most affects our neighborhood and its residents/businesses.
Carolyn Royce, educator, 19 Olmstead St.: I am a longtime resident and appreciator of Jamaica Plain. I moved here as a college student, then stayed to raise my family in this interesting, compassionate and vibrant community. I am a homeowner; my sons both rent apartments here in JP. I am an educator, teaching in elementary schools and adult education. I am also a bookkeeper working for small, local businesses. I appreciate JP’s wonderful green spaces, great variety of housing (from shelters to mansions), unique businesses, commitment to the arts, and diversity of residents. I am looking forward to giving my ear and voice to the JPNC.
Area C (western central JP, part of Forest Hills, Jamaica Hills, Pondside, Woodbourne)
Benjamin Day: Incumbent and current chair. Executive director of single-payer health care system advocacy organization Mass-Care.
Bernard C. Doherty, 36 Asticou Road: I am seeking election to the JPNC to help bring about a more balanced and inclusive approach, an approach that recognizes the rich diversity and social makeup of the Jamaica Plain community and works to provide and encourage an open forum for the expression of issues and views from all sections of our neighborhood. I was a member of the JPNC from 1985 through 1997, and I served as the chair of the Zoning Committee. I have also served as chair of the Asticou-Martinwood-South Street Neighborhood Association for the past 25 years. I was born and raised in Jamaica Plain.
Kevin Moloney, retired attorney, 20 Rambler Road: A JP resident for most of my life, I have been active in our community, having served as president of JP’s Eliot School; for six years as president of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library; and as an elected member of the JP Neighborhood Council, with two terms as council chair. Recent activities include service on the BRA Impact Advisory Groups, opposing the over-large, high-end development projects proposed for S. Huntington Avenue. A graduate of Boston Latin School, Harvard College and Boston College Law School, I am a member of the Jamaica Pond Association and the Jamaica Hills Association.