JPA Elects New Members, Honors Departed Colleagues

The Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) held its annual meeting, which preceded the regular monthly meeting, last Monday, at which the Nominating Committee presented its slate of candidates for the board for the coming year.

Stepping forward to serve on the board were newcomers Nancy Mazonson and Tony Dreyfus. Both spoke of their long-standing commitment to the community and desire to contribute to the association. In addition, there were three returning board members, Jasmine Crafts, Tamara Pitts, and Peter Steiger, who were seeking re-election.

All five were elected unanimously.

The board then took a moment to honor two former colleagues who passed away this past year.

Franklyn Salimbene read a touching tribute to the late Karen Wesley, who had been a member of the board for many years and had played a large role in the community since the 1980s. Salimbene recounted Wesley’s commitment to improving public transit, as well as other endeavors pertaining to the Jamaica Plain area, noting particularly how she could be seen picking-up litter while on her walks and growing her own vegetables.

“Empathy, determination, and optimism, these are the things we loved her for,” Salimbene said of Wesley. “We honor this long-standing member of the JPA today.”

“We’re all going to miss Karen,” noted chairperson Kay Mathew, who added that Salimbene’s heartfelt words brought some members to tears.

The late Cynthia Quentin Davis also was recognized for her year of service on the board by Mathew.

“She was absolutely committed to saving the urban tree canopy and open spaces in Boston,” said Mathew, who noted Davis’s activism on behalf of her fellow tenants of the Forbes Building. “She loved Jamaica Plain. The JPA and many other community groups benefited from her activism and wisdom.”

In addition, the board members expressed their appreciation to three members who are stepping down and for whom this was their last meeting.

Rosemary Jones noted the contributions to the board and the community of Jamie McGuire, who has served on the JPA since 2015.

“Jamie is someone who sees what needs to be done in the community and then does it,” said Jones. “He always can be counted upon to do the right thing.”

Kelly Ransom also was cited for her contributions to the JPA. Mathew said of Ransom, who is moving to Dorchester, “Kelly was a child of Jamaica Plain who brought a cheerfulness and an optimism that always is needed.”

David Moir, who moved to JP in 1994, but who is moving from the neighborhood, also was thanked for his contributions to the board by his fellow board members.

“You will be truly missed,” said Peter Steiger, who noted Moir’s professionalism on the Zoning Committee when Steiger first moved to JP and who came before the Zoning Committee seeking approval for a renovation to his new home.

Barry Schwartz, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, honored the contributions of board member Rosemary Jones. Schwartz noted that Jones stepped up to serve as chairperson of the JPA a few years ago when no one else was willing to take on the responsibility.

“Of all the chairs we’ve had, you were the most respectful of those who came before the board,” added Salimbene. “You were a leader in your kindness and respect of others.”

“This is a great group and you listen to each other with respect. I learned a lot by listening to the board,” said Jones, who will remain on the board in 2023. “It has been a pleasure sharing with you.”

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