Elections for the 2010-2011 Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council were held on Saturday, September 12, with a total of 22 candidates running for the Councilâ€™s 20 seats. Despite poor weather, outgoing Chair Jesus Gerena reported that turnout was good, with voters returning 7 incumbents to the Council and electing 9 new members. As of December, three of the Councilâ€™s post-election vacancies had been filled. Executive officers were elected during the September meeting, with Andrea Howley taking over as Chair, Pam Bender as Vice Chair, and Michael Reiskind as Secretary/Treasurer. Votes for all three positions were unanimous.
The Councilâ€™s working committees continue making progress on existing projects and preparing new initiatives for the 2010-2011 term. The Public Service Committee, chaired by Michael Reiskind, has already heard petitions from several JP businesses for beer and wine licenses, and is investigating different options for replacing the #48 loop bus, which the MBTA plans to discontinue later this year.
The Housing and Development Committee, led by Steve Laferriere, has focused on learning more about enforcing Healthy Housing Guidelines, and has invited several guests to speak on the issue. The Parks and Open Space Committee, now chaired by Jay Zoldak, has created Zoodoption kits that are being used to fundraise for the cash-strapped Franklin Park Zoo, and in November completed its final park cleanup of the year.
The Zoning Committee, led by David Baron, has already had a busy season reviewing appeals to the cityâ€™s Board of Appeal concerning conditional use permits, and facilitating community discussion and understanding around these issues. The Jackson Square Community Advisory Committee continues meeting with community members and local groups involved in various redevelopment projects being planned for the square, focusing most recently on issues related to the proposed Kelly Skating Rink. Council member Red Burrows leads this committee.
During the Councilâ€™s September meeting, a motion was passed to create an Ad-Hoc Community Outreach Committee. This committee has been responsible for creating and launching the Councilâ€™s new website, and is developing a series of additional outreach initiatives for the 2010-2011 term.