Karen Cord Taylor, at BostonColumn.com, pens about neighborhood groups in this week’s column.
“Neighborhood associations are groups residents love to hate. They are always against everything. (Often.) They are run by busy bodies who have nothing else to do. (Not as much as you’d think.)”
“The North End has two organizations. The North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council is the other remaining Flynn institution. Its board is elected by the community in May. And there is the North End Waterfront Residents’ Association, a private membership organization started as a counterpoint to the council in the mid-1990s, which requires attendance at one other meeting in the previous six months to be able to vote at a meeting where a vote is called for, keeping a proponent from packing the room. Both organizations deal with development and licensing matters, but the NEWRA’s broader mandate addresses sociability as well. Restaurants’ closing hours are a theme for both entities, as is how to diversify neighborhood businesses so they serve residents, not just visitors wanting to dine on Italian food. They often agree on matters, but sometimes nuanced differences of opinion are held with great passion, said state Representative Aaron Michlewitz, who for a time served as president of the council and is also a member of NEWRA.”