City Councilor Sal LaMattina gave a “State of the North End” update at the February 25, 2013 meeting of the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC). LaMattina represents District 1, including the North End, Charlestown and East Boston and is one of the primary conduits between NEWNC, Boston City Hall and city agencies.
Councilor LaMattina highlighted his work on the Problem Properties Task Force and his sponsorship of the recently signed Nuisance / Noise Control Ordinance targeting loud parties by fining violating residents and landlords. He also praised the ongoing Eliot School expansion and is optimistic that the pending school choice plan will allow more neighborhood kids to attend the Eliot K-8. He also noted the progress made on limiting HazMat truck traffic in the North End / Waterfront. Regarding the Blizzard of 2013, the Councilor thanked residents and Public Works for their clean up efforts. The Councilor heard relatively few complaints in the North End about snow removal.
On the pending Segway zoning relief issue at 420 Commercial Street, LaMattina said he will not be supporting Segway use at the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing. The Councilor wrote and sponsored the ordinance regulating Segway tours in Boston.
For 2013 priorities, Councilor LaMattina said he would like to work on several neighborhood issues with NEWNC. He specifically identified the following items.
- Resident Parking – increasing spaces by allowing resident use of visitor spots
- Cross Street Plaza – activating the brick laid open space by adding seating and landscaping
- Bartlett Place – adding a pocket park in the streetspace
- Salem Street – adding better lighting as part of the scheduled re-paving project
- RUFF – the Councilor supports the emerging group of responsible dog owners
Trash and Recycling
Much of the Councilor’s time at the NEWNC meeting was spent discussing North End trash issues prior to a presentation by Public Works. Two years ago, the Councilor supported a pilot program for expanded street sweeping to add the months of March and December to the normal April-November street sweeping schedule. This has proven to be a success in the North End and the pilot is now being expanded to the South End and Beacon Hill.
Councilor LaMattina reviewed the results from the NEWNC Trash and Recycling Survey. One suggestion he presented is to introduce mandatory barrels or orange trash bags, similar to a successful Chelsea program. The orange bag / barrel concept was previously considered a couple of years ago by the now-defunct NEWRA Clean Streets Committee.
View the video for Councilor LaMattina’s full presentation at the NEWNC meeting. More on the trash and recycling discussion will be included in a separate post featuring the Public Works Department’s presentation to NEWNC.