In this series, NorthEndWaterfront.com profiles each of the three candidates running to be District 1 City Councilor. (See Incumbent Sal LaMattina Faces Two Challengers in Upcoming Election for District 1 City Councilor) District 1 includes the North End, Charlestown and East Boston. All three candidates reside in East Boston.
Each candidate was asked the same five questions, all having to do with local concerns and issues. The Primary Election is next Tuesday, September 24th. For information on your voting location, please visit our voting information page.
1) In several respects, trash continues to be an ongoing issue. What can you do as a city councilor to help harness this problem?
“This is a clear issue that we need to work on. We have the same problem in East Boston and it’s going to take a good communication strategy between residents, neighbors, and the city to fix it. Trash receptacles definitely need to be implemented and local household enforcement needs to increase. We need to make sure that residents know about the time and place for appropriate trash pickups.”
2) What are your plans with Community Development, regarding schools and housing?
“We absolutely need more affordable housing, not necessarily low income housing, but we need mid-market housing to attract young professionals and families to stay here in Boston. What we’re seeing now, especially in the North End, is there is a gap between the wealthy, and the residents who have lived there for a while. We need to bridge that divide. In terms of schools, young families are starting to have kids in our neighborhoods and we need to make sure we can accommodate all these students. All development needs to be run by each neighborhood, we need to understand density and what areas can support this amount of density.”
3) Do you support casino gambling? Where is the best location for the residents of District 1?
“I do not support Casino gambling in the Boston area, it’s not good development for Boston. A casino does not fit the brand and identity of Boston. When you think of Boston, all the universities, the history, the casino does not fit the bill. They are putting several restaurants at the Casino, it would hurt a lot of small businesses in the North End. No matter where the Casino goes, East Boston or Everett, it will have a negative impact on our community.”
4) How do you currently feel about the amount of liquor licenses in the North End -Waterfront area? Should more alcohol licenses been admitted?
“This is an issue for the neighborhoods to decide. There is a surplus of liquor licenses in the North End and there needs to be more equity. The process of getting these liquor licenses needs to be reviewed and revamped. I have a lot of experience working all over the restaurant business, I paid my way through school bartending and waiting tables. East Boston doesn’t have nearly as much restaurants with liquor licenses and its tough for those businesses to compete, but in the end it needs to come down to the neighborhood to decide.”
5) What are your plans to deal with late night public safety and loud noise concerns in the North End?
“I think we should implement a system where our police officers go around on bikes. Police on bikes would be a lot of more appropriate for a neighborhood like the North End. Being such a dense neighborhood, bikes would allow our police to cover a lot more ground and they would hear parties much better. Additionally, the landlords must be held accountable, especially the absentee landlords.”
See BrianGannonBoston.com for more information on Brian Gannon.