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?
“As city councilor we made some big improvements to trash, we worked to expand street cleaning and it has made a huge difference. We started cracking down on those who put out their trash early. Working with Representative Aaron Michlewitz, we made the owners of the apartment buildings responsible. There is still a lot more we can do to help this issue moving forward. Trash is out there too much and we need to decrease the trash amount and how often it’s on the street. Our community needs to be clean, it has an effect on our quality of life.”
2) What are your plans for Community Development, regarding schools and housing?
“I’ve been a big advocate for the expansion of the Eliot school, I’ve worked very hard with Rep. Michlewitz on that issue and we even added kindergarten classes. Together, we worked closely together with the Mayor to bring a new school on Commercial Street. In order to keep young people and families here, we need to deliver good schools. I remember when I first came to the North End / Waterfront, there weren’t many kids in the Eliot School, now there’s a waiting list, its great to see how far that has come. As for housing, there is not much open land to develop, but if there is it needs to be development appropriate for the North End / Waterfront. I would hate to see the North End buildings get taller and taller, we need to keep in mind our 55 foot height limit.”
3) Do you support casino gambling? Where is the best location for the residents of District 1?
“As a city councilor you need to look at the whole district. There are two proposals out there and I am on record for supporting the Casino at Suffolk Downs. The infrastructure is already there and Suffolk Downs has been a gambling outlet for 78 years. Also, traffic improvement proposals to 1A will help ease traffic issues. The Casino being put in Everett would paralyze the North End / Waterfront, especially Cross Street and North Washington Street. In addition, it will bring in millions of dollars of revenue to the city of Boston. This revenue could go to several things like adding more police, I would like to have a neighborhood police service in Charlestown that would roll into the North End. As City Councilor, it’s in the best interest of the people to look at the big picture.”
4) How do you currently feel about the amount of liquor licenses in the North End/Waterfront area? Should more alcohol licenses been admitted?
“We have plenty of Liquor Licenses in the North End / Waterfront but there are still other neighborhoods looking for liquor licenses. The city needs to control these licenses. It’s not fair the state controls it, in Charlestown and East Boston, it’s pivotal that liquor licenses are available for new restaurants and businesses.”
5) What are your plans to deal with late night public safety and loud noise concerns in the North End?
“I am pushing to get a local police station, working to enforce the nuisance ordinance I passed last year, and continuing to fine tenants and notify the landlords. The landlords need to be held accountable. There should be rules and regulations in their buildings. I work closely with Suffolk University and meet often to address student behavior here in our neighborhood, our task force has been doing awesome work. We are also exploring other ways to explore this issue.”
For more information about Sal LaMattina, see www.sallamattina.com