Commentaries Government Meetings

NEWRA President Objects to City Hall’s Conflicting Liquor License & Nursing Home Meetings

North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) President Ford Cavallari penned the following message to City Councilor Sal LaMattina regarding scheduling conflicts from City Hall offices.

I’m sure you’ve seen that the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) is holding five liquor-license-related abutters meetings in the North End at exactly the same time as your very important North End Nursing Home hearing Tuesday evening.

Why ONS would select that time is beyond me.  It not only splits the North End community, but also communicates a surprising disrespect toward the City Council.  That troubles me greatly.

As you may know, I strongly disagree with the rapid, almost reckless way the new liquor licensing board is handing out these “free” licenses.  As was the case last year, it’s clear to me that the licensing board will not wait for normal neighborhood process (NEWRA, NEWNC), instead relying on ONS abutters meetings, which formally record no vote and no community sentiment. Tuesday evening, the abutters meeting will capture even less information, as most civic-minded North Enders will be at your hearing, leaving mainly restaurant friends, relatives and staff to lobby for their own establishments.

Is this really the way liquor licensing should be handled?  Can the City Council do something to stop this licensing madness?  At the very least, can the Council get ONS to do the right thing and choose some other date for their meetings (and show some respect for the Council and our Nursing Home situation in the process)?

Thank you,