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(L-R) Stephen Passacantilli, Lydia Edwards and Margaret Farmer spoke to a group of residents at the Prince Building. (NEWF Image)

District 1 City Council Candidates spoke to a group of North End waterfront residents on Tuesday night at the Prince Building, 63 Atlantic Avenue. Originally set to be outside, the gathering was moved indoors due to the impending thunderstorm.

Candidates Lydia Edwards, Margaret Farmer and Stephen Passacantilli largely stuck to their themes from previous forums including public schools, transportation, housing, development and parks. Residents also queried the candidates with some debate around the following issues.

Waterfront development – Now that the State has ruled to severely limit the proposed Lewis Wharf hotel development, residents asked about other potential sites including Sargent’s Wharf, Commercial Wharf, lot next to Mariner and the former Lavanderia site. All candidates spoke against large developments at those sites.

Brick Sidewalks – The issue of process (or lack thereof) was noted as the waterfront has seen its brick sidewalks replaced with concrete. Candidates spoke about possible options from this point.

Liquor Tax – None of the candidates support the former proposal by Councilors Linehan and Baker for a new 2% tax on all alcohol sales. Candidates did support other taxes where funds would go toward recovery programs.

Marijuana Dispensaries – All of the candidates are following the process whereby dispensaries will be proposed in the Boston neighborhoods.

Passacantilli highlighted his experience within City Hall, first with Councilor LaMattina and then with Mayor Walsh. His campaign platform emphasizes support for neighborhood schools, including fresh lunch programs. He also spoke about transportation and improving the districts parks and open spaces.

Farmer noted her role as a resident candidate without ties to City Hall. Among other initiatives, she plans to fight for an inner harbor ferry that will connect East Boston, Charlestown, the North End, Downtown, and the Seaport.

Edwards spoke about her work toward the passage of the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and her concerns regarding income inequality. She would also push for a major tax credit to allow residents to stay in neighborhoods with increasing housing costs.

District 1 includes the North End, Charlestown and East Boston. The preliminary election will be on September 26th, 2017. The two candidates selected from that election will appear on the general municipal election ballot on November 7th, 2017.

For more information on the District 1 City Council Race, follow our District 1 Tag.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. “Brick Sidewalks – The issue of process (or lack thereof)”

    Yeah, a lack of process if you ignore the more than 40 public meetings that occurred for this project. Quit peddling this garbage, its been explained over and over again why some of the brick is being replaced, stop acting like a fast one is being pulled on the North End.

    • Nice spin, spinorama. At no meeting was it disclosed the bricks would be removed. The meetings were all about the cycle track, not the sidewalks. And don’t say, well they told you about ADA. There are plenty of ADA approved brick sidewalks.

      • Obviously you’re not a hockey fan.

        Its always been a part of the plans, there have been countless meetings about upgrading the accessibility of the sidewalks as part of this bike project. The planning and meetings go back years, honestly it sounds like community members opposed to this project didn’t do their due diligence and are throwing temper tantrums as the project nears completion.

        If the concern is about the historical impact of the brick being removed, why stop there? Where is the opposition to cars, which historically are not part of the North End? What about electricity and modern plumbing?

  2. spinorama,
    While there were a few public meetings held in the NE (not 40) to present the plans for a cycle track, the project was essentially a done deal designed and finalized without any real input from the community. Plans to “upgrade” sidewalks along the route were mentioned, but residents were never told the real reason why the bricks were being removed: COST. ADA compliant bricks and pavers have been installed at other recent renovation projects in Quincy Market and Government Center, and will be part of the North Square rehab next year. The paving over of our waterfront sidewalks is just one of many examples of how the NE phase of the Connect Boston cycle track has been hastily pushed through despite numerous design flaws and without addressing legitimate resident concerns.

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