Neighborhood Meeting Minutes – March 18, 2009, 7:15 p.m. – Susan Bailis Center
President Dan Munson opened the meeting by introducing Community Relations Officer,
Sargent Kevin Powers, from District 4, Boston Police Department.
Sargent Powers explained the role of his Community Service Office: to follow-up prolonged situations, monitor quality of life, record gang violence patterns, help residents to navigate the system. He reports that crime prevention in the city has been going “fairly well,” though it is hard to say what will happen in the warmer weather, further into the recession and unemployment. At times like this, there can be an increase in drug related activities, too.
Helen Powell said she would post Street Safe Guidelines on the SBNA website, and Sargent Powers said that there will be a 1.5 hour Street Wise Course held at the Boston Public Library April 29th at 6:00 in the McKim Building, Orientation Room. All are welcome to attend.
There was discussion about preventive programs for teens, and the role of youth services. District 4 has weekly Community Stat. meetings to discuss trends and solutions and stay on top of the small percentage of people who commit the majority of crimes.
Breaking and entering is the biggest problem in our area: homes and cars. He reminded residents to secure windows, including lose air conditioners, fire escapes and front doors. He said to report ANY suspicious activity. Keep personal car items out of sight. Picking up litter, maintaining buildings, yards and sidewalks, and removing graffiti promptly will help keep the neighborhood look cared for and lived in. Noisy parties near schools can be reported by calling 911.
President Dan Munson thanked Sargent Powers and made a few remarks regarding the work of the current SBNA board and the energizing effect of the 116 Huntington Project several years ago, raising interest in the neighborhood by old and new residents.
Sonia Chang-Diaz, our newly elected State Representative,was the second, featured speaker this evening. She handed out a current report of committee work and legislation she has filed, such as transportation reform, budget limitations, foreclosure crisis, court reform, tourism, elder affairs, etc. There was discussion about the SWCPark and how, due to neglect by her predecessor, funding for basics has shrunk, so that 2008 is not a fair baseline of expenditure and services, and that 2007 is more realistic baseline for what the neighborhood needs. She said she would look into basics such as lighting.
There was also discussion about raising the activity and entrepreneurial energy of Columbus Avenue, further preventing crime with increased street life. Also discussion about government salaries, the visibility of a few ineffective state employees vs. the work ethic of the majority of state employees.
There was a lively discussion, a good exchange between Sonia and the residents, including park volunteer thanks and encouragement, and a reminder that the Spring Clean up is April 24th, with a rain date of the 25th, Representative Diaz encouraged input to her website, soniachangdiaz.com. The meeting adjourned at 9:15.
Respectfully Submitted, Helen Powell, Clerk
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