April 2016 Minutes

St. Mark’s Area Civic Association 

Minutes of the April 26, 2016 Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:07.  There were 54 souls present.

Officer Mike Keaney gave the police report for the month.  He also reported that the annual bike rodeo will be held in the parking lot of the McKeon Post on Saturday, June 18 from 10:00 to 1:00.  There will be raffles and demonstrations of bike safety.  Prizes will be given to the kids who attend.  Mike introduced Captain Tim Connolly, the new Captain at C-11.

Captain Connolly said that Dorchester is impressive with lots of people who care about the community and support their community groups.  He impressed on us the fact that crimes are easier to solve when the community identifies people/perps who commit them.  “Communication is the lifeblood of any community”, he said.  There were numerous questions on the subject of body cameras, reporting structures, and metrics for measuring “success”.  Regarding the metrics, Captain Connolly gave an example saying that he tracks how long it takes to respond to a call.  Complaints against police are tracked and remedial classes are provided in training school for those who are deemed to need it.  A question was asked about dealing with people who have mental health problems and Captain Connolly talked about the BEST team that has mental health practitioners who work with the police and often accompany them on calls.

Sergeant Sam Abany from the Transit Police spoke about the MBTA.  He noted that Shawmut Station has been quiet lately.  He said that most crime is during the day; so most police officers are on duty during the day and the number of officers tapers off at night and on weekends.  This staffing model seems to be working.  There was a question about the emergency exit at the Centre Street end of Shawmut Station.  One attendee mentioned that people are using the exit as a shortcut to get to Centre Street.  Sometimes the emergency alarm goes off and other times it doesn’t.  Sometimes there is MBTA staff on the platform that tells the people that they can’t use that emergency exit.  Sgt. Abany said that the emergency exit should be used for emergencies only and the public should use the appropriate exit by the turnstiles.

Rob Consalvo from the Boston Home Center spoke about the center’s programs that include seminars and classes for home buyers.  Down payment loans of 3% for condos, single family and two family houses are available as are 5% loans for triple deckers.  The loans may be forgiven if the person stays in the house for ten years.  The center also conducts home foreclosure classes as well as financial literacy seminars.  There are also loans for seniors who want to maintain and stay in their homes.  Different programs are available for seniors who are <62 and for those >62.  They work with Lead-Safe Boston to help with de-leading homes.  Rob noted a home expo to be held in the Curry Center at Northeastern.  Go to www.bostonhomecenter.com or call 617-635-4663for more information on all of the programs.  

Loie Hayes from Renew Boston was unable to attend the meeting; so her coworker Yaima Roldan spoke about their energy conservation program.  A discount on new a new heating system and/or insulation is available to qualified homeowners.  Renew Boston provides a free energy assessment that includes free energy-efficient lightbulbs.  Houses with knob-and-tube wiring may be eligible for up to a $3,000 grant when insulating.  The discount for new heating systems only applies when updating the same type of heating system, such as gas to gas or oil to oil.  Switching from gas to oil or oil to gas does not qualify.  Go to www.renewboston.org or call 617-735-7283 for more information.

Colleen Queally of 59 Saint Mark’s Road presented her request for a variance to extend the width of her driveway from 12 feet to 16 feet and to cut curb to landscape driveway raising the slope to rear adding two foot wall and steps to walkway.

After a series of questions and answers and a subsequent discussion after Ms. Queally had left the meeting, a motion was made to postpone the vote until after Dave Cotter from the Mayor’s Office holds an abutters’ meeting and a court case from a neighbor is heard.  The motion passed with a vote of 19 Yes and 1 No.

Elections were held for the officers nominated at the March meeting.  The vote was unanimous.  Our Officers for the 2016-2017 year are President:  Doug Hurley, Vice-Presidents: Mike Folan and Maddie Ribble, Treasurer:  Jim Rodenmacher, and Secretary:  Douglas Shaheen.

President Hurley recognized the politicians’ staffs that attended the meeting.  Councilor Andrea Campbell’s Neighborhood Liaison Sean Cheatum reported that Andrea’s new office in Fields Corner opened last month at 1534B Dorchester Avenue which is above the H. Levenbaum Insurance Company.  Sean said to contact him with any questions and requests at sean.cheatum@boston.gov or 617-635-3131.

 The meeting adjourned at 8:43.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Doug Shaheen

Secretary, SMACA

 

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St. Marks Area Civic Association
The St. Marks Area Civic Association is a group of community conscious residents who want to improve the quality of life in our section of Dorchester. We meet in the lower hall of St, Marks Church, at 1725 Dorchester Ave on the last Tuesday of each month