Thursday, March 14, 2019

Boston City Council Looks At Seaport Fort Point Civic Space, Traffic Enforcement & Upcoming Wetlands Ordinance & Cannabis Hearings

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their March 13, 2019 meeting:

South Boston Waterfront (Seaport) Civic Spaces: Councilors Flynn, Flaherty & I called for a hearing to discuss city services and public facilities in the South Boston Waterfront Seaport neighborhood. By 2030, the Seaport and Fort Point area’s residential population will nearly triple from 2012 levels to exceed 20,000 residents, with approximately 13,000 jobs added in the neighborhood. Yet despite the incoming industries, businesses, and restaurants, there is no school, library, community center, fire station, police station, or other similar public facilities in the neighborhood. Civic infrastructure is important for safety, community and civic engagement. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation for a hearing.

Boston Trust Act: Councilor Zakim ordered a hearing regarding Enforcement of the Boston Trust Act. The Trust Act was passed in 2014 and prohibits the Boston Police Department from detaining individuals based on their immigration status and directs the BPD to disregard federal immigration detainer requests. The Act was established to make all Bostonians safer by improving trust between law enforcement and Boston’s immigrant communities, so that witnesses or victims of crimes can interact with the BPD without fear of arrest due to their immigration status. Recent news reports indicate that BPD officers worked in concert with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents to arrest Jose Martin Paz Flores on May 10, 2017. At that time Mr. Paz Flores was not authorized to be in the United States. Concerns have been raised as to overall compliance with and enforcement of the Trust Act. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Civil Rights for a hearing.

Traffic Enforcement Unit: Councilor Campbell reported back on the hearing to discuss the possibility of creating a traffic enforcement unit within BPD and exploring the pros and cons of installing traffic enforcement cameras. At the hearing the Boston Police Department and Boston Transportation Department discussed the City’s current enforcement efforts and plans, stating that BPD is already at minimum coverage geographically, so there are not extra officers able to focus on traffic enforcement. BTD Commissioner Fiandaca stated that the Mayor and department are discussing moving forward with cameras to catch those blocking the box and passing a stopped school bus, but not for speed limit enforcement. The matter remains in the Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice.

Appointments: The Mayor made the following appointments:
Zoning Commission:

  • Reappointment of Michael DiMella as a member for a term ending November 1, 2020
  • Reappointment of Michael Nichols as a member for a term ending October 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Annaise Foureau as a member for a term ending May 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Jill Hatton as a member for a term ending May 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Joanne Keith as a member for a term ending October 1, 2021
  • Appointment of Giordana Mecagni as a Member of the Archives and Records Advisory Commission for a term expiring January 3, 2022
  • Reappointment of Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan as a Member of the Boston Public Health Commission's Board of Health for a term expiring January 15, 2020
  • Appointment of Phillomin Laptiste as a Member of the Boston Public Health Commission for a term expiring January 15, 2022

UPCOMING HEARINGS (In the City Council Chamber unless otherwise noted. Watch
  • Our next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, March 20th
  • Monday, March 18th at 11:30am: Hearing on Wetlands Ordinance (Government Operations)
  • Tuesday, March 19th at 10:00am: Hearing on Cannabis Industry Equity Ordinance (Government Operations)
  • Tuesday, March 19th at 2:00pm: Hearing on Investor and Commercial Properties Transfer Fee (Government Operations)

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically. 

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