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Sixteen Residents Elected to JP Neighborhood Council

The candidate who was most vocally critical of the advisory board's handling of the Whole Foods controversy failed to be elected.

Sixteen people were chosen for the 20-member JP Neighborhood Council in elections held Saturday. All seven incumbents seeking re-election retained their seats on the volunteer advisory committee. The Neighborhood Council makes recommendations to downtown boards like the Zoning Board of Appeals on a wide range of neighborhood issues like liquor licenses and development.

The Neighborhood Council has faced unprecedented attention in the debate over Whole Foods' arrival to Jamaica Plain. Richard Parritz, the candidate who has been the most critical of the JPNC's handing of Whole Foods, did not win election. He came in 54 votes short for an at-large seat. Christian Young in Area C also failed to be elected.

In the past, vacant seats, such as those that remain in Areas A & B, are filled by the council itself.

The new board meets for the first time Tuesday at the Neighborhood Council's . It's set for 7 p.m. at .

Key: * = elected, (i) = incumbent

Area A (Five seats)
*Oliver De Leon 102
*Arazeliz Reyes   96
*Brian Squadrille         73
*Jeffrey Wiesner          62

Area B (Five seats)
*David Baron (i)    184
*Jesse White (i)           170

Area C (Five seats)
*Andrea Howley (i)  179
*Ken Sazama     164
*Karley Ausiello (i)        156
*Hyun Shin              155
*Benjamin Day   154
Christian Young   80

At Large (Five seats)
*Joseph Wight           381
*Francesa Fordiani (i)     361
*Edward "Red" Burrows  (i)       358
*Martha Rodriguez       343
*Michael Reiskind (i)      263
Richard Parritz         210

Notes from Sandee Storey, chairperson of the "ombuds board" that oversaw the election:

  • 789 people cast ballots
  • The identities and/or JP addresses of 29 voters could not be
  • ascertained, so those ballots were not counted.
  • 20 people indicated and/or voted in an incorrect district based upon
  • their address, so only at-large votes were tallied for those ballots
  • 0 people voted twice
  • There were some write-ins, but none received significant numbers of
  • votes.

About 15 people helped count votes this afternoon at , courtesy also of Action for Boston Commuinty Development, overseen by the ombuds board. No candidate volunteer dealt with ballots in their race.

[Editor's note: The original posting had the wrong location for the Neighborhood Council's monthly meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 27.]

Dax September 26, 2011 at 07:25 PM
789 votes? And only two of the 4 races were competitive? There's a big problem here.
ctp September 26, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Yeesh. And that's the second-highest total ever? Man, the JPNC really is irrelevant in most residents' eyes, isn't it?
Chris Helms (Editor) September 26, 2011 at 07:50 PM
I'm doing back-of-the-envelope calculations for follow-up stories. Residents 16 or over can vote, but the best Census numbers from 2000 dice them only for 18 and over: there were 29,724 residents over 18 in Zip Code 02130 as of 2000. Of course the population has changed since then, and JP isn't correctly described as simply Zip Code 02130. But that'd be a turnout of 2.65 percent of eligible voters...
David Hannon September 26, 2011 at 08:37 PM
"The People" have spoken.
Eric September 26, 2011 at 09:36 PM
I don't know if this link will take you directly there, but here are the 2010 numbers for 02130. Population increased to 30,394 over 16 years old. The JPNC voting maps includes tracts of Roxbury, so the total population should be a bit higher. How much, I don't know. http://bit.ly/jJhiuy But so it would at least be as low as 2.59% of eligible voters but likely less because of the inclusion of the Roxbury tracts.
Chris Helms (Editor) September 26, 2011 at 09:42 PM
Thanks, Eric!
Jamaica Plainer September 26, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Thanks, great election results!
Pat Roberts September 27, 2011 at 11:25 AM
As always, the neighborhood council members represent themselves and their tiny group of friends, and that's all. They are so irrelevant, almost no one even bothers to vote in their elections.
JP Pragmatist September 27, 2011 at 01:30 PM
As with many 'real' elections though, to be fair, low voter turnout is often the case. What that means? People are 'voting ' for status quo? Don't care? The candidates have not made their "case?" the issues are just not compelling? I would like to know why the JPNC cannot have their elections in tandem with general elections. Not in the same official space of course, but right near by , to increase turn out. This turn out seemed to parallel the activism turnout. Again, to be fair, activists DO act! They show up! Whether it be to protest, run for office, or vote! There is now question that ACT is the key word and that is what matters. Period. To sit back as arm chair observers, and not act, but complain is to miss the opportunities that are always on our own plates. The activists know that actions get results disproportionately. So from a sheer cost/benefit analysis - loud, vocal activism, proverbial squeaky wheels getting greased - it's a great deal, it works.
ctp September 27, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Frankly, I think the real reason why people don't show up for the elections is that they don't know they're going on. Sure, we all follow the Patch and whatever other websites, and read (or at least glance at) the Gazette, but I'd venture to say we're in the extreme minority. For most people, the election, and the JPNC in general, are not even on their radar. Heck, I wasn't even aware the JPNC existed for the first four or five years I lived in JP, and I consider myself fairly aware of current events, especially as compared with, say, my coworkers. Combine that with a large degree of apathy among those who _do_ know about it (none of the other people who live in my condo unit voted, though most if not all are aware of the JPNC), and blend with a soupcon of disgust at the way the JPNC's conducted itself of late, and I suppose we should be amazed that more than 1% of eligible voters showed up. Heck, even the vast majority of the Whosers' ranks probably didn't even bother (if, in fact, they exist). For almost everybody in Jamaica Plain, the JPNC just isn't important enough to care about.
Michael Christopher September 27, 2011 at 02:47 PM
I love how the guy (Brian Squadrille) who came in third and gained a seat in Area A: 1) Provided the single biggest disruption at the Whole Foods meeting in June while an employee at Trader Joes. 2) Joined the Facebook group 'I do what I want' because, "[I] dont give a fuck. i does what i want. thats why this group is applicable to me." (https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2255791527&v=wall) 3) Was quoted by his (male) friend on a blog about a night out in JP experiencing being in the close proximity of gays: "Those lezzie ass-grabbers couldn’t handle our hot bods.” (http://subverses.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/concrete-reveries-feeling-me-up-and-feeling-disappointed/) That's EXACTLY the kind of person I want representing me in the neighborhood. Nice job JPNC - glad to know you don't matter and get nothing done in Jamaica Plain!
JP Pragmatist September 27, 2011 at 03:23 PM
As if this really bad B- flick could not get more embarrassing for JP at every turn? Did the new 'slate' know this when they endorsed Mr Brian Squadrille. Not only is he a misogonist, he spews anti gay slurs in one the gayest zip codes on the planet. and he now represents Jamaica Plain - ok, interesting - is that part of the new PC? Self hating, low self esteem GLBT's who elect people who hate them?? Huh???. I wonder how many lesbians voted for him. Or now knowing his views toward lesbians feel about him representing them? Hmmm .. I also wonder how others in JP who may or may not be GLBT feel about those JPNC members who put their names on a 'slate' endorsing such a misogonistic GLBT hate speaking person? I would actually like that slate to specifically comment on Mr. Brian Squadrille's quote. Benefit of the doubt, perhaps they did not know about this quote, but now knowing, do the JPNC members on the 'slate' still endorse him and are they proud to welcome him to their ranks as their names sit alongside his on that slate - or do they regret doing so as it taints their names quite publicly. Or , by their silence, are they now deliberately endorsing his comments as their own words, as if they too would speak those hideous words to those lesbian women? I would like each person on that slate to comment. Or will they be cowardly silent? Will the Gazette be cowardly silent? Will anyone here bring this to the Gazette's attention? Will the Gazette do the right thing?
JP Pragmatist September 27, 2011 at 04:56 PM
1 more thing, this 'slate' has the authority to tell YOU what you can and cannot do with your private property If anyone in JP wants to do anything to their property, they must 1st go before the JPNC before the zoning board downtown. Anything - fix your porch, decking, windows, I dont know the details, but it doesn't take much to require a JPNC hearing requirement and then misery, delays and costs begin! The zoning board considers the opinion of the JPNC in their deliberations. And we have this cast of characters telling us what to do. if anyone thought it was bad before - just wait. I dare say these people have a bias against property owners! They viscerally dislike condo owners, especially who they demonize for 'taking' their rentals away from them. Rentals that they deserve to remain rentals - so when they are taken from them and become condos - they are furious - and they go on a warpath with a vendetta. Some go as far to want to abolish private property - all property made public, no private ownership. All is public, and handed out to people by committee decision. That is not even veiled in Ben Day's posted YouTube campaign video.
nancy September 27, 2011 at 07:58 PM
"he's dreaming of a working class french anarcha …or maybe just about the slag he’s gonna be pounding later." Wow, mature.
Michael Christopher September 27, 2011 at 08:53 PM
I thought they had no power whatsoever in the community?
JP Pragmatist September 27, 2011 at 09:04 PM
I do not know why people say they have no power, they most certainly do. The amount depends on the issue. The mayor gave them zoning preview & comment power. They can hold up property owners from doing things at their whim. They can rule against perfectly legal property modifications. They can add years to a perfectly legal modification to a home. Call your city councilor's office and ask about the process, they will tell you in detail.
Derryl September 27, 2011 at 10:11 PM
The Zoning Board makes the decisions, not the JPNC. The JPNC makes recommendations to the Zoning Board which can ignore them. The members of the Zoning Board are aware of what's happening.
JP Pragmatist September 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM
Precisely. it's a huge hurdle for JP residents to jump over and it's all very capricious. There is nothing about the JPNC piece that is at all predictable. Unlike all other law that one can familiarize themselves with and prepare for, you cannot prepare for your hearing with the JPNC because they themselves do not even know what they will do at your hearing! Unlike the ZBA, they are not trained in zoning code and law. IN the actual meetings, they do not respond to the petitioner's questions. They rule and say, "no questions will be heard now, you can come back next month, next order of business" I'VE BEEN IN THE ROOM AND HEARD IT . PERSONALLY. It's like the wizard of Oz. People leave the room bewildered. So you could ask 1 question of the JPNC each month, that they could choose simply not to answer, or go on vacation and hold up your project for years, literally. I had a neighbor who lost 3 years to them. Lawyers heads spin. How can you run a formal hearing with a group that has no written policies that neither they nor the petitioner can use as a guide from which to prepare? It's all based on the emotional whims of those seated behind the table!
JP Pragmatist September 27, 2011 at 10:54 PM
People who want a simple modification to their home and are told by the zoning board that they must go before these looney tunes will be subject to the winds of whatever is blowing through the JPNC that day. With this passionately anti private property owner council, they will make people who own homes miserable - i am sure ... as if to exact revenge on 'evil ' private property owners that they 'fear' will 'windfall profiteer' from the entry of whole foods. Watch them. Just view Ben Day's campaign video to get a sense of the new JPNC anti private property owner culture and there are 14 out of 18 who are against private property rights! I would bet that future JPNC zoning reviews will be intolerable for people... not that we'll ever know, because those poor souls will not know where to turn when they are confronted by the JP NO Council - I already feel sorry for them! I could almost imagine them making people pay into a housing trust fund or some other thing that lines some of their own pockets .. since as well all know, many of them have tight ties to public housing project developers.
JP Pragmatist September 28, 2011 at 01:13 PM
OH, Marina, YOU represent, THE most vile form of evil ever placed on this earth according to the new JPNC regime - you must certainly know that. You have most certainly witnessed their hate speech toward anything that even remotely whispers at the suggestion of stabilizing and improving property values. GENTRIFICATION - is what unifies them. It is their clarion call to arms. Did you see Ben Day's campaign youtube specifically mentioning condos? He hates them! Many of them are pure socialists and reject free enterprise - quite seriously. They want the state to step in and eliminate private ownership of property! They have outrageous ideas! Some of them want to create an official committee to prevent anymore 'gentrification' in JP . That's right, an official committee that says, no one can stabilize nor then improve the value of their property as a matter of JPNC policy! Ask them specifically. Go to a meeting and ask them to comment - they will proudly tell you what their plans are.
Chris Helms (Editor) September 28, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Good morning, commenters. As of today my editor and I have changed the commenting policy to require real names. Here's a column explaining our reasoning: http://patch.com/A-mkBL
Sarah Lydon September 28, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Hallelujah. I'm sure that things will get much quieter around here, but it may also raise the level of the dialogue if people have to stand by what they type.
Ben Mauer September 28, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Finally, the kind of egalitarian communist socialism I would expect out of a Jamaica Plain publication! :-p
Michael Christopher September 28, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Hey Ben - any comment on the JPNC candidate whom you so staunchly supported who turns out to have a less than wholesome past? It's especially got to sting as a gay man when he made such infuriating comments that reek of homophobia - no?
Em September 29, 2011 at 03:36 AM
Dislike. I think if people want to keep their identity secret, it's their right. If some can't take the comments from anonymous commenters, then don't read or participate.

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