When Eve Waterfall and Rob Whitney step down from their respective roles as chair and president of the Beacon Hill Civic Association board of directors next month, it will mark the end of a period that seen the organization flourish under their leadership.
“It’s been a great experience, which gave me a greater appreciation and understanding of the role and importance of the Civic Association,” Waterfall said during a conference call with Whitney, who is expected to succeed her as board chair.
Their tenure as the board’s top officers marked the inception of the Community Fund grants – a special purpose fund to help support community-based nonprofits and other civic group that enhance and promote quality of life in and around the neighborhood – and which as part of its first round, awarded $22,500 to six recipients last December.
Whitney and Waterfall, who both joined the Civic Association at around the same time more than a decade ago, spent countless hours conceiving of the program before Whitney brought the idea to Patricia Tully, the organization’s executive director, who then worked with him to launch a Community Fund website, as well as to solicit for and review all grant applications.
“We hope it will continue into the future, and we look forward to doing it,” Whitney said of the program, which received the green light for an initial three-year period.
It was also during Waterfall and Whitney’s tenure as chair and president when the Civic Association reached a settlement with the city on accessibility solutions, and this understanding has since blossomed into a more collaborative working relationship between the two parties that continues to this day.
“We’re very happy with the results and our relationship with the city through this process,” Waterfall said. “Our communication with the city is in a really good place right now.”
The Civic Association’s various committees, including its Streets and Sidewalks and Traffic and Parking committees have also built strong rapport with the city while its Safety Committee is in close contact with the Boston Police Department, Waterfall and Whitney said.
“We’re very lucky to have so many great volunteers who are dedicated to the neighborhood and reach out to the city to create a great outcome for us on Beacon Hill and other residents,” Waterfall said.
Waterfall added that the Civic Association is also thankful to dedicated city employees like Chris Osgood, the director of streets, transportation and sanitation, who served as the keynote speaker at the organization’s annual meeting last May.
Meanwhile, Waterfall, who will remain on the board as director after she steps down as its chair, is confident the Civic Association can help skillfully manage the many major projects now planned for in and around the neighborhood, including as the planned expansions of Mass General Hospital and the Mass. Eye and Ear, the proposed redevelopment of the Hurley Building, implementation of the Boston Common Master Plan and the potential reconfiguration of Storrow Drive. “The Civic Association meets regularly and deals with timely issues that affect not only our neighborhood but also other areas of downtown,” she said, “and the board is now in a very strong place to help Beacon Hill and adjacent neighborhoods to navigate with the city and the state.”