Letters to the Editor

Is Boston following Chicago and San Francisco?

To the Editor,

It seems Beacon Hill has succumbed to the new national pastime, criminal behavior. In less than a week eight businesses were broken into, as if the cost of doing business here is not high enough. On the same day of the most recent break-in, around 5:30pm on Thursday, August 24th there is a young girl spray painting graffiti on the Charles Street side of our beloved Gary Drug. Bystanders just walked by as if it is just a normal thing. Thankfully, a few business people came out of their shops and removed the spray can from the perp’s hands. Who could do such a thing? Not sure, she was wearing an N95 mask outdoors. Apparently, the post-pandemic trend is to continue to dress like bank robbers in public and be allowed to do so. Something needs to change. Mayor Wu is our very own Lori Lightfoot, soft on crime and heavy on bike lanes. Walking through the public garden early in the morning is no longer a relaxing experience since the homeless have decided to set up encampments along the lagoon without any intervention from police or the Friends of the Public Garden. I guess everyone deserves a right to waterfront property. The sad truth is the daily violence and shootings that plague parts of the city most of us ignore, is coming to our own backyard. Time to wake up. We need community policing and more importantly, we need to restore respect for those officers.

Paul Santos

Thank You, Gaslight Workers

To the Editor,

On Saturday, August 26, at 7:30 a.m., a small crew arrived in two City Trucks, to repair three gaslights with new mantels and new glass. Usually done quickly, and without being noticed by neighbors, photos captured the process this Saturday.

“Iconic” to Boston neighborhoods like Beacon Hill, gaslights ‘Boston-brand’ many photos, and we celebrate them with holiday garlands in Winter. Gaslights are an increasing rarity in Boston with their very thin mantels enclosing the gas to make it look like there are two or three bulbs in the lamp. Within the recent past they are slowly being replaced by electric lookalikes in areas like Bay Village as the gas can impact the health of trees and people, and the maintenance is expensive.

How rarely we manage to personally thank the City workers who help us have good light at night. So these photos are our thank you to the City, and to the leader of the crew, Gas lamp inspector Shawn Reid, supported by Dennis Huynh, street lighting engineer, and Jay Barbosa, a new maintenance mechanic.

Karin A. Dumbaugh

Flynn Organizes Trainings on Ethics, Civility, Professionalism

To the Editor,

During his term in leadership at the Council over the last twenty months, Boston City Council President Ed Flynn has organized a series of training sessions with colleagues and staff aimed at encouraging civility and professionalism, as well as abiding by state ethics laws and other regulations.

Most recently, Council President Flynn hosted a Massachusetts State Ethics Training for over two hours on Tuesday, August 8 which covered conflict of interest law, gift restrictions, code of conduct and related ethics issues. On Thursday, August 10, Council President Flynn held a three hour Working Session regarding an Anti-Bullying Policy for City Councilors, Council staff, and Council Central Staff that he previously introduced in May. The Council has also held seven trainings related to the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Law, along with annual compliance and Massachusetts Commision Against Discrimination (MCAD) training. He has held multiple working sessions with the City Clerk and colleagues to review the Boston City Council Rules adopted by the body.

In addition, Council President Flynn is working closely with Boston City Council Central Staff on researching a Code of Ethics policy to be introduced later this year, along with recommendations around best practices on time off for Council staff. Council President Flynn continues to also engage in discussions with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation on potentially hosting a Civility Training later this year.

Moreover, Council President Flynn has focused on several administrative issues that have arisen this term, including implementation of an updated Executive Garage policy. During these challenging times for the management of meetings in municipal government, with anti-vaccine and other protestors, Council President Flynn has also worked in conjunction with City of Boston Property Management on upgraded security infrastructure at the Council, such as installation of panic buttons, putting a stanchion at reception, and requiring key card access at the Piemonte offices side. 

Council President Flynn assumed leadership of the body during a particularly difficult time in our city and country; navigating the Omicron variant and subsequent transition back to in-person work and Council meetings, a new budget process, a contentious redistricting process that was ultimately sent back by a federal judge, as well as a number of ethical and legal lapses from several Council colleagues. Council President Flynn has spoken at length on several occasions, on both the Council floor as well as via memos to colleagues, on the critical need for civility, professionalism and decorum, and to be available in City Hall to address quality of life and constituent service issues from neighbors.

“My goal as Council President, and for the remainder of my term, will be to continue to work on ensuring that the City Council is focused on conducting the people’s business, and that we have a professional working environment for all,” said Council President Flynn. “While working closely with our dedicated Central Staff, I continue to focus on implementing policies to address the need for civility and respect, and to promote a culture that is inclusive and attracts talent to public service at City Hall, where everyone feels welcome in the workplace without fear of any bullying or harassment.

Boston City Council President

Ed Flynn

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