Letters to the Editor

Time for a Change

Dear Beacon Hill Neighbors:

As of June 25, I have resigned from the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) board after over a decade of volunteer service.  In that time period, I am confident that I contributed greatly to the quality of life here in Beacon Hill and would like to touch on a few projects that I helped spearhead and managed:

• BHCA’s “90th Anniversary Gift to the City” project installing 57 historically sensitive tree guards along Charles Street while working closely with the city’s Public Works Department and fellow committee members Alyson Lindsay and Bob Owens.  The funds raised for this campaign (as well as annual grant funds from the Beacon Hill Garden Club) have enabled the project to stretch over six years and has led the way to positive change along Charles Street.  I am confident that our “Main Street” has never looked so good and hope that the BHCA will remain committed to the City of Boston Public Improvements Commission agreement with the BHCA for on-going maintenance and enhancement of the tree guards and plantings along Charles Street.  Management of this improvement has been time consuming but rewarding.

• Reworking visitor spaces along Mount Vernon Street to eliminate excess transient two-hour visitor parking spaces which often caused undue disruption in the neighborhood.  Then BHCA Traffic and Parking Committee chair Steve Young was especially helpful with this change.  This change positively affected the quality of life of nearby residents.

• Founding and co-chairing the Joint Charles Street Committee (JCSC) with the Beacon Hill Business Association.  With my initial co-chair Susan Symonds, we spearheaded the reworking of parking along Charles Street by eliminating all day commercial loading “dead zones” and implementing a comprehensive redesign of the street with new parking meters and new residential parking spaces.  This improvement was aided and supported by then Boston Transportation Commissioner Tom Tinlin. 

• Organizing the “Clean Charles Street Campaign” to fundraise and hire private hokey services to clean Charles Street three times a week Monday, Wednesday, Friday afternoons 1pm to 4 pm.  Our initial fundraiser in 2017 smashed our initial goal by 300 percent and led to three years of cleaning along our main street.  The first fundraiser’s success can be attributed to strong support within the community especially from Grogan and Company, Toscanos and Related Beal.  The second JCSC fundraising campaign is currently underway in collaboration with JSCC co-chair Ali Ringenburg from the Beacon Hill Business Association.  I encourage businesses and residents to donate to this cause by sending a check to the BHCA but mark on it “Charles Street Cleaning Fund”.   Currently, Charles Street is cleaned three times a week by a crew from Work, Inc., a non-profit helping folks get back on their feet.  A win/win.

• As Tree Committee and Civic Beautification co-chair with Miguel Rosales, assisted residents with tree related questions in addition to providing advice and help with brick tree pits surrounds and historically appropriate tree guards all while closely collaborating with the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department staff Tree Warden Greg Mosman and Arborist Max Ford-Diamond.  I am very grateful to Greg and Max for their strong support and friendship or over five years. 

• Innumerable smaller projects to make our neighborhood safer including the “No Turn on Red” signs at Revere and Charles Streets, the installation of pedestrian delineators on Mount Vernon Street at Willow as well as on Beacon Street at Walnut, and the pedestrian signal at the foot of Charles Street at Charles Circle.  These traffic calming devices have substantially increased pedestrian safety in the area and help us achieve a cohesive, walkable community.

• Countless volunteer organization and annual community projects to keep Beacon Hill clean and thriving including the Annual Holiday Decorating Contest for businesses on Charles Street.

These are just a few that immediately come to mind, but the underlying theme is my love of Beacon Hill.  I would like to also give a special shout out to past BHCA presidents Suzanne Besser, Steven Young and John Achatz who supported and embraced all of my initiatives and efforts over my years of service.   I would be remiss to not mention my husband, Miguel Rosales, who after moving to Beacon Hill in 2004, has embraced the Beacon Hill neighborhood like no other.  He has been my righthand man to all the projects listed above and without his support, none would have been possible.

While the BHCA initially gave me the ability to spearhead many of these projects, I feel that the winds have changed at the organization with its current leadership and due to the lack of support, a new approach is needed for my community service.   I am formulating a new non-profit (The Charitable Trust for Beacon Hill) that will not only advocate for preservation and beautification efforts in the district, but also provide a steady stream of funding for these efforts.  This approach with allow for more timely and targeted neighborhood improvements to further enhance Beacon Hill for residents, business owners and visitors alike.  Hope you will all join in my future efforts to keep our beloved neighborhood well preserved, beautiful and thriving.  See you around the neighborhood.

Sincerely,

John David Corey

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