The Humpty Dumpty of neighborhood groups

That would, of course, be the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council. The Jamaica Plain Gazette reminds us that the group, which claims to be a municipal board so that it can sue over a South Huntington Avenue development it doesn't like, last year claimed it was not a municipal board so that it could hold private meetings without having to comply with the state Open Meeting Law.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."



Free tagging: 


Its JP

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Anything goes in liberal loonyville

I really really hope

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you're not implying this doesn't happen all the time in right leaning communities too, because it does


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Every "homeowners association" ever

See Also

The history of the local Neighborhood Watch under the direction of George Zimmerman.

Not from JP, and can't speak to whether JPNC is representative

but they were perfectly justified in publicizing the donations to city councilors and Menino that preceded approval of the (apparently) unpopular South Huntington development. Ben Day and the JPNC helped to reconfirm, for anyone who doubted it, that the BRA is full of shit in one crucial respect: if they really want to do something, they'll go ahead and force it down a community's throats even if nobody from the neighborhood seems to want it. Even the local Bulletin papers perceived and reported on this situation accurately. If s significant number of JP residents did in fact support the Little Wanderers luxury condos, they were not vocal in terms of letter-writing or showing up at hearings. So my sense is that the BRA was acting in rather flagrant opposition to community desires, and in light of the overwhelming power of the BRA I take this steady trickle of anti-JPNC stories with a grain of salt, notwithstanding the real and/or alleged shortcomings of that community organization.

Well put

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I appreciate the way you approach discussing this issue. I agree the BRA donations should be given full sunlight. It's surprising that the press didn't do its job on that one. I think most JP residents don't really care what replaces the Little Wanderers building (as long as it isn't a toxic waste incineration facility). This gives the power of the podium to a small vocal group of activists closely aligned/allied with the JPNC. Their tempering effect on the BRA is not a bad thing, I just wish they weren't so hostile to homeowners in the community who want to discuss/disagree with their agenda. I'm not anti JPNC, I just want it to be more inclusive.

The JP Neighborhood Council

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It's not representative of JP residents. Only a tiny number of JP residents ever vote in the neighborhood council elections (.001% or something along those lines). Most JP residents are fine with these S. Huntington projects, and aren't eager to participate in the unpleasant meetings the JP politically correct are part of. Most of us would rather get on with our lives than spend our time grandstanding in meetings and trying to extort money from developers.

Not impressed with the JPNC

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Letters were written in support of the project and handed to the BRA at the meeting. Not all if us have time to go to those meetings, so we participate in other, hopefully effective ways. Just because we're not obnoxiously vocal with the built in podium of the JPNC doesn't mean we don't care, just that we're busy with what life feels like thtowing us at the time.

wondering if this is true:

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None of the officers of the JPNC has a full time job, and that's why they're able to devote so much time to idiotic, hopeless, self-serving "causes." And by the way, working 2.5 hours a month at the Ratbag, I mean Harvest Co-op, does not qualify as employment, full or otherwise.

Did a significant number of residents oppose it?

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Just correct me if I'm wrong--was there any significant neighborhood opposition to the condos outside of the JPNC? I don't recall any kind of vote or in fact any overwhelming noise for or against until the JPNC filed their suit, so it seems to me that using terms like "forcing it down the community's throats" and "flagrant opposition to community desires" are over the top here. Again, if I'm missing something, please link, but so far my impression, like that of many of my neighbors is that the JPNC represents the JPNC and their own fairly limited set of goals and interests, not my interests as a JP resident, home owner, parent, etc.

Again, No Notice to the Community

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I live in JP, have submitted my email address to the JPNC so that I receive information from them, have "liked" their Facebook page, and generally keep up with local news and events through the JP Patch, JP Gazette, and here. I did not see anywhere any notice by the JPNC that it was considering filing this lawsuit or that it would be voting on the matter when it did. On the JPNC website ( there is no mention of the lawsuit, nor is the complaint provided. The most recent Council minutes are from February 2012 and the most recent meeting notice is from October 2012.

With this track record, how the JPNC can claim to be a governmental entity, much less to be representing the community, is beyond me.

Standing is the issue here

Every challenge to zoning, whether it be a neighborhood or large scale development, rests on the legal issue of standing to allow the case to proceed. Humpty Dumpty and all the dismissive language around the right to challenge zoning cases muddies the waters for abutters and others that can and should address such disputes.
I am not sure if the JPNC has legal rights in this instance, but it appears that the BRA included input from the group in their neighborhood zoning (most neighborhoods in the city do not benefit from this type of designation i.e, it's a free for all) and the ZBA held a meeting that addressed the development without due diligence or notification, so maybe the Superior Court will consider their appeal. Is that such a bad thing, or cause for ridicule?