City Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester, Mattapan) today seeks approval from his fellow councilors for a hearing to look at borrowing $115 million to build a new high school on the grounds of the old Mattapan State Hospital.
Yancey has pushed the idea, with no success, for more than a decade, arguing the city is failing its students without a brand-new high school and that the city is wasting its money renovating existing high schools in old buildings, such as the Quincy School.
The Dorchester Reporter provides the blow-by-blow of a blowup over diversity in city government between Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) and city attorney William Sinnott:
The back-and-forth between Yancey and Sinnott and shouts from audience members caused a City Council administrative staffer to call the municipal police force, which sent several officers up to the fifth floor to check in on the hearing.
The Dorchester Reporter reports Boston Public Schools are planning to add grades 9-12 to the Mildred Avenue Middle School and re-name it the Mildred Avenue Leadership Academy.
Officials say the five-year "innovation school" plan could help reform the school, which has low MCAS scores and frequent visits from the police.
City Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) has long pushed for a high school in Mattapan, although he wants a brand-new sparkly building built on the grounds of the old state hospital and snarls whenever he can about the Quincy Upper School in Bay Village, because it's in an old building.
(This post originally appeared at www.BostonBastard.com)
Just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Boston City Council readily presented their version of Boston race relations by making an example out of Charles Yancey, a black City Councilor who committed the egregious offense of actually trying to do his job and look out for his constituents.
The annual release of City Council Committee chairs is always a good way to get a sense of where the councilors stand in the eyes of the City Council power structure and this year was no different.
When Council President Stephen Murphy released his assignments last week, we learned that Matt O’Malley has proven himself as a willing stooge of the status quo, so of course he was handed the chair of the Government Operations Committee, which had been left available when Maureen Feeney finally decided to drop any pretense of giving a shit about her Dorchester constituents and went after a major pay raise.
Another major change was that Charles Yancey was removed from his chairmanship of the Post Audit and Oversight Committee.
Among councilors, Yancey is often criticized for not doing anything, but only because trying to improve the community in Mattapan doesn’t count among City Hall’s paler politicians.
The Boston Zoning Commission this morning unanimously approved a zoning change to turn two vacant city-owned lots in Dorchester into urban farms.
The commission approved a BRA "urban agriculture overlay district" for lots on Glenway and Tucker streets.
Yancey: How dare city build new offices for school officials but condemn students to substandard high schoolsBy adamg - 10/4/11 - 9:50 pm
City Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester, Mattapan) has a new tactic in his long-running battle to get a high school built in Mattapan: Blasting the city's plan - which he voted for - to spend $115 million moving BPS headquarters from Court Street downtown to the old Ferdinand building in Dudley Square, when nearly 4,000 high-school students attend classes in "substandard" buildings originally built for elementary students or as warehouses.
It was, Councilor Maureen Feeney recalls, complete pandemonium: Last summer, somebody opened five hydrants in the area around Norton and Bowdoin streets and the area became an instant disaster zone: Basements were flooded, backyards washed out, cars damaged and some little kids were sent tumbling down the hill because of the force of the water. Thank God a fire didn't break out in the area at the time, she says.
Never again, Feeney and fellow Dorchester Councilor Charles Yancey vowed today. Although the Boston Water and Sewer Commission is installing supposedly more tamper-proof locks on the hydrants in the area - and buying special wrenches for firefighters to use to open them - the two councilors said at a hearing today they want fines and even possible jail time as cudgels to go after kids who open hydrants during the dog days of summer.
And will city councilors Charles Yancey, Sam Yoon, Stephen Murphy, and John Connolly do likewise? You may recall they made a point of not endorsing anybody in the 2nd Suffolk state-senate race after their horse lost by a nose in September. Now that said horse has made them look like, at best, tools, you think they might make the best of a bad situation and endorse their fellow Democrat?
City councilors look pretty stupid demanding answers to questions answered at meetings they blew offBy adamg - 1/25/07 - 12:18 pm
And here the Dig points its snarky finger at you, Mr. Yoon. And at you, too, Mr. Yancey, for wondering about the conditions under which Tom Menino's proposed Giant Ear Thing (the device that can hear wet pieces of paper being shot out of straws in school lunchrooms from two miles away) might not work:
So where does freedom and openness leave the council? With Charles Yancey being able to wonder aloud whether Shot Spotter could detect shots before they were fired, and whether buildings and MOUNTAINS and stuff might mess with the receivers' signals. Because there are fucking mountains running down the middle of Geneva Ave, right? ...
Not so fast there, Mr. Turner. And hold on a second, Madame President Feeney ...