Boston's Neighborhood Services coordinators started conducting a 24-hour snapshot of their neighborhoods this morning at 8 a.m., to give a firsthand account of what they see and hear.
"Neighborhood coordinators are on call 24 hours a day. This is the first time we have done this exercise to be in the neighborhoods and engaging folks, and see life in the neighborhood," said Jay Walsh, director of the Mayor's Neighborhood Services Department. "Part of it is to experience things in a different light compared to responding to problems. This is giving them a fresh perspective and have to see what our constituents see regularly."
Each coordinator created his or her own timeline of how to spend 24 hours, said Walsh. "It’s catered to observing things that they experience."
In Charlestown, neighborhood liaison Danielle Valle-Fitzgerald has already had breakfast at The Grasshopper Cafe and strolled the town's main business district.
Reached at the Bunker Hill Mall in front of the soon-to-be opened Unleashed by PetCo, Valle-Fitzgerald said she would spend the rest of her day like this:
- 2:30 p.m., visit Mishawum Park
- 4:00 p.m., visit Doherty Park
- 6:00 p.m., attend the School Choice Meeting
- 10:00 p.m. check for streetlight outages
- 12-4 a.m. visit the police station
- 5-6 a.m. tour the town by car
- 6 a.m. check out construction sites around town
Walsh said nothing is to be staged, and used Jullieanne Doherty, the Jamaica Plain coordinator's day as an example. "She's starting with going to restaurant by herself (for breakfast), then go to a tot lot and engage with kids and parents. Then walk the business district, and introduce themselves..."
Ultimately, the coordinators will report back to Walsh and Mayor Menino to determine what's working, what's not working, problems, as well as positives in the neighborhoods.
Late at night, the neighborhood coordinators are going around with Boston Police cruisers to look at nighttime issues like premises that have had license violations for overcrowding, serving people past allowed hours, or having noise issues. Walsh and said those issues are more pertinent to the more urban neighborhoods such as Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the Fenway.
If you have a question, comment or complaint about your neighborhod call the Neighborhood Services Department at 617-635-3485 or the Mayor's 24-hour hotline at 617-635-4500.