Since election day, it has been déjà vu all over again for me, having been in the same position some 12 years ago, having lost the Ward Six Alderman election.
No matter where I go, two to three times a day, somebody is saying “I’m so sorry for your loss….” .
Nobody like to lose, but the good news is nobody died: You can lose an election, but you don’t lose your reputation.
I feel OK, having been successful some seventeen out of nineteen elections, having served as the Ward Six Alderman for eleven straight terms starting back in 1984, and serving as an Alderman at Large from 2007-2017.
It has been a good run, and I am fortunate to have been part of many successes large and small, working with so many good people, organizations and officials.
Looking back, some significant milestones come to mind, all accomplished with the efforts of hundreds of citizens, neighborhood groups, elected colleagues, appointed officials, along with four elected mayors’ and their Administrations, often accompanied by agonizingly long and difficult negotiations, neighborhood meetings, and fiery debates.
Here are a few that come to mind.
Planning and building the Red Line T stops in Davis Sq. along with Mayor Brune his administration, and with the vision and foresight of, the Davis Sq. Task Force, to my mind, one of most influential neighborhood groups ever to have existed in the City;
Rebuilding Davis Sq after the Davis Sq. T stop opened, what with constructing of the Harvard Vanguard building on Holland St., and the 212 Elm St. office building at the south end of the Square;.
Creating the Somerville Historic and Traffic Commissions;
Saving the nationally-designated historic Somerville Theater in Davis Square;
Bringing in businesses such as Redbones, the Burren, the Diesel Cafe, the Joshua Tree, and CVS to Davis Square;
Planning and constructing the Somerville Housing Authority owned building Ciampa Manor ( home to dozens of Somerville elders on limited incomes) on College Ave. in Davis Sq.;
Bringing streetlamps and new pathways to Powder House Park;
Adding the University District to Somerville’s Zoning Code, thereby limiting Tufts University to common-sense compatible campus development and preservation of green space in West Somerville;
Planning and constructing the Community Path from Lowell St. to Cambridge line;
Reforming the liquor License Commission, getting rid of bad barrooms, and bringing new restaurants throughout the City;
Planning and building Assembly Sq., and bringing the Orange line T stop to that development;
Planning and updating the Union Sq Zoning Code in order to make way for the Green Line Extension into Union Sq. and on through the City;
All of these milestones were done with the cooperation and interaction with City Administrations, involved citizens, neighborhoods, and Board of Aldermen colleagues ( I served with almost four dozen) working together.
It wouldn’t be fair not to be grateful to each one of the Mayors and their respective Administrations with who I’ve had the pleasure to work with, (and yes, sometimes battle with!) and sharing many successes with, over all these years.
A heartfelt ‘Thank you’ goes out to Mayor BRUNE, Mayor Capuano, Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay, and current Mayor Curtatone, since so much has been accomplished during our collective tenure.
Much has been accomplished working with so many committed Aldermen over the years. I am leaving the Board of Aldermen with several Ward Aldermen Maryann Houston, Bob McWatters, Tony Lafuente, and my At Large Alderman colleague Dennis Sullivan. Several of us were born and raised here in Somerville, and the only agenda that all of us espoused was that of no agenda, other than to improve the quality of lives’ for citizens and residents one and all, whether you are a Somerville ‘lifer’, or new here to the ‘Ville.
It is certainly has been an honor to have served the City of Somerville with those fellow departing BOA members.
My best wishes to the Mayor and his Administration in his next term, and also the same for the Board of Aldermen for 2018 and 2019.
Farewell until we meet again; Look forward to seeing you around the City!