By Seth Daniel
Close to 900 Charlestown residents turned out on Wednesday, Nov. 16, for the first-ever traveling City Hall in Charlestown – a pilot event that went so well the City will look to replicate it across the neighborhoods.
“The City Hall Open House in Charlestown was a great opportunity for myself and nearly all City departments to meet with Charlestown residents, share resources and engage in productive conversations,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “I was encouraged to see how many people attended, and thank each and every one of them for being an active member in their neighborhood.”
Neighborhood Liaison Chris Breen did the lion’s share of coordination of the monumental event, saying that residents had always asked for such a comprehensive venue and so he decided to try to get it going.
Breen said the early word was that the event was such a success that it would be taken to other neighborhoods.
The Open House took place in the Harvard Kent School gym.
Virtually every department in City Hall was represented, as were several developers from pending projects like the Wynn Boston Harbor casino, the Hood Park residential development, the One Charlestown Bunker Hill development, the North Washington Street Bridge project and many others.
Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) Director Brian Golden was in attendance with Mayor Walsh. He said he looked forward to having more traveling City Halls throughout Boston.
“The November 16 Charlestown Open House was a tremendous opportunity for our staff to engage with Charlestown residents face to face,” he said. “This new open house style provided residents an opportunity to learn more about what we do at the BPDA, but also about the ways that various City agencies collaborate. We look forward to implementing this new open house style in other neighborhoods in the future.”
One of the biggest concerns addressed at the event was the One Charlestown development, which is currently in the throes of public meetings and official reviews by the BPDA.
Mayor Walsh told residents during a short speech that the project is “not a done deal” and that all of the residents’ concerns would be heard.