Special to the Patriot-Bridge
Boston City Councilor-At-Large Julia Mejia, Councilor Gabriela Coletta, Councilor-At-Large Ruthzee Louijeune held a formal Boston City Council hearing on Clougherty Pool closure in Charlestown on October 12. The hearing took place at the Saint Francis de Sales Parish with more than 100 residents in attendance. “I am grateful that Councilors, City Administrators, and the Charlestown community came together last Wednesday to affirm our commitment and ensure the Clougherty Pool is reopened soon and safely,” said Councilor Coletta. “ Thank you to the administration for removing the Community Center idea from this site, and for committing $30 million for this pool. Thank you to community members and advocates for their testimonies. I believe that it will take all of us working together to move forward in a timely and realistic manner. I look forward to partnering with all of you,” Coletta added. In attendance were several members of the Wu Administration including Chief of Human Services Jose Masso, Chief of Operations Dion Irish, Commissioner of Boston Centers for Youth and Families Marta Rivera, and Operation Department Chief Financial Officer Ashley Groffenberger. Councilors-At-Large Michael Flaherty and Erin Murphy were also in attendance along with District 3 City Councilor Frank Baker. “Although we experienced a slight delay in the hearing due to scheduling conflicts, and an abrupt change of venue, I am proud of the efforts made by Charlestown community leaders to quickly ensure that their community had access to a hearing to discuss the Clougherty Pool” said Councilor Mejia. “While this hearing is a first step in achieving Government Accountability, Transparency, and Access, I look forward to working alongside my council colleagues, Charlestown residents, and activists to devise the next steps for supporting the re-opening of the Clougherty Pool.” During the hearing, administration panelists confirmed their commitments to ensuring that the pool site would not become the new location of the community center. More than $30 million dollars has been allocated towards the short and long term fixes to the existing damages of the Clougherty Pool. Although the panel did not offer a timeline for the reopening of the pool, they shared a goal of having it reopened by Summer of 2024. “I am optimistic that the Administration will follow through on its commitment to the Charlestown community for an updated Clougherty pool made at last week’s City Council hearing. This was made possible by the relentless advocacy of community leaders who dedicated many hours to ensuring public resources are maintained. The organizing around the pool has exemplified that there is tremendous power in community. I will continue to work alongside Councilor Coletta and my colleagues as we hold the city accountable to working to repair and reopen the Clougherty pool expeditiously.” The hearing also included a panel of community members who expressed their dismay with the lack of transparency of the maintenance and funding of the pool. The community panel included Kelli Forbes, Derek Gallagher, Naomi Hastings, Sean Boyle, and Phil Wright from the Charlestown Resident Alliance (CRA). Councilors Coletta, Mejia, and Louijeune plan to continue working with the community to partner with and hold the administration accountable with regard to their commitments. They will also work to ensure these departments hold more community input around what residents want to see included in the rectification of the pool.