Special to the Patriot Bridge
Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta joined a Boston Planning and Development (BPDA) board meeting last Thursday, December 14 to provide testimony on the Constitution Inn project in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Her comments included an overview of her advocacy to create an Impact Advisory Group and the mistrust felt by some residents of Charlestown due to a lack of process. She also demanded the establishment of a community oversight committee that would function to bring accountability and foster dialogue during construction and after completion.
In her remarks, she expressed the community’s frustration with an expedited Article 80 review and dismissal of an Impact Advisory group. Councilor Coletta also stated that she received a high amount of correspondence from constituents about this project through some letters of support and most in opposition to the proposal. In pushing for an oversight committee, she urged for inclusion of various stakeholders such as members of the police, healthcare professionals, the Charlestown recovery community, veterans, and local officials.
“As I have stated in my many letters, conversations, and on the BPDA Board meeting call, the community engagement process, specifically the Article 80 process, is broken,” said Councilor Coletta. “I will continue to show up and advocate for this to change. I am committed to holding the BPDA and the Proponent to their promise and follow through on setting up a Community Oversight Committee for this project.”
Specific details of the committee, such as representation and accountability mechanisms, are currently being discussed between Councilor Coletta, State Representative Dan Ryan, and the BPDA. Coletta also stated that she plans to ensure the Boston City Council, which most closely represents the people of Boston, has more input over the modernization and reform of the Article 80 process.