By Beth Treffeisen
The Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA) welcomed residents, elected officials, and candidates to take part of the annual meeting on, October 25 at the Revere Hotel.
Outgoing president Sarah Herlihy was honored for her work, and Bethany Patten was welcomed as the new president.
“I know there are only two things everyone is going to ask me, so I live on Melrose St., and I’ve been here since 2012,” said Patten.
“I want to say thank you to Sarah who has been an incredible mentor,” continued Patten. “For two years I’ve been the recorder and also your friend. I’ve watched you lead with integrity, and you have a powerful ability to create real impact…you have taken the job seriously and thank you for your years of service.”
Herlihy said she is proud of being the president of Bay Village. Over the past two years, the neighborhood has been very active, and has had to deal with a number of issues ranging from trash, to safety concerns to a new major development at 212 Stuart St.
“But, the number one core mission of BVNA is to serve the community,” said Herlihy. “We’re located in the core of an urban environment but we’ve seemed to managed to make it feel like a small town village. That’s a big part of what BVNA does; we create community here.”
The number one theme that came up during the annual meeting was to vote, especially with an election coming up on November 7.
The most significant contestant for Bay Village is for the Boston City Council District 2 seat between Mike Kelley from the South End and Ed Flynn from South Boston.
“If we vote in this election [the city government] will know they can’t ignore us,” said Herlihy.
At the meeting, Kelley spoke of his long history with the neighborhood going back to his days as being a Mayor’s liaison and thanked everyone for supporting his campaign.
“I’ve worked with so many of you in the past and in the present on what this neighborhood needs,” said Kelley. “I will be there for you and be a voice because even as a small neighborhood you should be able to get the resources that you deserve.”
State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, who has endorsed Kelley, said that there are a number of issues that are not just city level, but also at the state level. He vowed to continue his work to collaborate together with both city and state governments going forward.
“No matter who you’re going to vote for its incredibly important that you go vote,” said Michlewitz. “We pay attention to the numbers. If there is two issues at the same time it is very easy to go where the numbers are. Who you elect in local elections is very important because they are whom you get to talk to first hand. I won my first election with 180 votes. Every vote today counts.”
One issue that came up is the Isabella St. crosswalk that residents have been fighting to get fixed for a very long time.
“The Bay Village is a small, mighty and impactful neighborhood and you have one crosswalk and it’s incredibly unsafe,” said Alana Olsen the Chief of Staff for Boston City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George. “It is on the top of the list of ‘fix it issues’ for this upcoming year. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that’s safe for you because you deserve to walk safely in your own neighborhood.”
State Sen. Joseph Boncore said that during his campaign he didn’t knock on too many doors in the Bay Village, but a good friend of his, Aaron Michlewitz, showed him how engaged the people of Bay Village are.
“You guys lead in the amount of engagement from a rather small neighborhood,” said Boncore. “You have been so effective.”