Not being a member of the Blackstone/Franklin Neighborhood Association I did not attend the meeting that was reported as part of “The Pot Shop Campaign” in the Nov. 15 issue of the Boston Sun. I take serious issue with Mr. Ross’s characterization of the PBNA process as illegitimate and his assertion that Compassionate Organics was never given a chance to present.
I would like to set the record straight. At his request, Geoff was given a significant amount of time to first present to the PBNA leadership on Dec. 19, 2017. As he wanted to present to the general membership a special meeting was called for Jan. 24, 2018 for him and his team to make a lengthy and detailed presentation. I personally presided over that meeting. It must be noted that Mike Ross was not yet part of the team so he was not present, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. There was a large amount of interest in what was presented, and a great many questions were asked, all of which Geoff was given time to answer. This extensive set of Q&As and a link to the Compassionate Organics website was published on the PBNA website for the public to see. Every effort was made to be as unbiased and transparent as possible in this process in an effort to ensure that the information he wanted neighbors to have was available to all. The information remained on the website throughout the winter and spring.
I presided over yet another meeting on June 13, 2018 publicized as an opportunity for the membership to vote on the proposal. The PBNA board does not take a stand on behalf of the neighborhood on any issue. Rather, an opportunity was provided to the membership for an in-person secret ballot vote at the June 13 meeting. This was the same meeting where Mike Ross and his team made, at their request, what was to be the third Compassionate Organics presentation to the neighborhood.
After the presentation, a discussion took place among the large number of neighbors in attendance and a secret ballot vote was taken. Votes were deposited in a sealed box and there were several observers at the counting of the ballots. A significant majority of the voting members opposed the proposal.
I am appalled at statements attributed to Mike Ross as he commented on the Pilot Block Neighborhood Association’s response to the Compassionate Organics proposal for 633 Tremont St.