By Beth Treffeisen
As members of the Fenway Civic Association (FCA) noshed on Tasty Burgers and caught up with friends from around town, the business of the first quarterly meeting turned to neighborhood engagement.
“We want to have new engagement and more input with our community and from the City to the community,” said Tim Horn, President of FCA. “We want to build community engagement, reach out to others and bring them in and get them involved.”
The FCA hopes to enhance their connection with their members in order to strengthen the voice of the community in decision-making at the city and state level.
In order to achieve that goal, the FCA board will be hosting a series of quarterly public meetings, where all members are invited, to learn more about the day-to-day work of the association.
At the end of meeting members were encouraged to sign up and take part of the newly formed committees of Event Planning, Licensing, and Parks and Open Space.
In an effort to bring some younger faces back to the FCA, they hope to start up the long dormant Fenway Young Professionals committee for those who are 35 and younger living in the neighborhood.
Fredericka Veikley, a member of the FCA joked, “If you promise them Tasty Burger I’m sure they will come.”
Another method to garner more community engagement is through the Boston 311 system. Kasey Preskensis the content manager for the City of Boston gave a presentation to show members how they can use the mobile app or call in non-emergency problems.
“You can report pretty much anything,” said Preskensis. “We always love a picture because it let’s us know and direct the crews out there.”
She continued, by saying that residents can get in touch with 311 through multiple platforms from going online at Boston.gov, to using the 311 app, to going on twitter or evening going the old-fashioned method of picking up the phone and calling.
“Especially during this day-and-age people don’t want to go on the phone. They just want to jump on the app,” said Preskensis. “You should never feel like a nuisance or think that someone else is going to solve the problem. Handle it yourself and hop on the app and take that photo.”
On the app there are categories for pretty much every problem one can find in the City from sidewalks not being shoveled, to space savers, litter, rodent sightings, damaged sign and more. There is even an ‘other’ option if it doesn’t fit within one of the categories already.
But one option you will not find is ‘noise complaint’.
Fenway residents during the spring and summer months have dealt with a lot of late night noise coming from Fenway Park when they host concerts and have been told mixed messages on who they should call.
Preskensis said for a noise complaint call 911, and the caller will be directed to the district station. Later, to log the complaint, she said call 311 to document it in order to work towards solving an ongoing solution.
Often times, residents complained that no matter who they called it seemed like nothing ever happened.
“This issue needs to be worked out for sure,” said Veikley. “No one seems to have a good answer for us.”
In the end, President Horn said, that he hopes these public meetings will work towards getting more community members involved.
“We want to build community engagement, reach out to new residents and bring them in and get them involved on a one-to-one basis,” said Horn. “Hopefully it will help accumulate them self into the Fenway community.”