All 20 Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council seats are up for grabs in the upcoming election on April 28th, and nomination papers are available starting March 2nd.
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) consists of 20 members: 5 at-large councilors, and five from three different geographical areas. Each council term runs for two years and the chair of the council is chosen by the other council members. Residents age 16 and older can be elected to the council, as can business owners and directors of nonprofit organizations within JP are also eligible.
The council serves as an "advocate and ombudsman for Jamaica Plain residents, organizations and business people," according to the JPNC's by-laws. The council works on issues relating to development, service delivery, youth affairs, as well as other matters brought to the council's attention that affect the JP community. There are four working committees: Public Service, Zoning, Housing & Development and Environment, Parks & Energy. The three council officers serve on each working committee and other committee members are chosen by the council.
It's important to note that the JPNC offers recommendations, resolutions and proposals to city officials, departments and other agencies. The council does not make laws or binding decisions.
The JPNC was formed by former Mayor Ray Flynn in 1985 and within two years it became an elected body, said current JPNC Chair Kevin Moloney to Jamaica Plain News.
Nomination papers will be available starting March 2nd at the Egleston, Connolly and Jamaica Plain branch libraries and Curtis Hall. At-Large councilors need to attain 50 signatures and area representatives need 25 signatures. Nomination papers are due by 5 pm on March 23rd at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library.
The April 28th election is being held all day at Stop & Shop, JP Licks and the Harvest Co-op. There will be a table setup at each location.
Eligible voters include all Jamaica Plain residents who are 16-years-old or older as of Election Day and listed on the city's most current list of residents or residents who can show proof of age, identify and residency, said Moloney. Proof of documentation includes, but is not limited to, a government-issued photo ID, a current-year report card with an envelope, a driver's permit, a birth certificate, a piece of mail from a utility company or government agency or a document showing residency in an area shelter or similar facility.