Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mr. Levanto Goes to City Hall

This past Tuesday one of the Boston City Council's committees held a hearing on towing policies in Boston and their affect on keeping the city's streets clean. Since I have been involved in this issue (fortunately or unfortunately) since I first volunteered in Beacon Hill, I decided I would got to the hearing to testify.

I took a half day off and decided to take a tour of City Hall in the process. Some of my friends work there, and I always like to meet my elected officials. In the morning, I stopped by the office of John Connolly, newly elected City Councilor at large. Mr. Connolly is a very hard worker-- I have heard anecdotes that he gets to the office early and stays very late. During my visit, he commented that he's been studying the budget process-- He's on the Ways & Means Committee.

I voted for John Connolly and can say, following my visit with him, that I am happy I did. We talked for twenty minutes about hot topics on Beacon Hill, many of which I have written about on this blog. I also mentioned to him that I had recently cheered on a basketball team of fifth graders (coached by my good friend Jen) who are from his home neighborhood of West Roxbury. New piece of Boston knowledge: "The 'Parkway' includes both Roslindale and West Roxbury-- the team in question was from Parkway.

I then went to the Council Chamber and attended the hearing. Here's a quick summary of my testimony: Street cleaning works, and towing cars for the sweeper is a great idea. There's a discussion underway about making street sweeping in Boston a year-round program. I think that's a great idea. Street sweeping is overwhelming effective, but it's worthless unless the street sweeper can reach the curb. Making the program year-round will be tricky, given that-- among many reasons-- there sometimes will be snow on the ground. But we can work through those issues. If you are still reading this (bless you), you can email me to learn more on this.

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