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Larger turnout for JP Neighborhood Council election

The Jamaica Plain Gazette reports at least three anti-Whole Foods candidates won seats in the Saturday election for the advisory council, which saw turnout of twice as much as the 2009 elections.

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Can someone please explain to me what the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council actually is?

Are they a government organization? Are they funded with taxpayer dollars?

Their website says they're a volunteer organization but that they also "make recommendations and decisions" about JP issues. Do they have much influence?

I've been following the JP Whole Foods controversy from afar (NH) but for the life of me can't figure out the JPNC's actual purpose.

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Certain city and state agencies, such as the Boston Licensing Board (a state agency that works in Boston City Hall) won't make any decision on permit or license requests without input from the local neighborhood group. They're then free to ignore that input - just ask the Allston Civic Association, which keeps losing battles before the licensing board over restaurants/bars that want to stay open past, oh, 10 or 11 p.m.

Exactly how they're set up is an interesting question.

In JP and the North End, the neighborhood-wide groups are elected. In Allston, anybody who shows up at three meetings gets to vote. In some areas, they're way smaller and ad hoc (I don't think there's a Hyde Park council, but there is one for Fairmount Hill, the South End seems to have a different neighborhood group for every block).

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Such a shame. I thought the JPNC couldn't become any more irrelevant but Whose Foods made sure of that.

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Thanks for the explanation, Adam.

I used to live in Boston (Cambridge & Somerville too) but that was years ago.

The fight over Whole Foods has kept me amused but the JPNC side perplexed me at the same time. I couldn't figure out why anyone cared what they thought in the first place. It kind of makes sense now.

However, I can't understand why they're against it ... I'd give my left you-know-what for a Whole Foods near me.

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the BRA does have an advisory group in Hyde Park

http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/calend...

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