Mayor Thomas Menino has appointed fifteen individuals, including residents of Columbia Point and adjacent neighborhoods, business people and one transportation advocate, to a Columbia Point Master Plan Task Force. The Boston Redevelopment Authority originally intended to choose the task force by last fall, but took longer than expected.
"There was no specific delay, it was just when we were able to get it down to the mayor and have him look at it," said BRA spokesperson Jessica Shumaker.
Among the appointees are three members of the Harbor Point Community Task Force and four representing institutions, including the St. Christopher's church, Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center, Boston Teachers Union and Phillips Family Hospitality, which includes the Phillips Old Colony House, Ramada Inn and other businesses on the point. Nine ex-officio members in addition to the 15 include elected officials and representatives from the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Commonwealth Museum and State Archives, and Boston College High School.
Appointees noted for their political background include Mark Rooney, an active resident of South Boston whose brother Jim Rooney, currently executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, was once Chief of Staff for Menino, and Victoria Maguire, once a staff member in Rep. Martin Walsh's office.
Also notable is the addition of Chris Hart, a transportation advocate for Adaptive Environments, a group that champions accessible design for all abilities and ages. The organization is part of the larger LivableStreets coalition that also includes WalkBoston and MassBike.
Shumaker said the design process would take an estimated nine months, and the first meeting of the task force could be scheduled soon.
"Even though there is a task force that we look to that doesn't mean to say we discount the general meetings and the concerns that come up there," said Shumaker. "Even if you're not on the task force you're still part of the process."