It’s too soon to tell for sure, but it appears that Somerville has taken a few turns for the better in the past couple of weeks. Since DigBoston started publishing our series on power and influence in the city of about 80,000, officials have announced plans for several municipal improvements, some of which address problems that were raised in these very pages.
Though we’ve been running every other week, for the fourth and final article, we needed a bit of an extension. For one, sources are coming out of the woodwork; furthermore, there are some seriously interesting new developments to process:
AS NOTED IN PART TWO: “GHOSTS OF ASSEMBLY SQUARE”—Somervillians have been protesting a city government that they claim has been reluctant to lean on employers at Assembly Row to hire local workers. The contention remains; last week, however, City Hall proudly announced that residents will be given preference for jobs at Odysseo, an equestrian ballet that the Canadian company Cavalia is bringing to the area for 12 weeks this fall.
OF THE SEVERAL DAMNING REVELATIONS IN PART THREE: “RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE,” few were as reckless as Somerville’s deeply compromised Inspectional Services Division. One week after that published, the city announced new ISD hours to better accommodate residents and builders, a simplified permitting process, a new code enforcement inspector, and two new clerks to streamline customer service.
AT CITY HALL, what appears to be a growing ad hoc coalition of aldermen is fighting the trend of uninhibited development in Somerville. Also to note are several sudden proposals that began rolling out this spring—first from aldermen, then from the office of Mayor Joe Curtatone—to reform campaign financing in Somerville.
JUST THIS PAST WEEK, Curtatone conceded what many have been speculating for months—that he may run for governor. It remains to be seen where he fits into the field, which could also include Martha Coakley and, possibly, even former Somerville Mayor and current U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano.
Be sure to stay tuned for next week, as we look at the legacy of Curtatone, and the current political climate as he openly considers running for the state’s highest office.