Joe Gray is a resident of Ward 6.
I look wistfully to the left and to the right. Nearby wards conduct barbecues, meetings, safety gatherings, regular social get togethers, farmers markets and street cleanings. I hope for the same someday.
I engage in acrimony, finger pointing, demands and neighbor-wise suspicions. I’d rather engage in neighbor smiles, backslaps and chit chat about the latest Red Sox trades.
I peer over the fence and smell the bake sales and hot apple cider from nearby wards during Christmas and wonder “why not here"? No one is even scheduling a ward-wide movie night, like what happens over the fence across town.
I don’t always understand the mayor or some of his decisions, but I feel like Gary is my substitute ward captain. It feels like when I need some help or something personal, Gary is there to help. The mayor fills in a little of what is missing in my ward, like repairing the potholes. Maybe that’s good enough for some, but he is busy with bigger citywide issues and can’t always come to the rescue.
A couple of seasons have come and gone since the last election, making the overt acrimoniousness die down. But we all know it is still here under the surface in my ward. We are still divided, clustered, ignored and/or feted depending on how we please our permanent ward captain.
I peer over the fence again and sigh. It’s a hot summer and not a whole lot of anything useful going on in my ward for most of the year. Not a lot of anything scheduled as far as the eye can see on the city calendar. If there is, it sure isn’t getting any wide public announcements. I'll walk to Maplewood for some ice cream.