For many residents living in neighborhoods like East Boston, West Roxbury or Dorchester getting to City Hall to accomplish a basic service like obtaining a birth certificate can turn into a multiple hours long task. This is even before the start of the renovations to the Government Center MBTA stop that will be closed for almost two years, adding even more inconvenience getting to City Hall by public transportation. When Kevin White was first elected Mayor almost 50 years ago, he started instituting little City Halls throughout neighborhoods in Boston to provide basic services to the residents. These little City Halls became very popular and were able to bring government services to many residents in a very easy and timely manner. The one in Maverick Square was the first little City Hall to open in Boston and Fred Salvucci was in charge. However, with budget cuts and the onslaught of Proposition 2 ½ in the early 1980’s, this novel experiment ended.
Now almost 30 years later, Mayor Thomas Menino has started this mobile first in the country experiment for the residents. With technology advanced far beyond the huge main frames of the 1980’s to the compact and wireless computers of today, this service makes a lot of economic sense. This has a potential to be a win for both residents and city workers. We congratulate Menino for implementing this new type of customer service and bringing government closer to the people. This is a start for keeping government and the people connected to make Boston a better place to live and raise a family.