With the exception of perhaps Eagle Hill Civic Association President Debra Cave, longtime Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA) Co-Chair Renee Scalfani is one of the longest continuously serving members of any East Boston community group board.
As the neighborhood’s notable community groups like JPNA and Orient Heights have been taken over by new blood and newer community groups like Harbor View have emerged, Scalfani has remained a fixture in Eastie’s community process for as long as anyone can remember.
However, on Monday Scalfani announced she would be stepping down from the board she has served on with passion, distinction and dedication for many years.
“It is with great sadness that I share with everyone that I decided to resign from Co Chair of the JPNA board,” said Scalfani. “I was on the board many years and truly love our neighborhood. I feel that since I can’t give 100 percent of myself that it is best to leave and have my seat filled by someone with the same heart, dedication and love…someone who can give what I couldn’t.”
Scalfani said she had the pleasure of working with a great team of board members and truly enjoyed working with state and city officials as well as the Boston Police to tackle the issues facing Jeffries Point and the neighborhood as a whole.
“Being on the board brought great joy to my heart and loved talking and meeting neighbors,” she said. “But this is what’s best.”
While most community meetings are dominated these days by development projects and zoning issues, Scalfani emerged as an advocate for quality of life issues.
Each month Scalfani would bring issues she and her neighbors would discuss to the JPNA meetings. Issue like park cleanliness, speeding cars, crime, public drinking, and other issues were always brought to the forefront by Scalfani during her tenure. She made the police that attended each monthly meeting aware of problem properties, illegally parked cars, unsafe traffic issues and other issues that would or could affect the quality of life for residents.
“Renee’s has sacrificed years of service to the betterment of our neighborhood,” said longtime Jeffries Point resident John McCarthy. “Everyone who knows Renee knows her love and work for the neighborhood.”
Sen. Joseph Boncore, Rep. Adrian Madaro and City Councilor Lydia Edwards all thanked Scalfani for her years of service and all commented that the community is a better place thanks to her tenure on the JPNA.
“Renee has always done a great job,” said Richard Lynds, a zoning attorney who presents regularly before the JPNA. “The JPNA Board will not be the same without her. Hopefully she will remain involved as her dedication to her neighborhood is admirable.”
Former City Councilor Sal LaMattina, a longtime friend of Scalfani, thanked her for her service and her ability to be fair.
“I want to thank Renee so much for her service to the Jeffries Point Neighborhood,” said LaMattina. “I have always enjoyed her passion and love for her neighborhood and during my time of the City Council she was always fair.”