The departure of Gove Street Citizens Association (GSCA) secretary Nat Taylor left a void in the community group and GSCA Chair Lorraine Curry made several pleas to non-board members to step up and fill the void by serving on the board.
With no one from the community answering Curry’s call for help the others on the board were either unwilling or unable to pick up the extra slack created by Taylor’s departure.
In a stunning turn of events, Curry announced at Monday night’s meeting that all the remaining board members had resigned and the group would ‘dissolve’.
“I asked if anyone wanted to be a board member, and I put my personal address in the chat, and no one sent me an email, and so on October 12, six of the nine, board members as listed on the website, met and unanimously agreed to dissolve,” she announced. “So, as of tonight, GSCA as we know is dissolving.”
The news came as a shock to non-board members like Peter Doliber who felt one board member’s exit shouldn’t have created such a drastic decision by the rest of the board.
Doliber said that there was too much at stake, like the several large development projects proposed for the Gove Street area, to abruptly dissolve the community group.
“Well, I’m having a really hard time with that. I’m sorry,” Doliber said in response to Curry’s announcement. “I misunderstood your question at the last meeting. I thought you were asking who wanted to be Secretary in place of Nat (Taylor). I’d be more than happy to. I’d be more than happy to be a board member, I just didn’t commit to being the secretary only because I have some work constraints that aren’t clear yet and I didn’t want to commit to something I couldn’t fulfill. I appreciate all of your work and all that you have done but I’d be happy to serve as a board member.”
Curry and the rest of the board that resigned did not budge at the Monday night meeting and have all but moved on as serving on the all volunteer board. Curry, as well as board member Shawn Lu said they would leave it up to non-board members to figure out what the next steps should be.
Lu, who helped create GSCA new bylaws, was of the opinion that the GSCA in its current iteration is over but said nothing is stopping residents from forming a new board and continuing.
“I understand your concern,” said board member Mimi DiFeo to the non-board members. “The reason why we made this decision is because we just can’t do it anymore. We need help and we’re not getting any other help. Nat’s leaving us and he’s gone as of today. He did tremendous work with keeping the ZOOM and secretarial duties going but now all of that is going to fall on Lorraine (Curry) and I. We did appeal to our other members and our community members, if they were willing to jump on board or if they had anybody else that knew how to do ZOOM meetings and take over the secretarial duties.”
In the end DiFeo said no one seemed interested and the rest of the board wasn’t willing or prepared to take over the additional duties.
Between 1974 and 2005 the GSCA helped safeguard the Ward 1, Precinct 2 neighborhood and was reactivated in 2015 by longtime community activists Jack and the late Gina Scalcione. The decision to reactivate the GSCA was due to Jack and Gina Scalcione’s opinion that there was inadequate representation of the Precinct 2 area. With a recent increase of small and large scale project developments like the Mount Carmel Project the group got back to work protecting the small Eastie enclave and has been a solid community advisory group for the past six years