District 5 Boston City Councilman Timothy McCarthy Looking Forward to the Details

After five years of managing and triaging as District 5 Boston City councilman, Timothy McCarthy is looking forward to getting back in the weeds of things.

“I always feel like the city councilor is kind of like a utility guy: I have to play third, I have to play first, I have to play the outfield, I may even have to catch,” the councilman told the Hyde Park Board of Trade Tuesday night at the Fairmount Grille. “But I can’t be deep into anything.”

On Tuesday, February 26 the board - comprised of business owners, religious leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and local citizens, enjoyed eggplant Parmesan, grilled salmon, meatballs, and cavatappi pasta paid for by councilman McCarthy as he met with them and touted a list of new developments in the community. McCarthy focused on three areas: local parks, road improvements, and the capitalist side.

Amatucci Playground and Stonehill Park are both getting a $500,000 renovation. Sherrin Woods will receive $600,00 worth of aid. Ross Field is getting $1.2 million dollars worth of construction and Reservation road has already received $4.3 million dollars in aid.

Concerning the city’s infrastructure and roads, Dana Avenue Bridge will be closed this year for six weeks to complete $5 million dollars worth of construction and the Farther Hart Bridge and Walcott Square will be “entirely redesigned.”

In discussing his capitalist focal point, the councilman focused on the George Wright Golf Course and clubhouse.

“We’ve already put about $15 million dollars aside for the George Wright Clubhouse,” Councilman McCarthy said. “We have $120,000 set aside to figure out what the personality of that clubhouse is going to be. “I don’t want the clubhouse to just be for golfers. It’s our building, it’s not just the golfers’ building and I’m a golfer.”

In total, district five is looking at about $38 million dollars in capital improvements according to the councilman. Hyde Park specifically is looking at $19.6 million dollars in improvements.

When it came time for questions, board members grilled the councilman on issues like affordable housing, new restaurants, and the changing demographic of the city.

“I always say, ‘you want to know what Hyde Park is? Walk into Fairmount Grille, you take a look around, it’s black, it’s white; it’s Haitian, it’s straight, it’s gay, it’s you name it. This is the palette of what Hyde Park is,’” the councilman said. “Having said that, we need more people who can come in and have a $6 beer and a $20 dollar steak and it’s time for Hyde Park to catch up.”

Marie E. Durandisse, who had lived in Hyde Park from 1998 to 2003 and recently moved to Roslindale and Dedham, had concerns about recent elementary school closures and the strain on parents with children in turnaround schools.

“There are plenty of seats in Hyde Park,” councilman McCarthy said. “People think seats are classrooms, and that’s not the case. It’s not seats it’s rooms. There’s not enough rooms.”

In closing, Councilman McCarthy stressed the importance of his role in the last five years.

“In District five, what you see outside your front door is important,” councilman McCarthy said. “I’ve always thought that it’s the tangible stuff that a city councilor can do: not just filling the potholes and not just fixing the sidewalks, but it’s the capital plans, using your tax money to make sure that what you see outside your front door looks good.”

Still, Councilman McCarthy feels like he can be much more involved and will not seek reelection in order to do so.

“I can’t take a deep dive into public works anymore because I have to worry about the parks budget, the police budget, the fire budget, you’re always skimming the surfaces. After five years – I’m now in my sixth year - I’m done with skimming surfaces, I want to deep dive into some stuff and what I really want to deep dive into is 02136.”