By Adam Swift
The City Council honored the Previte family’s contributions to Beachmont and the city on Monday night, voting to change the name of Unity Way to Previte Way.
The motion was originally put forward by Councillor-at-Large Gerry Visconti. He said the request was made by another prominent family in Beachmont.
Visconti and several other councillors spoke about the contributions the Previte family made to Beachmont residents when they ran their market in that part of the city.
However, several residents did raise some concerns about the name change and how it would affect the current residents of Unity Way.
“I’m against this motion because I think it presents a significant hardship to the residents and the business owners, specifically in regard to changing their addresses in multiple places such as their employment, banking, credit cards,” said Bradstreet Avenue resident Mary Turner. “Anyone who has ever moved in their lifetime, whether personally or for business, can attest to the vast endeavor required to make these changes.”
Turner said there would also be challenges for first responders and 911 operators with a street name change.
“It seems unimaginable to me to entertain any notion of removing the word unity anywhere in our city given the state of division this country is in right now,” said Turner.
School Committee member Carol Tye noted that she is a lifelong Beachmont resident, but said changing the street name would put an unfair burden on residents.
Tye suggested that the city create a garden in the island in the middle of the street in honor of the Previte family.
“I stand against inconveniencing our citizens that way,” said Tye. “I know is is not a huge, long street, but it is surely a street that represents at least in theory something I wish we had more of, not only right in this room but in other places – the name of the street, as Mrs. Turner noted, is Unity.”
Visconti said he didn’t understand the objections to the renaming of the street.
“I think it is a perfect opportunity to say thank you for the long deserved effort of that family for the Beachmont community,” said Visconti.
Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo said he appreciated the concerns raised by Turner and Tye, adding he was not opposed to further discussion in subcommittee on the motion. Ward 5 Councillor John Powers agreed that there wasn’t a rush to vote on the name change on Monday night, but the motion was moved to a vote, and all councillors present except for Powers voted in favor of the motion.