Monday, May 23, 2005

Compliance Officer hiding from view???

Here is a letter Shirley Kressel recently sent to BRA director Maloney. My experience is similar. I recently tried to get some compliance information on a project in the south end. I was passed around to 4 different people who told me that the project wasn't a BRA project. I called the environment department who informed me that yes it was a BRA project. When they realized I was running for city council, they admitted that yes it was a BRA project but that I would have to file a freedom of information act to get any information. How about some open, honest government??? What are they hiding up there????

As we passed in the halls at City Hall last week, I asked you about yourprogress in scheduling a public presentation by Christine Colley, ComplianceOfficer. You told me that there would be no such meeting. Since you didnot respond to my past e-mail messages, I was not aware that you hadintended to ignore our request for such a presentation.As I mentioned, Christine agreed that this was a good resolution when shecancelled our meeting due to the arrival of another ABN member, NedFlaherty, on May 3. You said you don't think she did agree on that; pleasecheck with Christine. My understanding was that she did, and she suggestedI speak to you about arranging it.In any case, it would be a major breach of obligation and trust for the BRAto hire a Compliance Officer because "an unkept promise is a lie," and thento refuse to tell the citizens to whom those promises were made what she isdoing. If the creation of Christine's position was meant to improve theBRA's standing in the eyes of the community, this is not a good way toaccomplish that goal -- particularly after the unauspicious start to her jobin October, when a large group of Chinatown and other residents had to stagea sit-in at the BRA office because she would not come out of her office andmeet her constituents on her first day at work, to receive the list ofcommitments they brought to help her get started.If you are refusing to host a public progress report on the work of the BRACompliance Officer, I think many people in the neighborhoods will be veryunhappy; I've gotten many questions about it. People cannot understand whythe BRA won't even discuss the progress of the work, since the whole purposewas to bring information to the community about commitments made to thecommunity. Who was to be the recipient of Christine's work, if not thepeople whose promises were unkept?If you need to receive more letters to demonstrate interest, we can arrangethat.I hope you will reconsider and demonstrate the responsiveness, transparencyand accountability you promised when you announced the appointment of aCompliance Officer.ShirleyShirley Kressel27 Hereford StreetBoston, MA 02115617-421-0835 home/work617-515-3403 cell

1 comment:

the sak said...

The Boston City Clerk and Assistant City Clerks are supposed to be chief information officer with respect to city public records but the clerks do not do this job effectively.

For example, our city's council stenographic machine output is not available. Ellen Fritch Associates court stenographers operate the council stenographic machine.

Transcribed stenographic machine output is edited for the all too brief council minutes appearing on the city website. and in The City Record publication.

Public records like this are kept at too long an arms reach from enquirers.

After getting elected, please look into freedom of information, public records, sunshine open public meetings principles and city hall. Maybe even before that as a candidate, as a citizen.

Department heads' Annual Reports are by city ordinance supposed to be made to our city's council.

But each department head's annual report goes to the mayor's office in a departmental memorandum with the annual report material embedded in the memo.

Being public records, even city hall journalists have been a bit lazy about asking for the departmental annual reports as turned over to the mayor's office in departmental memo format.

The result of this lack of oversight is that annual reports are only made available years after they would be more relevant.