Monday, April 27, 2009

More Waste, Fraud & Abuse by the Mayor and BRA

A great article by Donovan Slack in today's Globe exposing how "Mr. Inside" Paul McCann at the Boston Redevelopment Authority is getting about $250,000 a year in pay by collecting his pension and getting paid as a consultant. The Mayor's good friend has been gaming the system and saying that he didn't think the laws applied to him.
Of course not, we live in a society where there is one set of rules for the rich and connected and another set of rules for the rest of us.

As was exposed with the Parcel 3 debacle, the Mayor has complete control and authority over the BRA and thus should be held accountable. Someone should ask him directly if he knew that Paul McCann was still getting a consulting contract at the BRA. The answer of course is yes, but who knows what spin our teflon Mayor will put on this.

Great job Donovan!

On a related note, this past Wednesday was the City Council's hearing on the BRA for this years budget. Officially, the BRA answers to the City Council and should report to them all of their activities. But, because the council is beholden to the Mayor and most councilors owe their job to the Mayor no one asks the tough questions, or even the moderately hard questions.

The BRA chief Palmieri wasn't honest with the council about many things such as the size of their budget and whether they were going to lay anyone off or reduce salaries. They haven't cut any salaries or laid anyone off even though we are in the worst construction season in decades and you would think we don't need as many people overseeing development. Meanwhile, the school system is "growing" according to the Mayor but we are laying off teachers. Doesn't make any sense to me either.

Finally, Mike Ross who was the last councilor to testify at the BUDGET hearing asked Director Palmieri if he had brought a BUDGET! Palmieri gave him a one page piece of paper which Mike started to ask questions about and then realized it was the 2009 budget! Ross asked where the 2010 budget was and Palmieri said they get it done by the end of June or early July. How convenient, they do their budget right around when the City finishes their budget so they don't have to answer any questions.

Now, did Mike Ross or Ways & Means chair demand they come back and present the real budget and demand they are held accountable to the elected body that this agency is supposed to answer to? Of course not, they closed the session and that will be the last the City Council looks into the BRA for another year. Is it any wonder people like Paul McCann get away with our money while we lay off teachers when our elected officials looks the other way at everything?

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