Monday, July 06, 2009

BRA not doing what they promise? Blow me over with a feather

The Herald today has an article today about how Christine Colley and her staff aren't doing their jobs which is to make sure promises given by developers are kept.

Mark Maloney can't remember anything, what a surprise. What he said when she was hired was "a promise not kept is a lie." Well the BRA and the developers in this City have been doing nothing but lying according to this article. I have tried to get Christine Colley to do things for years such as take care of the alley between Mass Ave and Wellington Street which was promised to be fixed by the developers of the Mass Ave infill buildings but nothing ever happens.

The other thing that the BRA is supposed to do is make sure the Boston Jobs Policy is enforced. The truth is that most of the jobs on the monitored projects go to non-minorities from the suburbs. The most recent and egregious example of this is the City's own renovation of the Ferdinand Building in Dudley Square. In 2005 Menino promised to renovate that building to help invigorate Dudley Square. 4 years later the job is boarded up and has been put on hold. I put in a FOIA request to the BRA after driving by the site numerous times and sure enough only 34% percent of the workers came from Boston (50% at a minimum are supposed to be from Boston)

This is why we are having problems in the inner city, even when Boston does their own project they don't hire Bostonians. This is an easy way to combat urban violence, unemployment, and decay. Let's train and hire our own people to work on these projects.

UPDATE: As some people reminded me of where Christine Colley came from and why she was given this cush job, she moved the Columbus Center approval along for Menino and Wilkerson and was given this reward. A reader writes in:

Let's not forget that she was given that job (and a parking space) as a quid pro quo for the "successful" shepherding of Columbus Center through to approval. And the first committment she (and Randi Lathrop) made on her hiring was that she would give a "full accounting" of where development projects stand w/r/t committments one year after her hiring. We're still waiting.

Further update, another friend writes in:

The B.R.A. official profiled in the attached article (Colley) chaired the Mayor’s Columbus Center Citizens Advisory Committee.

In that role, she blocked screening of the developer’s qualifications, blocked competitive proposals, blocked the disclosure of project financial data, blocked citizens from videotaping public meetings, and allowed a committee member to vote in favor of the proposal, after he had missed virtually all of several hundred public meetings evaluating it.

Shortly after she voted to approve the proposal, she was given the job described in this article.

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