Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Who Is On Those Task Forces, Anyway?

The membership of the BRA's institutional task forces is not generally known. The only way to find out who's on the task forces (other than Harvard Allston) appears to be through private contact with the BRA project manager.

Is this the way it ought to be?

For example, nowhere on the BRA's website is there a simple list of the current members of the Boston College Task Force, the Harvard Allston Task Force, the St. Elizabeth's Task Force, etc.

That said, the Harvard Allston Task Force members can be found by looking at the attendance at the top of the meeting minutes posted on the BRA's site (although you have to paste together attendance records from minutes of a few minutes to get the complete list), or on the Harvard/Allston (private university) website.

Yes, you've read that correctly: the easiest place to find the membership list of the BRA's Harvard Allston Task Force is on the institution's own website!

The BRA's St. Elizabeth's Medical Center website is recently deceased... even though it ought to still exist to show the approval status of their IMP, and the construction status of their emergency room addition. The St. Elizabeth's Medical Center Task Force never posted minutes on the BRA's website, and the institution's webpage never identified the task force members.

The Boston College Task Force (aka Allston-Brighton-Boston College Community Task Force, aka Allston-Brighton Task Force) does not yet have a BRA webpage available... presumably because they don't have any current regulatory process ongoing under the Article 80. An email query to Gerald Autler during the last month resulted in the following names for its membership:

Paul Berkeley
John Bruno
Tim Burke
Kevin Carragee
Terry Cohen
Rosie Hanlon
Tim Schofield
Janet Tambascio Fraher
Jean Woods, chair

although there are already two more (as yet unannounced) positions filled, one or more current members may be leaving, and one or more additional positions will be filled soon.

Are we from Allston-Brighton alone in this lack of information?

I couldn't find the Suffolk University Task Force on the BRA website, but googling it showed that its activities were documented (task force membership, minutes, filings, etc.) at the institution's website, a website that doesn't appear navigable to from the institution's main pages or from the BRA's.

Even if you know the members of the task forces, how would you know how to contact them? Only by contacting the BRA project manager privately, again. No task force member's contact information is listed on any of these sites. We've got only a couple of dozen task force members in all of Allston-Brighton, yet we have 70,000 residents, so there is no way that every resident can be expected to know a task force member personally.

This all sounds pretty crazy to me. I've got some concrete suggestions here:
  1. The BRA should publish, on their own website, the current membership of their official, advisory task forces.
  2. The BRA should publish, on their own website, at least one kind of contact information (email, phone, and/or mail) for each member of the task force.

1 comment:

Michael Pahre said...

The BRA's St. Elizabeth's webpage has awoken from the dead and now works again.