Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mayor Menino Opposes BC's Tactics, Including Alumni Letter

The Boston Herald quotes Dot Joyce, spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas Menino, as saying that “The mayor is opposed to [Boston College's] tactics" in pushing for their revised institutional master plan.

In particular, Joyce expressed Mayor Menino's dislike for a letter that William Leahy, S. J., President of Boston College, sent to alumni last week asking them to contact city and elected officials in Boston to express support for the revised IMP:
This Institutional Master Plan is critical to our future, and I hope that all members of the Boston College community will take the time to review it and then assist in the approval process. In particular, I ask that those of you who are residents of Boston express your support to elected officials, especially district city councilors and the BRA.
The Herald article follows up on yesterday's story in the Banker & Tradesman in which Mayor Menino said that BC is engaged in "double speak" when describing how they propose to provide university-controlled housing for 100% of their undergraduate students. Mayor Menino objected -- pointing out that "2000 Comm Avenue is not on their campus. I’d rather see them live up to their commitment to house all of the students on campus.”

The Herald article contains a point that is confusing -- if not outright mixed up:
Joyce said the mayor’s “double-speaking” remark was only a reference to BC’s alumni letter, which didn’t mention that 2000 Commonwealth Ave. is off-campus.
The Herald correctly reports that the alumni letter did not specifically mention 2000 Comm Ave, but the Banker & Tradesman direct quotation from Mayor Menino clearly puts it in the context of 2000 Comm Ave, since he mentions it by name. I'm not sure if the Herald got it wrong, or if Joyce did.

The Herald reporter also appears to have asked some tough questions, pushing Joyce to try to get the Mayor's firm position, for or against, both BC's purchase and conversion of 2000 Comm Ave and their IMP in general. Joyce didn't bite:
Joyce stopped short of saying Menino outright opposes BC’s master plan, especially its purchase of 2000 Commonwealth Ave. - about one-third of a mile from BC’s main campus and where the college hopes one day to house hundreds of students.


10 year said...


Robert Segal said...


I just want to let you know that the letter did not go to all alumni. My wife and I are both BC grads living in Waltham and we did not receive any letters from BC regarding the proposed expansion.

Tony G said...

Sometime ago BC wanted to build dorms on the land that was the old law school. That was on campus and the activists fought it. You cannot have it both ways. My area is not affected by noise because we talk to new renters as soon as they move in. The new breed of activists seem to be ,for the most part, willing to meet BC and talk. This is very important. You need to have give and take when trying to solve a problem. A positive attitude will go a long way to make Brighton a better place to live. We also need more support from our local pols. Brighton needs BC students in order to keep the local stores in business. BC is not going away. Lets negotiate in good faith. Both sides have to win. you cannot have a winner and a loser. It does noy work that way.

Michael Pahre said...

@ tony g,

The parcel you are referring to ("old law school") is More Hall and is contiguous with their lower campus.

It is also the location that BC has proposed for an undergraduate dormitory -- and that I have not heard anyone in the neighborhood express opposition to it as a location for undergraduate housing.

(There has been a discussion of the possibility of swapping locations for the Recreation Center and the More Dorms. I believe BC even internally researched the swap well before the neighborhood weighed in, so it isn't a crazy idea.)

Also note that BC has proposed moving the administrative offices currently at More Hall to the Brighton Campus, and that I haven't heard any objections to that.

amartin said...

At Father Leahy's request, I took the opportunity to write a long, in depth letter to all local leaders, including Mayor Menino, expressing my support for the BC Master Plan.

Mayor Menino cost himself my vote with his outrageous comments regarding BC officials.

Rob said...

What is wrong with a Boston voter writing a letter to the mayor in support of BC's plan? Should voters only be restricted to commenting on projects happening in their immediate neighborhood?