Friday, January 30, 2009

Schofield Resigns from BC Task Force Following BRA Board Decision

Tim Schofield today submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority his resignation from the BRA's Boston College Task Force today following last night's approval of BC's Institutional Master Plan by the BRA Board.

His move followed the task force's reversal of its position on the 150-bed dormitory along Commonwealth Avenue proposed for BC's new Brighton Campus. Up through September 2008, the task force continued to be on record opposing all dormitories on the former St. John's Seminary land, but recently changed course with the majority on the task force supporting the 150-bed dorm -- with conditions -- following a secret meeting held by the group.

The task force was left dangling at Thursday's public hearing when Mayor Thomas Menino's aide announced that he wanted the dorm proposal removed from the IMP; Councilor Mark Ciommo and State Representatives Kevin Honan and Michael Moran subsequently reversed course from the positions they held earlier in the month to oppose the dorm proposal as part of this IMP.

Schofield declined to talk about his decision beyond the reason given in his resignation letter that "running a business in these difficult economic times requires all of my time and attention." Other members of the task force noted that he was in the minority on the dorm issue and that he appeared quite frustrated with the internal dynamics on the task force.

During their secret, internal deliberations in the past week and a half leading up to last night's meeting, several members are revealing that there has been a great deal of infighting.

Schofield led several of the task force's public meetings during the public comment periods and, other task force members note, was instrumental in drafting the text of the task force letters and trying to build consensus within the advisory group. He has been on the task force since March 2007, although he stepped down for several months in 2007 while running unsuccessfully for Allston-Brighton District 9 City Councilor.

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