City to declare Boston Garden fetid cesspool of despair

The Boston Business Journal reports outgoing Mayor Tom Menino has agreed to designate the area in front of the Boston Garden "blighted" so that he can give the Garden and developers a multimillion tax break for developing in such a horrid area - and the right to make one of their proposed towers 45 stories, to be filled with luxury residential units.

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    Its blighted because the

    Its blighted because the owners of the site made it that way by years of neglect, the area around it is doing great. Just like Vornado said they were going to do with the Filenes area, which threw Menino into a fit and promised it wouldnt work (but is now giving the developers of that site millions). Looks like Menino just doens't like it when people point out his dirty dealings.

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    I hate it when

    people just out-and-out lie. There is no way in hell that area, or Fenway, or even the Filene's pit, has been "blighted" for at least the past 10 years. It may well be that granting tax breaks for developments benefits the city in the long-run, but allowing outright public dishonesty should not be the way to get it done.

    I generally like hizzoner, but this stuff is ridiculous.

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    I'm not even sure...

    ...what the hell I want to say. Ok, here goes...They threaten to pull out if they don't get what they want? Hey, it's not like it's a really blighted area. Call their bluff. 500 condos? How much each? More than a mill? It's arithmetic, not math. I assume the condo buyer pays full real estate taxes. If they are rental units, the city is getting beat over the head. Bucketload of commercial, too? Jeebus. They're not even trying to be subtle about it anymore.

    They just grabbing everything?
    Cop gets shot in the arm...fuck him, he knew what the job was about.
    Developer wants free shit? Oh, Give It To Him.

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    Yet 50%+1 continued voting him in

    I agree that the tax deals are icing to the already astronomically profitable cakes the developers make. Yet if Menino was running again I am sure he would be reelected with competition from Connelly proving as effective as the last two mayoral campaigns. Menino became unbeatable lest health or Federal corruption charges removed him from office. As it turns out it was health; my gut, based on nothing but impressions was that Menino probably did little if anything that would be considered corrupt, other than tax breaks to big contributors.

    So why would a majority of the voters reelected him in spite of being too friendly to rich and powerful?

    What bothers me more though is the City Council. What do the police hold over the City Councilors? My Matt O'Malley disappoints me. I wa hoping for a Councilor who had strength, not one who smiles but is otherwise not especially effective, and certainly not one who is in bed with a police who rely upon legal graft for part of their income.

    Why have a City Council if they are in effect a rubber stamp, whether for the mayor or for an arbitrator? So they can walk around L.A. admiring food trucks or pass anti-dog laws that result in cops hassling people for not subjecting their dogs to horrid muzzles? There are so many boards and authorities that wield power and run the city - and are unelected - why have what amounts to a Potemkin Village of democracy? Maybe to hide the fact that democracy is far more limited in this city than appears? Is Boston more a modern day Venice where we elect a Doge (who becomes Doge for life) while the real power is in the boards, authorities, corporations and institutions most of which are run by the wealthiest and most private of groups of people?

    Boston could start one or two new traditions that may more accurately reflect power in the city. One is secular royal flotilla that floats along the Charles where the various elites of the city all have their own boats. The other could be the mayor riding the Constitution on its annual voyage; whoever is mayor could connect to the Doge's annual marriage to the sea. With a history that so deeply entwines with the sea it's surprising that we don't have some grand watery ritual that lets everyone know who really is running the show.

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    This sort of thing is happening all over the city

    My street/area was designated blighted so the JPNDC could push through a project to house 43 homeless people on the end of my block in a building that BHCHP abandoned and left to rot. They got their tax break and zoning variance. I'm all for giving tax breaks to developers who actually develop in the less than savory/blighted areas of our fair city, but developers aren't doing that. They are gaming the system.