At-large council candidates not sure Amazon is worth it

Eight candidates for at-larg seats

Essaibi-George, DaRosa, Flaherty, Garrison, King, Payaso, Pressley, Wu.

All eight of the candidates running for at-large seats on the Boston City Council expressed reservations about the idea of Amazon building its second headquarters in Boston, at a forum in Roslindale tonight. All eight of the candidates running for at-large seats on the Boston City Council expressed reservations about the idea of Amazon building its second headquarters in Boston - with or without tax subsidies - at a forum in Roslindale tonight.

Even incumbent Councilor Michael Flaherty, who was the most sanguine about the prospect, saying Amazon would mean not just new jobs but new opportunties for Boston Public Schools, says the sheer size of the proposal - possibly 50,000 jobs over ten years - raises issues of whether Boston's already groaning transportation systems and other infrastructure could handle the new load. And, at the forum sponsored by WalkUp Roslindale, he said he worried whether all those new workers would drive housing prices even higher up, displacing even more longtime residents.

Incumbent Michelle Wu praised the potential of the deal, but said she's concerned about the impact on the city's small businesses, and whether they would benefit at all from Amazon moving here. Fellow incumbent Annissa Essaibi-George said the city's 40,000 small businesses are the true lifeblood of the city - "it's the local coffeeshops that make neighborhoods special" - and shared Wu's concern.

The final incumbent, Ayanna Pressley said she's not sure at all she could support Amazon moving here, if it means yet another bit of Boston's soul is chipped away in pursuit of a giant corporation that does little or nothing to decrease the city's existing economic inequities. "I don't want us to just be a compelling brand," she said of Boston.

The four challengers for the seat were all united in opposition to doing anything to help Amazon move here.

Pat Payaso, ne Kevin McCrea, said he's fed up with the city and state throwing millions at large corporations, from Liberty Mutual and GE, to the Olympics, IndyCar and the Red Sox with the Yawkey Way deal. Let Amazon move here, but only if it pays its fair share, he said.

William King said he is tired of government "doing backflips to bring in big corporations" when small businesses often have to spend months or even years just getting permits to open up shop. He said he's worried many of those 50,000 jobs would go to out-of-towners who would flock here, driving up housing prices and pushing out long-time residents.

Domingos DaRosa said he's still bitter from the time Amazon Prime rolled out everywhere in Boston except Roxbury, that Amazon has yet to provide any details about what sort of jobs it's talking about and that maybe it's time for Boston to share the wealth, and let another city, such as Worcester, Fall River or New Bedford, benefit from a possible new Amazon headquarters.

Althea Garrison said she would fight any effort to provide any sort of deal for Amazon.

The candidates addressed a number of other issues, some specific to Roslindale, including:

High housing costs

Garrison: Enact a moratorium on conversion of small buildings to condominiums. Bring back rent control.

DaRosa: Opposes rent control, but said landlords should be encouraged to give longer leases and to not price gouge.

King: Also opposed to rent control, wants more affordable-housing units builts. Supports the Jim Brooks Community Stablization Act, which would make it harder for landlords to evict tenants without a "just cause," such as failing to pay rent.

Payaso: Elminate the BRA/BPDA and do a citywide rezoning that would target increased housing development to "urban corridors" to reduce prices through greater supply. Do a better job of identifying unused city parcels and sell them for housing.

Pressley: Supports the Jim Brooks act, wants the percentage of units developers have to set aside as affordable to be increased from the current 13% and wants tenants to be given the "right of first refusal" to buy buildings up for sale. And it's time to reconsider rent control as another tool to manage housing prices in Boston.

Essaibi-George: Require developers to included affordable units in their buildings, rather than simply paying into a city fund for affordable housing somewhere else. Ensure the city remains open to families by requiring developers to build more than just studios and one-bedroom apartments.

Wu and Flaherty had not yet arrived to answer this question.

How to improved public transit - in particular the clogged bus routes of Roslindale

Garrison: Would pressure the T to add more buses and to get rid of the bad drivers she said are all too common.

DaRosa: Extend the Orange Line to Cleary Square. Add more bus lines in Roslindale. And do something about the mess at Forest Hills.

King: Would also extend the Orange Line to Cleary Square. Wants a dedicated bus/bike lane on Washington Street between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills.

Payaso: Wants more dedicated bus lanes - but also enforcement of no-parking restrictions, like the ones he said are now routinely ignored on the Silver Line in front of his house. Pledged to bicycle or take the T to work at City Hall at least one day a week.

Pressley: Does not own a car, called for a concerted effort to bring accessible, affordable and reliable public transit to more parts of Boston, said "its demoralizing not to be able to navigate the city."

Essaibi-George: It's time for Boston to remind the T that the city pays nearly $200 million to the T on top of whatever residents pay in fares and that the state's capital and economic engine deserves to get back more from the T. She said she wants to see the development of good transit routes that connect the growing number of large job sites nowhere near downtown, "rings, not spokes."

Wu: Said she faces "a very difficult and frustrating decision" every day on how too get from her Roslindale home to City Hall and said it's time for the T to reduce the high fares Roslindale residents now pay to take the Needham Line.

Flaherty had not arrived for this question.

Making American Legion Highway pedestrian and bike friendly

Garrison: Build a bike path, reduce speeds on the road.

DaRosa: Make the wide median narrower to free up room for a complete and protected bike path and more room for walkways. Add more traffic lights between Walk Hill Street and Morton Street.

King: Lives on the highway, called for more traffic lights.

Payaso: Said the city should move mayoral elections to coincide with presidential elections, which he said would increase turnout and save millions of dollars that could be spent to build dedicated bike lanes, including on American Legion Highway.

Pressley: Would try to give the street more of a neighborhood feel, to encourage people to spend more time there, rather than just using it as a cut through. Part of that could be murals, part of that would be electronic speed signs that would make drivers slow. And change the name to American Legion Parkway.

Wu: Also called for the name change, said the urban wilds along the road are a gem waiting to be uncovered.

Flaherty: Better marked crosswalks, bump outs and other steps to slow traffic.

Parking

Garrison: Install meters in all municipal parking lots; consider banning parking in Roslindale Square.

DaRosa: The city needs to stop letting developers put up new buildings without adequate parking. And it needs to create a designated time for busineses to load and unload trucks on the street.

King: Install meters in municipal lots, increase the amount of parking developers have to put in.

Payaso: Make it more expensive to own a car in the city. He said when he lived in Hong Kong, he knew only one person who owned a car. Start charging for residential parking permit. But at the same time, invest in better public transit.

Pressley: Continue to investigate "flexible demand" parking meters that charge more at popular parking times. Start charging for residential parking permits - but recognize that as ideal as a car-free city might be, "there are just people who have to drive." Increase the number of bike racks across the city, make the city safer for pedestrians.

Essaibi-George: Whatever you do, recognize that each neighborhood is unique, that the parking issues in Roslindale are not the same as those in the Back Bay or South Boston.

Wu: Also wants to see a charge for residential parking permits, rather than letting people simply park "as many cars as they want" on the street. As she said earlier, at least in Roslindale, encourage people to give up cars in part by bringing down the cost of a commuter-rail ride downtown.

Flaherty: Require developers to provide at least two spaces per residential unit; and include those units in the cost of rent or the sales price; crack down on people fraudulently using handicap placards.

Stunning income gap between Boston's white and black residents

Flaherty: Education is the key: Boston needs more good schools and a "year 13" program to help kids qualify for top-notch colleges.

Essaibi-George. Agreed on the imporance of education, but said getting homeless families into homes is equally important.

Pressley: This is not a problem that lends itself to easy answers, in part because at its core is the fact that "racism is real, it is pervasive, and it will not change unless we are candid about that." She said she knows blacks men with master's who make less than white peers with just high school degrees even though they are doing the same work.

Payaso: Agrees with Pressley, says the problem goes back decades; he cited the post-World-War II GI Bill, which excluded black servicemen. He agreed education is important; said that unlike the other candidates, he has pledged to visit every single BPS school to find out what's really going on at them. He said the income gap is one reason why he would spend a large part of his time on the council fighting for universal health care; he said it's hard for anybody to get ahead when they have to either spend much of their money or their time worrying about basic health needs.

King: Called for the return of vocational programs to Boston schools and a continued fight against institutional racism.

DaRosa: A graduate of Madison Park, he agreed with the need for voke training - but for jobs in demand now, such as those related to computers, not older skills such as carpentry. And he said mentors are vital for shwoing minority kids why education matters.

Garrison: Said local colleges need to either do more to help Boston kids or they need to start paying taxes.

What differentiates the candidates

In general, the candidates stuck to discussing their own specific stances on issues. Garrison, however, said she is the only conservative in the race. "I'm running against seven liberals - extremely liberals," she said.

Payaso was the only candidate to openly admit to being a clown. He said the media paid no attention to him until they realized that, hey, there's an actual clown in the race, which he found sad. Unlike in past appearances, Payaso - whose name means "clown" in Spansh - wore two painted tear drops and a frown. He opened his statement by expressing his sorrow over the events in Las Vegas.

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Comments

It was a neighborhood forum

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And when a forum is concerned with a neighborhood yeah, they kind of ask questions pertaining to the quality of life in said neighborhood.

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Examples?

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"She said she knows blacks men with master's who make less than white peers with just high school degrees even though they are doing the same work."

I'd love for her to provide just ONE example of this....and after doing so, have this person she knows file a lawsuit, as IT'S ILLEGAL!

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Because

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49% of the population of Roslindale is non-white.

(I'm just assuming you are noting that such a macro issue like income inequality by race was included in a forum about Roslindale issues and wanted to know why, since that's the only way your comment makes sense as a reply to what I wrote.)

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Are they both ditch diggers?

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Are they both ditch diggers? Unfortunately there is no masters degree pay bump for digging ditches.

On a more realistic note in a number of fields college degrees are not the end all, particularly in tech.

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Michael Flaherty

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would make a great District Attorney. I don't know why he is still wasting his time with the City Council.

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Bonus photo: Flaherty and Cass

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Michelle Wu brought her son Cass, born in July, to the forum. At one point, Flaherty, who was sitting next to her, took Cass so she could speak (he's done that before, at council meetings in City Hall):

Flaherty and baby
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Actually

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A better Governor or US Senator

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Flaherty has a law practice

He can do both city council and law practice. He can't do both DA and law practice.

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Our city council seems to have little effect on policy or oversight of city hall and functional departments. The role of the legislating body is policy making and checking the executive by performing oversight. Our political culture is cooperative which is good in one respect, if pols work together to solve problems, but it's bad if they are uncritical of each other when it's there job to offer critique.

Marty seems to have criticism bottled up but ust take a look at voters' views on city life on a host of issues. He's above water in 2 of 11 categories, underwater and underwater in a big way on 9 of 11:

Here are my beefs about city council. They didn't once reject Marty's BPS budget (which included cuts in all four years totaling $140m) in order to require more funding for services they agree students should have. Marty is underwater on BPS; 32% satisfied, 50% dissatisfied.

They haven't held hearings on corruption -- It isn't just a potential federal crime of extortion to demand union jobs for event permits, it's also corruption. What issue more than voters' dismissive attitude about clear cut corruption illustrates the low bar we set for Marty's performance? He's polling 60 favorable, 24 unfavorbable. Moreover, Marty neither acknowledges his mistakes nor learns from them

The Council hasn't pressed him on decisions to roll-back plans for multi-model transportation designs on Congress and in Charlestown and elsewhere nor called him on the carpet for the Winthrop Square property sale SNAFU. We ended up changing law to enable a taller tower and more luxury condos only to have the FAA say "hey you morons, that tower is too tall." Marty's reformed BRA (BPDA, the 'P' stands for Planning) was in charge of that whole cluster f**k because it was Marty's idea to put it in their hands.

They haven' held hearings to get to the bottom of outcomes of housing policy, the issue Bostonians are most dissatisfied with. The mayor and his campaign claim success after success year after year producing record amounts of new and or affordable housing. 76% of voters are displeased with the cost of housing, 17% are satisfied.

75% voters are dissatisfied with the amount of gun violence. 18% are satisfied. BPD bought an ice cream truck, some drones and wanted to buy technology to monitor social media. They've pushed back on police body cams and they close less than 10% of non-fatal gunshot crimes.

Their new contract allowed one officer to earn in excess of $402,000 last year, a substantial amount of it unearned overtime. The mayor says we're all about community policing but when the FreeSpeech rally comes to town he calls out riot cops. Hearings? I wouldn't even mind a hearing on why our officers are restrained in their use of lethal force. That's a good news story.

I'm dissatisfied with the council because they don't hold the mayor to account. I'm dissatisfied with Boston voters because they set such a low bar for Marty's performance.

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You are incorrigible

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Please cite me a specfic time where the school budget actually decreased year over year under Walsh or Menino.

Not being able to afford last year's headcount because you overpromised raises to everyone is not a cut. The budget still went up. A LOT!

I'll have to check, but I think the school budget is up $150-200 million under Walsh. With fewer students and fewer teachers. But lots more "staff".

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year, amount, source of information

$37,000,000 in 2014 per Supt John McDonough
$41,000,000 in 2015 per Supt John McDonough
$50,000,000 in 2016 per Supt Chang
$11,000,000 in 2017 per BPS CFO Eleanor Laurans

addendum: These are cuts made to existing services (teachers, librarians, etc) to close a budget gap identified in a letter from the source--the superintendent or the CFO. It does not identify new spending due to cost inflation, new educational programs or capital investment in systems for example for IEPs.

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Not what the city shows

https://www.boston.gov/sites/default/files/imce-uploads/2016-10/02_adotp...

FY13 Actual - 881.20M
FY14 Actual - 937.95M
FY15 Budget - 974.93M
FY16 Budget - 1,013.50M
FY17 Budget - 1,031.68M

If you want to argue we are getting less outside money for BPS, fine but this is the actual number the city has spent on BPS over the last 5 budgets.

Not a decrease. Also just saying someone stated there was a decrease isn't actually a primary source.

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Parkwayne beat me to it

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And for the record - the current budget is $1.061 billion - another 3% increase.

Anonymous - you can't cite the numbers from the school department - that's part of the fear and loathing we're broke dog and pony show they put on every January, not the actual numbers we end up with in July which are noted above

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Wait

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The budget of the Boston Public Schools is less than a third of what it was 4 years ago?

That is a big cut, but still your original numbers are off, as they are spending $26 million less.

Man, these budgets are confusing to me.

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Try try again

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Under the Walsh administration the number of teachers has dropped by about 40 heads - proportionally much less than the drop in the student population over the past 4 years (even including the expansion of the Pre-k program which is relatively cheap to fund).

The number of staff has increased by about 200 - i.e. - there has been plenty of room in the budget to maintain services, especially in light of a shrinking system.

This is pure budget politics - scream poverty when you are swimming in riches. Then let the politicians claim they scraped every corner to find pennies to fund the system when in fact it was there all the time. This is not real. It's a game they play EVERY January save about 2 times in the past 10-15 years.

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It's kind of a crap poll though

You make some good points but I wouldn't lean too heavily on that poll to back my argument. Most people don't pay too much attention to statistical trends but just see headlines. So what percentage of people in the poll would even be aware if there was a significant statistical improvement in any one of those categories?

So even if gun violence drops 20% in a given year most people are going to say it's unacceptable just based on the individual news stories they've seen that involved a gun. If there are a lot of arrests of gang members it's possible that getting them off the streets results in news which makes people more aware of it and more likely to say it's unacceptable despite things possibly improving.

For another example, until nobody takes a shortcut or speeds down my own street I'm probably going to think the side street traffic is unacceptable.

I think it would be more interesting to ask if people think things in those categories are getting better or worse by degree (i.e. same? a little better/worse? significantly better/worse?) and comparing them to measured data.

I take your point

Here's mine distilled. Bostonians are dissatisfied with 9 out of 11 categories. They are satisfied with two categories, jobs and immigrants. Still we know for a fact that there a lot of people in the city make only $35,000 a year. The mayor's approval floats above the highest score in any of the 11 categories. What's holding it up?

Secondly, I can't make a case that city council is being effective with the little power that it has. It never forms a majority to force Walsh to negotiate. They mostly fall in line. That's not why we elect them.

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If you don't want

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Amazon here, you're a twat. Plain and simple.

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Twat?

Tremendously wonderful and trustworthy? How kind of you!

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Oversimplification

Payaso and most of the other candidates are not saying they don't want Amazon. The point is that we shouldn't resort to corporate welfare in order to lure Amazon to our city.

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Exactly

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Amazon said they would ultimately hire 50,000 people - probably over some long period of time. Let's say that's 15 years. If each job represents a household, that's 3000 additional units of housing annually. While of course this would be spread around the metro area - for some perspective, the city of Boston currently builds about 3800 units a year and the BPDA says annual absorption is about 2700 units a year (they are encouraging overdevelopment to moderate price hikes -and it's working at least in the rental market).

On top of that many candidates cited the burden on transit infrastructure and then there are schools and many more. Flaherty had the best point - how big do we want to be? There are huge tradeoffs to that growth - especially if we accelerate from our traditional 1% growth (which we've barely managed) to a 2% growth rate.

Criticize the makeup all you want - Payaso consistently had the best answers. If you want to vote against him because of that - you get what you got - including more corporate giveaways which the council has consistently voted in favor of - even if a few don't from time to time.

Right now I'd say the fresh blood of Payaso and Darosa would be good additions and new perspective to the council based on what I saw last night (and yes - I'm a close personal friend of Payaso's - but I'd say that anyway)

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Uhub yes, Payaso no

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Uhub is a fantastic asset to this city. But you Payaso are not. Take off the makeup, and the costume, and stop with the Uhub posts written with your half-assed knowledge of high school Spanish. Maybe then we will take you seriously.

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Why do they miss the pivot?!?!

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The Amazon pivot is the same one people wanted out of the Olympics.

Sure, I'm for Amazon coming in, bringing in loads of jobs across the spectrum. But those employees are going to have to get to work. So let's talk about how the Amazon effort coincides with significant capacity and service improvements on the T. Because without the latter, we simply can't have the former.

Don't promise the T upgrades. Demand the plan for them now, while Amazon is in play. If you're met with crickets, well then, there's your answer.

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Amazon

Agreed. The city should never be focused on which particular business opens up shop. The concern should be transportation and housing. Solve these problems and the best businesses will relocate without any incentives.

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Especially if you're putting

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Especially if you're putting Amazon in Suffolk Downs - that's an automatic "duh" for the red-blue and blue to lynn that people have been needing for YEARS, and you might actually get Deleo on board with it, but just a fingers in ears NO NO NO is foolish. Politicking is supposed to be about making deals and getting something, not burying your head in the sand.

Instead we get promises of Orange to Cleary, which makes no sense from the perspective of the existing infastructure. If orange is branching out it will end up replacing the Needham line.

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Payaso

No clowning around for that guy. Consistently has the best answers. I wish I lived in the city so I could vote for him.

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Payaso go away

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Payaso has some good answers but has no respect for the voters or anyone else. Wearing painted on tears for Las Vegas victims is not respect, it is all about his own personal brand of narcissism . We already have a clown in the White House. And although Payaso is not a right wing extremist like the so-called president, he is obviously not fit to serve in any government.

Message to Pat. Take off the mask and the costume. You seem to have some good ideas, but I will never vote for you. Government is serious stuff that directly affects people's lives. It's not all about you.

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Good luck to you

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Good luck if you think a guy in a clown costume is good for our government and public discourse. If you think he has good ideas, let him tell us using his real face.

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Tried that

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he got 5% of the vote because most of the city voted for the real clown in the race.

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The "rules" no longer matter

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A guy with an orange painted face with tan lines around his eyes from where the cucumbers lay who lies, cons his workers out of money, grabs women by their wherever, throws out paper towels to hurricane victims without any sense of irony as a publicity stunt, beefs with the pope, POWs and parents of dead soldiers is now leader of the free world.

And you are concerned about face paint? The guy could be the second coming of Christ BUT OH NO HE'S GOT A WIG ON!!!! A man referred to as Mumbles who could barely speak ran this city for 20+ years for god's sake.

Seriously, nothing matters anymore, check your god-damed priorities and read up on the clown's positions.

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Scared of clowns?

Dressing like a clown has gotten him attention for his serious viewpoints. If that what it takes, so be it.

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he is obviously not fit to

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he is obviously not fit to serve in any government.

The nice thing about democracy is that the voters individually decide who is fit or qualified for office (aside from age, residency, and term limits).

Seriously

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He's the only one who understands the housing problem unlike the others just regurgitating what's been failing for years. So many of the other candidates answers are the same old uninspiring broken records.

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Yeah I forgot about the whole

Yeah I forgot about the whole clown thing until I got to the end, and of the four new candidates, I definitely was thinking "this Payaso person has the best answers". :/

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With NIMBYs preventing more

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With NIMBYs preventing more dense housing to be built and with no one wanting to pay to rehabilitate the T, it seems like it would be a net loss if Amazon were to come here.

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Flaherty

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Flaherty: Require developers to provide at least two spaces per residential unit; and include those units in the cost of rent or the sales price

This is exactly the wrong way to get people out of their cars, and also to keep housing costs down....

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not the only one

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"King: Install meters in municipal lots, increase the amount of parking developers have to put in."

Seriously, where have these people been for the last 10 years.

Say it with me folks...

More roads do not quell traffic.
More parking spots do not quell parking demand.

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uhhhhh

is it just me or does the literal clown have the best grasp of the actual policy issues

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Payaso aka McCrea has always

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Payaso aka McCrea has always been a very smart person. He is right on the excesses of the BRA and also on the need for denser housing in our core areas. The problem is he sees a conspiracy around every corner and would prefer to talk about universal healthcare rather than the nitty gritty issues of urban governance.

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Not a bug, but a feature

That's not a bug with Kevin McCrea, it's a feature.

There IS a conspiracy around every corner -- of City Hall. As many as he sees, it's still not all of them, nowhere near. "Believe me, that I can tell you," as our Dear Leader would say.

He talks about healthcare AND about nitty gritty issues of urban governance. He talks about the BRA; that is the nittiest grit there is, too nitty for the others to even understand (...or want to understand). He talks in specifics about tax give-aways, and election processes that rig the outcomes to incumbents, and mismanagement of City land disposition and of City finances, etc etc etc, and what should be done about the corruption and negligence and incompetence. Both nitty and gritty.

The councilors are always babbling about "transparency." Yet they violate the Open Meeting Law every week. In 2005, McCrea was the driving force in our citizen lawsuit against them; after 6 years of flailing in court, spending $200K of taxpayers' money in outside legal fees, the Council finally admitted to all 13 violations, took a little slap on the wrist from da judge, and promptly resumed their nefarious practices. Under president Michelle Wu, the self-proclaimed champion of transparency, they reached new heights (or depths) of legalized obfuscation of council business. McCrea knows all about this -- and tried, still tries, to do something about it. Do any of the others, who pontificate about transparency at every meeting?

The others talk .....well, they just talk. Where are their proposed action items??

They have none, at least in part because: they have no powers! All the council powers were stolen by the BRA (rather, by mayors who wanted to over-empower the BRA to do their dirty work). Added to an imbalance of legislative/executive powers in our strong-mayor City Charter, this leaves them collecting a hundred grand a year for spouting platitudes, an arrangement with which they seem to be content. "I'm working toward..." Yeah. Me too.

Years back, I asked Councilor Steve Murphy to help re-establish a real city planning and zoning agency to regulate development, the oversight of which is a normal council function in normal cities. He said, "What, and have us making all those decisions? Can you imagine what a mess that would be?" He meant, "Why take the heat and bother my pretty little head, when I can get handsomely paid for... whatever it is we do?" I'm sure he spoke for many of his colleagues, too.

Maybe we'd get better councilors if there were actually a job involved in this job. But they never want to "work toward" getting the council powers back from the BRA, or toward Charter reform, to make better checks and balances.

If we keep rejecting candidates who don't fit the mold (McCrea has run twice before, in a gray striped suit, for mayor and for council), we'll never break out of our civic doldrums. A shame, in the cradle of democracy, that we have none.

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Once again.....

Shirley Kressel demonstrates that she does her homework. I admire that. If even 1% of the electorate took their obligation as voters seriously enough, and took the time to inform themselves the way she does, government would be entirely different.

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Shirley lives in a multi

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Shirley lives in a multi-million dollar property in the Back Bay and is no different from the other rich NIMBYs who want nothing tall built around them there. Get real.

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Really

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Name me a project Shirley has opposed that would impact her home or immediate neighborhood? You literally cant build north east or west and the closest construction site south would be almost 4 blocks away.

Shes actually very pro development and recognizes we have to build. She's opposed to the giveaways , backroom deals and made up zoning, not building.

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Reenacting rent control will

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Reenacting rent control will just speed up the dumping of apartments onto cash-buying developers to turn into condos.

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We can't.

This is the inspiring message of city council candidates. We want jobs, just not those jobs. Developers should build free housing. Education? Any resident with means or connections leaves the system. Solution. Complain. Which way is the wind blowing? What time is the ribbon cutting? I'm for being against that.

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it's depressing

And I don't even consider it a Boston-specific issue. A huge company wants to build a new headquarters somewhere (50,000 jobs!!) and the response from so many quarters is "oh god please not here." What??

A total lack of ambition on housing and infrastructure is causing cities to pass up enormous growth opportunities. It's really a problem for the whole American economy... our engines of growth voluntarily choosing to throttle back for what really aren't great reasons.

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Amazon--The Walsh Administration...

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...
will ensure defeat of the challengers for this alone:

The four challengers for the seat were all united in opposition to doing anything to help Amazon move here.

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Records Management practices. Open data. Boston City Council.

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The Council President can update/improve Records Management practices at Boston City Council.

a) An online Chart/Table of Roll Call Votes taken in Council Public Meetings by topic/by Councilor is needed.

b) Put online the City Stenographer Stenographic Record of Council Public Meetings.

 

c) Districts. Online District maps need to show the names of Bordering Streets of Districts.

d) Online narrative descriptions of Districts need to be available with District maps.

e) Online maps are needed showing Districts with the names of neighborhoods in Districts.

 

f) Wards. Online Ward maps are needed that show the names of Bordering Streets of Wards.

g) Online narrative descriptions of Wards need to be available with Ward maps.

h) Online maps are needed showing Wards with the names of neighborhoods.

 

i) Precincts. Online Precinct maps are needed that show the names of Bordering Streets of Precincts.

j) Online narrative descriptions of Precincts need to be available with Precinct maps.

k) Online maps are needed showing the names of neighborhoods and Precincts.

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Let's be serious

We can't keep doing the same things, with the same people, and expect different results.

Send out the clowns, and bring in people like Payaso, who have the brains to know what's going on and the guts to do something about it.

No one else even talks about the BRA (except to mumble nonsense about separating its roles), which is the mayor's private government, created (as one former director testified to City Council) to "do the dirty things and keep the mayor's hands clean to protect him from political retribution." The same director said, "The BRA works for developers." And a City attorney said, "The BRA makes everything that's illegal, legal." The BRA is a vehicle for legalized corruption, and it has to be eliminated. It is a non-City anti-planning agency, running on expired Urban Renewal Plan powers, and should be abolished so that a real planning department can be established. Instead, the councilors have signed away all their control powers over the BRA, and voted to give it the Winthrop Square property, worth $150 million, to be unlawfully funneled to the mayor's pre-selected developer with some as yet unknown sweetheart deal. Do you hear any of those councilors explaining why they gave away $150 million of City taxpayer money -- and a housing-appropriate piece of public land -- to a black-box authority that works for developers? And then voted to let the developer of that property bust the state shadow laws? Then they pretend to be angry, oh so angry, when service budgets are slashed. How many teachers, or supplies, or special programs could that money have kept in the classrooms? How many college scholarships could have supported struggling students? Who really believes all those "public benefit" promises the BRA coached the developers to dangle before gullible advocates? If the councilors, and the mayor, really wanted to collect that sale money and put it into parks and affordable housing and other public services, they'd have sold this City land through a City agency, instead of handing the deed to the BRA to do its dirty dealing and (maybe) give us the crumbs.

Don't be afraid to vote for a clown. Like "speaking prose," you've been doing it all along.

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I am serious

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And don't call me Shirley.

(Sorry, I had to. RIP, you magnificent bastard)

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Totally going to vote for the

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Totally going to vote for the clown (the one in makeup). His comments about cars and housing are the best I've seen in a long time.

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Don't these pols realize that

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Don't these pols realize that every small business is either a nail shop, a hair salon, a pizza parlor or a yoga studio? These won't go away because of Amazon.

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New Candidates not complacent incumbents.

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Vote for new Candidates not complacent incumbents of already more than 2 Terms. Civic participation and greater access to newer Councilors versus sidelining of citizens by complacent incumbents of more than 2 Terms.