Greenway Conservancy: “Sometimes we all pay for the mistakes of a few”

In a (now-removed) blog post today, the Greenway Conservancy scolded North End residents because a few chairs are supposedly missing from the Greenway parks. Reminiscent of a 2nd grade teacher, the Conservancy chided that now “we all pay for the mistakes of a few.” Because of the alleged thievery, the chairs will be locked up at 9:00 pm. And if you want to have your morning coffee on the Greenway, don’t expect a seat because the chairs won’t be put out until 10:00 am. The post does not mention the other Greenway parks, apparently just “the few” in the North End.


Mysteriously, the above post has disappeared from the Conservancy’s blog and was conveniently replaced with a much nicer version, entitled “Greenway Furniture a Hit, Let’s Keep It That Way!

I am sure it is 100% coincidence that these posts appeared one day after I published my own accounting of the chairs on the Greenway, “Taking Stock: Greenway Chairs & Signs.” I actually found very few chairs missing. Most were just thrown around in the fountains.

Bottom line: Instead of scolding the people they are supposed to be serving, the Greenway Conservancy should have installed fixed or weighted chairs that had a chance of staying put in a public park. Their solution of manually locking and unlocking a large number of chairs everyday not only limits a public amenity, but is labor-intensive and expensive.

“Hey honey, wouldn’t these chairs look good on our deck?”
“Hey honey, wouldn’t these chairs look good on our deck?”

And yes, you can leave comments below because you won’t be able to do that on the Conservancy’s blog.

Related posts:
Taking Stock: Greenway Chairs & Signs
State Demands Accountability from Greenway Conservancy

10 Replies to “Greenway Conservancy: “Sometimes we all pay for the mistakes of a few”

  1. Perhaps they should have some of their overpaid staff patrol the NE parks and not expect the residents of the NE and Cross St business owners to act as the Conservancy’s security dept. Given the original comments by the conservancy, they have a big set asking anyone from the NE for help.

  2. I read about this in the Globe this morning which was mostly Nancy Brennan making excuses. I agree with you Matt and thanks for catching that blog post. Really shows what Nancy thinks of us here in the North End.

  3. Thanks Matt.
    I like the chairs and tables, and use them, but it was clear from the start they’d be an easy target for thieves. If that’s not a surprise to me, an ordinary citizen, it should not be surprising to our well paid park management professionals, who are supposed to also have experience managing urban parks, which yes, sometimes includes thieves who are thinking, "why go to Home Depot when I can get deck furniture for free?" The park should have spent a bit more on heavy duty furniture (and repairing the fountains) instead of the estimated $250k on signs.

  4. Do you think Nancy Brennan might be mad at the North End for something else–such as our making parts of her budget visible, our criticisms of her salaries and policies, and our resistance to proposals to tart-up the Greenway?

    Why does she think people in the North End are most likely to be responsible for theft from a public park?


  5. Thanks Matt, You can’t have anything nice in the North End. The harder we try so residents and tourists can enjoy the park and sit and have a cup of coffee someone decides to take the furniture it is sad it happened. As always once the horse is out of the barn someone comes up with a better idea. Why don’t they cement the tables and put a chain around the chairs at least you can push the chair closer to the table but you can’t steal them. (Only a thought)

  6. I’ve been considering a move to Boston, specifically, to the North End/Waterfront. The Greenway has been a big motivation. Who doesn’t like a park? This blog has come in real handy, but I wonder: why all the hating on this Nancy Brennan person? The lady’s got a tough job to do–building something out of nothing. Is there a back story here? Did Nancy Brennan do something to the whole North End or the blog owner? Why all the hostility? I’ve enjoyed reading this blog as a source of info, but I’m kinda concerned about the hating.

    I think, as a tourist at least, the Greenway looks beautiful. You should have seen San Francisco’s Embarcadero when it first went up! Talk about a work in progress….parks take time.

    I think your posts are pretty harsh on one person that is responsible for a big job. Does the North End have a mayor? cuz if not, sounds like you’re running.

    Just calm down already–there is a lot of good stuff here, and you’re making the North End seem like a very hostile place, and that is not what your residents and businesses would want, I’m sure.

  7. I agree with the previous post. Your blog has good information, but you seem to have a vendetta going against the Greenway and the people running it. There’s enough hate in the world already – please tone down your comments. I grew up in Waltham, and so did my husband – we talk about how beautiful the Greenway has become all the time. Glass is half full – okay? Let them do their jobs

  8. Better to think of critical comments directed at the Greenway as "constructive commentary" rather than "hate." The writer of this blog, and those who thank him above, are active community members who work hard to improve the quality of life in the Northend/Waterfront area. As part of that effort they they attempt to ensure that the millions of tax dollars given to the Conservancy are used to manage the Greenway in a way that supports the needs of residents. The Conservancy does have a hard job. Doing it effectively is made easier by the thoughtful input provided through this blog and other community outlets. I hope that "Potential Neighbor" will see that the active citizenship shown here improves the cohesiveness of the Northend/Waterfront area and, in doing so, make it a more desirable place to live.

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