Greenway Conservancy Considers Its Funding Options

There are several reports out on Tuesday’s meeting of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

The Boston Herald’s Erin Smith continues to build on her series of articles questioning the non-profit’s funding and salaries.

Officials at the embattled Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy — under political pressure for its executives’ six-figure salaries and bonuses — have reversed course and now say the publicly funded nonprofit would be open to operating the 15-acre downtown park without taxpayer money. “We’re doing the study, and it will tell us whether we will be able to get off public funds,” Greenway Chairwoman Georgia Murray told the Herald after last night’s board meeting. “Everything’s on the table. It always has been.”

The Boston Globe’s Casey Ross, reports on an expected increase in the Conservancy’s budget funded by a tax on abutting businesses through a Business Improvement District.

Directors of the Greenway outlined plans Tuesday to eventually increase its annual budget to $6 million, a 36 percent increase from its current $4.4 million. But how they will fund that increase remains a work in progress, with directors hoping much of it will come from a voluntary tax on commercial landowners along the downtown parks.

Slides from the Conservancy’s presentation are available at this link (pdf) , including the summary of revenue and support since inception, shown below.

Source: Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

One Reply to “Greenway Conservancy Considers Its Funding Options

  1. If they stop getting public money, there will be not a bit of public accountability, even less than the token transparency they exhibit now; their books and meetings will be totally private. This so-called "public-private partnership" has run amok because it was based on false premises to begin with; the promise of "sparing the taxpayer" was never meant to be kept, but was only a bait-and-switch strategy to accumulate power and money. It worked, but it has now been revealed. We have been paying dearly for this promised "free lunch," far more than we'd have paid if our public officials had simply shouldered their responsibilities for park care at the start.

    We have to establish a workable governance structure that puts the Conservancy in their proper place. They are free to amass private money — but they should not be the custodians of our public space. This is public land; it should be in the care and control of publicly accountable government agencies. Any group of people may form a private Friends group. and pay themselves whatever their donors are willing to tolerate, but what they get to do on public land must remain a matter of public policy, not private interest. They cannot make the rules for design, care, access or use, they cannot collect user fees, they cannot decide what events take place or how public dollars are spent. These are decisions to be made democratically, by the people and the representatives we elect. This is the model for our public parks that benefit from the efforts of Friends or interested neighborhood advocates.

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