As the Phoenix went to press, Yoon announced that he would seek City Council approval for his measure, which, if adopted (a bit of a long shot), would require legislative approval on Beacon Hill before it could become reality. Critics of many political stripes, including Flaherty and several other councilors, have long held that master planning and building should be kept separate in order to avoid political, conceptual, and financial conflicts of interest. Yoon will undoubtedly clarify whether he would distinguish the two.
Incumbent Mayor Thomas Menino is a master of the financial/political shell game as played by his BRA. And make no mistake, the BRA is his. Menino does little to maintain even the pretense of quasi BRA independence. Yoon hits a political sore spot when he cites the disastrous management of Downtown Crossing redevelopment and the benign neglect so far applied to the Big Dig's Rose Kennedy green space. Unmentioned were the Roxbury Crossing mosque and the still garage-challenged Convention Center.
Depoliticizing development is a pipe dream. But Yoon deserves a pat on the back for suggesting it be open, rational, and effective.
: The Editorial Page
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