One Charlestown Hearing will be Absent BPDA Officials

The show must go on.

That’s the mantra in the circus, and it will also be how things operate at the One Charlestown City Council hearing tonight, March 15, as one major player will not be in attendance at all – that being the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA).

Councilor Lydia Edwards said her office had been contacted on March 6 by the BPDA to say that they couldn’t attend and wanted her to postpone the hearing. The reason was it came on the day of their monthly Board meeting.

“As discussed with the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, we are unable to send the necessary staff to a hearing at this time due to our monthly BPDA Board of Directors meeting, which requires the participation of all senior level staff and project managers,” read a letter to Edwards from BPDA Director Brian Golden. “Our Board meetings are scheduled several months in advance and are posted for the public on our website. We respectfully ask that you reschedule the One Charlestown hearing to allow our staff the opportunity to participate in the dialogue about this important project for the Charlestown neighborhood.”

Edwards, however, said she couldn’t do that to the community and that the BPDA request came only six days before the hearing after a month of preparation.

Edwards said they asked if even one intern could leave the Board meeting for 30 minutes to speak and answer the pre-planned questions. However, it doesn’t look like that will happen.

She said they could not postpone the hearing after knocking on 250 doors, sending out phone calls and putting several stories in the Patriot-Bridge. Cancelling it on short notice would not work out for residents, she said.

“On Feb. 9 we started floating the date of March 15 to the administration,” she said. “We did not hear until Feb. 28 that they would not be able to come…We were still hopeful they would be able to send one person, even an intern, to leave the Board meeting for 30 minutes and come to Charlestown. It wasn’t until March 9 we got the letter from Director Golden saying they wanted us to reschedule. That’s six days before the hearing that they told us they couldn’t make it. We were not willing to move the hearing date six days before the day of the hearing…I understand the conflict they have, but we are very happy we’ll have 99 percent of those invited anyway.”

The One Charlestown City Council hearing takes place tonight, March 15, in the Knights of Columbus Hall’s Father Mahoney Room at 6 p.m.

All members of the public are invited to participate in the meeting and provide testimony, especially Charlestown residents. Along with hearing from Charlestown residents, Edwards has confirmations that representatives from Charlestown Residents Association, developers Corcoran Jennison and Leggat McCall, the Boston Housing Authority will also attend.

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