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FORRY STATEMENT ON UMASS PLAN AT BAYSIDEJanuary 18, 2017 by staffRandy H. Goodman photographyCambridge, MA 02138(617) 861-7114I am disappointed with the University of Massachusetts and the City of Boston’s behind-closed-door discussion for a large-scale development – which would have serious impact on residents and neighbors. Dorchester residents deserve a transparent process.

 

This is not good business and not good government.Columbia Point is an important area in my district, with the potential for strong economic and residential growth. As their State Senator, I am prepared to work with my colleagues to take legislative action to protect the best interests of the public and my constituents. Acting in secret and without bringing members of the community and their elected representatives to the table, until backroom deals come to light through stories in the media, is wholly unacceptable.As elected officials and public employees, including President Meehan and the University of Massachusetts System, we are accountable to the taxpayers.

 

The UMass Building Authority’s enabling act exempts the University from local zoning and municipal approvals; from open bidding laws; as well as exemption from paying taxes on their land.This is against the public’s interests. I am a true believer in public and private partnerships, but I am also a strong advocate for transparent government and process. State agencies acting with impunity, handpicking a singular entity to develop a public site is wrong. I expect the University of Massachusetts, our public university, to open up the process to members of the Dorchester community and have an open bidding process for this development.

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