Editorial: Keeping meetings open

The May 3 meeting of the City-appointed Impact Advisory Group (IAG) for the Home for Little Wanderers redevelopment must have been pretty interesting, considering that most IAG members later issued a letter blasting the project.

But we can only guess, because the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) did not publicize the meeting and did not respond when the Gazette asked where and when it would be.

The BRA also has neglected to publicize the meetings about its controversial Art Park redevelopment plan.

The BRA has a long history of complaints about its IAGs and community advisory committees (CAC) holding secret or closed-door meetings. In 2009, the Jackson Square CAC/IAG in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain attempted to ban our sister paper, the Jamaica Plain Gazette, from its meetings. The BRA eventually announced that its staff will no longer attend community meetings that are not open to the public.

The first step in making a meeting open to the public is letting the public know about it. We hope that the lack of notice about recent local meetings were just soon-to-be-corrected mistakes and that the BRA will welcome the general public and the media to observe these important review processes.

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