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People with disabilities in the middle as two non-profits battle over who gets to maintain the Greenway

Boston Magazine takes a look at the issues between the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Work, Inc., which for ten years had a contract in which its workers with disabilities would maintain the Greenway.

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The Greenway administration did an open and honest appraisal of their needs and, unfortunately for Work, Inc., another operation offered a better proposal which was accepted. The fact that Work, Inc employs workers with disabilities is a red herring. There certainly was no "discrimination", this was a business decision, pure and simple.

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Voting closed 12

If some private entity, let's say Union Oyster House, decided to change their contracting partner, you're 100% right. In this case,I think the Greenway has an obligation to consider the larger social/municipal elements of the local vendor though given that they are not a private enterprise and that's very much public land paid for through billions of dollars in taxes. The Greenway isn't a business.

The absurdist endpoint of your 'it's a business!' argument would be then letting them close the park and charge admission or replace the grass with paving as it would cheaper to maintain, etc...

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I agree with Parkwayne. It shouldn't just be about the bottom line. Certainly they could have worked things out with Work, Inc.

I do wonder, though, if this is the Greenway Conservancy sticking it to MassDOT and the public at large since they've been getting more and more pressure to use less public funds to manage a public park. This could be the result of that: Give us less public funds? We do less public good, and need to manage our finances as tightly as possible.

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The fact that the Esplanade, Boston Garden and Greenway are operated and maintained by different entities is absurd, much like the BPD vs MA SP when it comes to patrolling the Southwest Corridor or Seaport.

If they aren't getting sufficient funding, then yes, penny pinching can be justified more readily (to me.)

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I wonder if there's some metabureaucratic judo move that could assign the Silver Line ramp to the Rose Kennedy Greenway instead of the State Police. Shake things up a little. Maybe get some green in there, as long as buses aren't being allowed to us it.

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on the other hand, there is the argument that since the Greenway is spending public funds, they have an obligation to do so as efficiently as possible in order to best stretch tax dollars to serve the public... ?

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Open and honest, the Boston way.

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The red herring is that the Greenway Conservancy is still overdue for being scaled down. Maintenance of the Greenway should be done by either the state's DCR or the city's Parks Department.

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Maintenance of the Greenway should be done by either the state's DCR or the city's Parks Department.

When the Central Artery came down, a major concern was that the new land it created would just turn into a long, dull strip of nothingness. I think the Greenway Conservancy has done a wonderful job not only of making sure the park is clean and well-maintained, but also of adding activities that draw people there to use the park. Anyone can mow a lawn, but having someone in charge of making the place useful, attractive and fun validates having the Conservancy continue to manage the park.

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uncomfortable. Yes the developmentally disabled need more management and direction than Chad from Beacon Hill or Amy from Newton. Work Inc's motivation is not profit but integrating the disabled into the work world and productive lives. Turn the Greenway back over to the public and public interest. If the Greenway conservancy folks want to privately fund a public endeavor, have them take over the MBTA. Invitation only cocktail parties on the Red line may get you into a Bill Brett party photo too.

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I visit the Greenway fairly often and I'm always impressed at how well-maintained it is. It makes it hard for me to credit that WORK. Inc. did an insufficient job.
I also find it petty for them to switch to a much larger out-of-state, for-profit company because that company is a little cheaper and has nicer administrative tools. I imagine a meeting where the board is shown on on-line portal and an app and they get the warm and fuzzies because they won't have to have any more direct contact with the workers.

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The Kennedy's never wanted the handicapped around anyway, look what was done to poor Rosemary, most of her brain removed in a cruel lobotomy then banished to the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin, living to a miserable old age with few visitors. Even left-leaning People magizine said she was abandoned for years.

Where is Joe K. III on this? The Globe has practically told us his blood type and underwear size in myriad puff pieces but no serious questions on the Greenway. Spare me the nonsense that the Kennedy's aren't involved. Rose's name is plastered all over it. One phone call from the Congressman would reverse this. I hope Markey comes out in favor of Work Inc. and puts the ball where it belongs, in Kennedy's court, a glorified median strip of bloated $200,000+ salaries and discrimination against the disabled.

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