The Globe reports on Doug George's ongoing battles with City Hall over the residential units he builds and runs, or as the Globe puts it, "has routinely flouted city and state housing and building laws," which might become even more of an issue should his wife become mayor, what with ultimate control over the zoning board and ISD (and the BPDA for larger projects).
Competing candidate John Barros, whose pre-City Hall life focused on building affordable housing, says he's particularly troubled by a zoning-board hearing at which an aide to Essaibi George voiced opposition to a development Doug didn't want built.
This is troubling if true, and Councilor Essaibi George owes Boston voters some answers today. Failure to comply with the state ethics laws by concealing personal interest in real estate development projects raises legitimate concerns about the misuse of public office for personal gain. Bostonians deserve transparency and are owed an honest explanation.
What the Globe and Barros didn't note about the zoning board, though, is that, unlike other at-large councilors, Essaibi George routinely has her aide speak at zoning hearings on projects across the city, typically on the side of whatever the neighborhood associations want, which in this case was to also stop the project (Flaherty almost always has something to say on South Boston projects, but only occasionally says anything about projects elsewhere, Wu and Mejia only rarely have their aides say anything at hearings).
Meanwhile, City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo and his father, Register of Probate Felix Arroyo, are backing David Halbert for one of the four at-large council seats. Son says:
He has the vision, the drive, and the tenacity necessary to be an effective changemaker at City Hall. We share a belief in collaborative politics and putting equity at the forefront of our decision-making. David is exactly the kind of person I want to have as a partner on the Boston City Council.