Walsh calls for transparency while his office stays tightlipped …
A few weeks before the announcement that Boston was chosen to represent the United States Olympic Committee in its bid for the 2024 Games, I filed a public records request for emails that had been sent to or by Mayor Marty Walsh that contained certain relevant keywords. I followed up on the request through muckrock.com in December, at one point talking on the phone with a City Hall paralegal who promised that a convenient package, full of several Olympics-related documents, would soon be sent to parties that had filed such requests.
When said documents arrived, the emails that I asked for were missing. I then continued to check up with no response from the mayor’s office, until late last week when I finally received an email with an attachment titled, “Boston2024 emails,” which the administration claimed had been erroneously left out of their earlier message. The 45-page document appears to be missing several pertinent exchanges; overall it’s also oddly positive, containing a draft of Walsh’s speech to the USOC, and an exchange with a woman who kissed municipal ass for months to get a taste of some Olympics details.
Fast-forward to earlier this week, when Walsh called on Boston 2024 to release salary information for its staff and consultants, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick among them. Organizers complied within hours, but the hundreds of thousands of dollars being paid to people trying to bring the Olympics to Boston is no surprise. Considering the response, or lack thereof, to my request, the release of salary info seems like the bare minimum, not a commitment to some alleged standard of transparency. The news was similar to all those public meetings lately: great for lip service, and little else.