September 17, 2013 Boston?s Next Mayor and Historic Resources ? Surveying the Candidates
Every candidate responding to the survey (see below for a full list) indicates that historic preservation plays a positive role in Boston’s success andenhances the city’s desirability as a place to work and play. The majority of the candidates believe that historic preservation has ?enhanced a great deal? the city’s desirability as a place to work, operate a business and invest in real estate, echoing a common theme of the Alliance. Only candidates Michael Ross and Robert Consalvo believe that preservation plays only ?some role? in enhancing Boston as a good place to work/operate a business and Ross sees only ? little? impact of preservation as a good place to invest in real estate and development. Others feel that preservation has a ?great deal? of influence in those investments.
The candidates were almost evenly split on the question of whether Boston’s historic resources have been adequately protected in the past decade (Conley, Consalvo, Ross, Richie ? yes) (Arroyo, Barros, Walsh, Connolly, Walczak ? no) — possibly reflecting the dichotomy between the current Mayor’s many preservation successes and the simultaneous limitations of the current system with respect to analysis, planning and funding. All but one candidate would strive for greater protection of Boston’s historic resources (Walsh choosing ?no opinion?) and additional funding (Consalvochoosing ?no opinion?).
In a city known forsuccessfully blending historic buildings and new development, these answers aren?t particularly surprising. The survey results become more nuanced when candidates address issues associated with financially supporting historic resources and the tools available to manage the threat of demolition of historic buildings to make way for new development.