Mayor responds to donation controversy

Mayor Thomas Menino has responded to controversy created after local activists spotlighted campaign contributions made to elected officials by developers of two disputed S. Huntington Avenue housing projects.

Dot Joyce, Menino’s spokesperson, told the Gazette that, as far as she is aware, Menino did not know about those campaign donations and that he did not advocate for or against the project.

“The only thing the mayor has said [of the 161 S. Huntington project and process] is that [the developers] need to get more community support for it. His primary goal as mayor is to make sure the neighborhoods work for the people who live in them,” she said.

“His support comes from a lot of different people in many neighborhoods,” she added.

A report issued by Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) chair Benjamin Day last month states that members of the development teams made almost $17,000 in campaign donations to various elected officials while City reviews were pending. Most of the donations were made to Menino.

One of the two projects—161 S. Huntington Ave.—was approved by the City Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) last week and is expected to start construction soon. “The Serenity” at 105A S. Huntington Ave. is still under review by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

Menino has been hospitalized for nearly a month for an illness and ongoing back problems.

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