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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Opinion | TOM KEANE

Don’t get rid of Boston Redevelopment Authority

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is a bogeyman to many, a seemingly all-powerful agency that, depending on its position on any particular issue, can be the bane of everyone from neighborhood activists to developers to good-government types. It has its roots in a very different Boston — the dilapidated city that gave rise to the phenomenon of urban renewal — and can feel curiously dated today. “The BRA must go,” argues a piece in the current issue of Boston Magazine, pressing those running for mayor to get rid of the agency altogether.

That may or may not make a good campaign issue (I’m not persuaded debates over bureaucratic restructuring engage many voters), but a word of advice to those who would hold the office: Some reforms might be merited, but ceding away the mayor’s power to control development would not only make a hash of your term, but might prove deeply hurtful to the city itself.

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