Metro

Proposal surprises chair of Greenway

The chairwoman of the board of directors of the embattled Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy said yesterday that a state official’s call for the group to eventually operate without public funds has caught the organization off guard.

“The [proposed] change is significant and unexpected,’’ board chairwoman Georgia Murray said in a written statement.

She said the nonprofit is transparent in reporting financial data, has excelled at fund-raising, and presided over a sharp increase in attendance at public events on the parkland in recent years, among other accomplishments.

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Her remarks followed a letter sent Tuesday to Nancy Brennan, the conservancy’s executive director, from Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey.

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Davey wrote that the nonprofit, which relies on the state to cover nearly half of its $4.7 million budget to maintain the state-owned parkland in downtown Boston, should develop a plan to be entirely self-sufficient by the end of the decade.

Last week, Brennan mistakenly sent an e-mail to a Boston Herald reporter meant for a public relations consultant, asking how to handle the reporter’s request for her salary information. She is being paid $185,000 after receiving a $20,000 raise in July.

“Unfortunately, while many of us can relate to that [e-mail] moment, this has morphed into questioning the very essence of the public-private partnership that is the Greenway,’’ Murray said in yesterday’s statement.

The conservancy released the salaries last week under pressure from state officials.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.