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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.

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


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 Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.