It all started when Mayor Marty Walsh decided to renovate the kitchen near his City Hall office, the one he and staff use during the workday. You know the sort of cubbyhole: the fridge that grows nothing but mold and mystery bags, a Keurig with stains no mortal could clean, and that drawer that seems to consist solely of sugar packets. That kind of a kitchen/kitchenette. Hizzoner went ahead with the renovation and now all hell has broken loose.
Turns out the mayor and his people used recycled materials in the renovation donated by Joseph Fallon, one of Boston's most active private developers (think Seaport Square). The Globe's Andrew Ryan is all over it: "The countertop and cabinets — replacements for gray laminate and faux wood countertops — were salvaged from one of Fallon's buildings when Vertex Pharmaceuticals vacated the space. The fixtures were headed for the dumpster anyway, Walsh and Fallon said."
So what's the problem? State law requires Walsh et al get City Council approval for such freebies and disclose them. He and his administration did neither, though he would like you to know that that is not a problem: "Special treatment for a developer donating used furniture?," Walsh told Ryan. "That's absurd. There's no way." Besides, the donation saved taxpayers money, didn't it? Well... the mayor will now seek City Hall approval for the completed renovations and pleaded ignorance of the law for why he didn't seek it sooner.
As for the rest of his suite of City Hall offices, that could use some work, too. But now given the toxic environment that Kitchengate has spawned it's unlikely such renovations will happen quickly—which is a shame, given the condition of the offices of the city's chief executive. Carpets are frayed, chairs sag, tables are chipped. "I'd like to have an office that reflects what we'd like to accomplish in the city of Boston," Walsh told The Globe, "not something that looks like my first apartment with chairs that don't match."
· Kitchen Upgrade Gets Mayor in Hot Water [Globe]
· Our complete Seaport Square coverage [Curbed Boston]
· Our complete Boston City Hall coverage [Curbed Boston]