LETTER- Brown looks backward

In reading Dave McNair's recent column about Region Ten's Little High Street plans [October 25 OnArchitecture: "BZA showdown: Felled tree, scorned neighbors"]I was struck, but not surprised, by Mayor David Brown's comment that "Everyone involved seems to be at fault."

The comment is typical of the Mayor's aloof and detached style throughout the year-long debate surrounding the project. He never rolled up his sleeves to try to help make the project a success, instead viewing community involvement as a distraction from his narrow view of orderly government.  

Two of our current City Council representatives, David Norris and Kevin Lynch, understand the public policy implications of the Mews project, and the importance of the community's involvement in the discussion– Mayor Brown does not. 

Had David Brown engaged in a dialogue, he might have developed an understanding that cities throughout the U.S. have abandoned the old big box, public housing project approach to developing affordable housing and are encouraging and supporting a better way– one that both provides housing to those in need and builds strong communities. 

Community involvement is an essential part of that new approach. The Mayor's disdainful view just shows that his gaze is fixed on the past, not the future of successful, community integrated, affordable housing. 

Mark Haskins
President, Little High Area Neighborhood Association