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June 12, 2008


JPM anyone surprised that a local politician has a massive conflict of interest?


MPs in the UK have to book of members' interests in which they are required to declare all interests, such as paid side jobs from which they derive income, and other conflicts of interest.

Judges are required to recuse themselves from cases in which they have a financial interest that would potentially conflict with their duty to be fair and impartial.

Similarly, if you want to be an Alderman, you should be precluded from taking part in decisions that you have a fianancial interest in. I don't see how you can be a developer interested in maximising profit and be an Alderman, supposedly respresenting ALL the people within your Ward.


JPM - Well said.


If the Somerville Aldermen recused themselves from all issues that come before the board in which they have a financial interest such as development, insurance etc. Or issues concerning departments in which they have relatives who work there...

Most of them wouldn't be able to vote on any issues before the board at all!

Too bad Joe Lynch didn't win.


The thing is, O'Donovans project is within the ordinance. As terrible as the idea to develop 8 condo units in a dense neighborhood such as Craigie St, he isn't doing anything legally wrong. The onyl way it would be a conflict is if he wrote and pushed along the ordinance that allowed him to develop like that. otherwise he is just acting as any private citizen is allowed to do.

Where is the conflict?

Ward Five Born

Face the facts. Odonovan will get away with this as long as Curtatone protects him. OD gets what he wants by curtatone interferring with the planning staff, the hacks on the zoning board, the nonexistant city ethics commission and by intimidating the gutless, clueless and balless members of the board of alderman.

any other city or town would have censured someone like OD by now. the conflict is what lynch states. OD uses his political influence(curtatone pawn)to " benefit his own personal gain". For the record, I am a Lynch supporter.

Maria C

Sean, Should focus on his day job and stand up for constiuents and put his personal ventures aside. He was voted to be a check and balance measure, not a venture capitalist off city contacts.


Blevz. I never said SD was doing anything illegal. But you are incredible naieve if you believe that an Alderman who is also a developer doesn't use his influence and connections to get things passed by that you or I wouldn't be able to do.

Sean is speaking out of both sides of his mouth when he speaks against condos in Zone 5 but when it is his turn to make some cash in Ward 3 he is all for it.

But I'm realistic...this is Massachusetts, home of one party local politics.

Look at the euphemistically named "Responsible Employer ordinance" (translation: massive giveaway of local taxpayers' money to unions)....incidentally I saw it was voted on on TV.... 7-3 in favior...but it needed 8 votes or something...thanks to William white for voting agaisnt it !!!

sell out Sean

Sean OD is selling Somerville peice by peice. He dosn't give a shit what happens to this city as long a he can make a buck. Thanks for selling out your own people Sean.


Do any of you think that O'Donovan really gives a rats ass what you think? He's gonna make his money when he can, where he can. Ethics be damned. If your neighborhood gets hurt in the process that's just too damned bad. Live with it.

I hope you realize these are not my thoughts.

They're O'Donovan's.


well then they should be paid well if they are not to be allowed outside financial interests


Thank you, Paulie O'Donovan!


Paulie. Nobody is saying an Alderman cannot have any outside financial interests. However they should not be able to take part in interests that conflict with their ability to fairly and impartially represent the people of Somerville....which is their job as an Alderman.

SD is a lawyer and can make a very good living doing plenty of things that would not present conflicts of interest. Should an Alderman also be a property developer in Somerville? I think not! If he wants to do that then he should resign....nobody is forcing him to be an Alderman.

Ward 3 Voter

Three cheers for you Sean or should i say alderman o'donovan. hey tom or should i say alderman taylor change is good come on tom you should glad, more people would vote for you, and perhaps a more people would come and vote.


It is unethical of Mr. O'Donovan to be an Alderman, which presents a conflict of interest to his developer business. It is also what I consider to be an abuse of power, as he can easily (if not already) use his Alderman position to help him turn Somerville into a mass of condo conversions for his own personal and financial gain. What a disgrace!

This also explains why we have not seen anything done at Alderman meetings as far as an ordinance to limit the number of condos that can be on a street and in a specific area of Somerville. An ordinance like that would prevent Somerville from becoming another Brookline where only the rich can live. But as long as O'Donovan is in office he will make sure that this is not the case. He does not have the interest or concerns of the Somerville residents in mind, only his own selfish gains.

O'Donovan should be impeached or asked to step down. He should not have run for Alderman in the first place and I'm sure most of the people voting for him had no idea of his business as a developer. Shouldn't there be laws to prevent this sort of thing from happening again? One would hope so, but who knows with the dirty politics going on in our city.


Where is Mayor Curtatone concerning this and other destructive developments like this taking place all over town??? Interesting how he is out front with the developments he has no interest ($) in, but nowhere to be found otherwise. Get to city hall and the building departments and pull the records on these projects and get to the bottom of it! This current administration including the planning board make the old days look like Mother Cabrini's convent. To use the work crooked to describe this administration would be the understatement of the century.

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