Quincy Quarry investigative corespondent Carl Woodward is so busy following up on leads provided to him by “French Kiss” that QQ had to fly Chet Brinkley, legendary Washington DC reporter and head of its Washington News bureau, up from DC to help out.
Quincy Quarry needed a real pro to cover the recent visit to Quincy by Republican Gubernatorial Candidate and Presumptive next Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker shortly after Charlie’s going away victory in last week’s primary election. As such, Quincy Quarry spared no expense to do so, including arranging for a “pro” for Chet so that he would agree to travel to Quincy for this special assignment.
Editor’s Note: This is Part Three of a Series
As no press conference Q&A is ever allowed by host Quincy MA Mayor Thomas Koch as he is under strict orders to not avail himself to any questioning whatsoever unless subpoenaed – and only then with (competent, ed.) legal counsel present at his side as well as his shoes in galoshes for reasons obvious.
Even so, as well as unlike the MetroBoston broadsheet’s rather bland coverage of the recent Baker visit to Quincy, following is Brinkley’s exclusive as well as insightful recounting of the conversation between Koch and Baker while Koch took Baker on a short walking tour of the rubble formerly known as Quincy Center.
For bad video of this historic visit: Baker Tours Quincy
Editor’s Note: Photo (below) from Quincy Sun Story: “Koch Endorses Baker for Gov..” Thanks to the nice folks at The Quincy Sun
Quincy MA Mayor Thomas Koch: Charlie – I can call you Charlie, right?
Republican Gubernatorial Candidate and Presumptive next Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker: Well – sure, why not. Everyone else does – even Marsha.
Mayor Koch: Charlie – my main man!
Presumptive next Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker: Don’t push it.
Mayor Koch: My bad.
Moving along, on our right is the renovation project of Quincy’s 170 year old City Hall.
Presumptive next Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker: Handsome building – except for not fixing the sags in the roof.
When will it be reopening?
Mayor Koch: 2015.
Presumptive next Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker: When in 2015?
Koch: (Dead silence)
Baker: If you can’t say when, any idea how much this project is actually going to cost?
After all, and as even you surely know, a core plank in my campaign platform is controlling out of control government spending.
Koch: (Again, dead silence)
Baker: So, the bloggers are right – your Administration can’t finish up a project on time and on budget.
Koch: Now Charlie, if you look straight ahead towards the Church of the Presidents, you will see that MassDOT is in the process of rerouting traffic behind the historical Church of the Presidents and the final resting place for Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
Once the road work is completed, a short stretch of Hancock Street will thus be closed off to regular traffic between the church and City Hall so that the City of Quincy might eventually perhaps build Adams Green.
Baker: “Might eventually perhaps?!?!?”
Koch: Charlie, I’ve been meaning to talk with you about my needing some funding – only around $40 million or so per the latest guesstimate.
Let’s wait until we return to my office so that we can discuss things behind closed doors.
Baker: Why not now as well as out in the open for all to hear? My briefers have already told me that you want $30 million to build an acre and a half theme park.
Short answer: not gonna happen if I end up in the Corner Office. I would be OK with $10 million for another bridge over the MBTA tracks down near the Burger King on Burgin Parkway if – and ONLY if – you can line up some substantial as well as rock solid and money IN THE BANK funded redevelopment projects within Quincy Center. No more fairy dust.
But as for Adams Green, figure on $500,000.00 – MAX – from a Baker Administration to help pay for some sod and the cost of relaying the memorial bricks you claim that you put into storage. You broke it, you own it.
Do things right – for a change – and such a simple finished product will harken back to the days of the Quincy Center Common circa 1850. John Adams would be proud of such simple frugality.
Plus, doesn’t the City of Quincy already have to fund millions so as to reimburse his trust given past plunderings of it by City Fathers over such things as land swindles and deli bills?
Koch: Charlie, again, please, let’s wait until we return to my office to discuss things behind closed doors. I also want to show you the million dollar scale model of what’s planned for the redevelopment of the whole of Quincy Center.
Plus, wait until you see the deli buffet that is awaiting you and your campaign team in my office suite.
Baker: Tom, isn’t the model the same one Street-Works left behind when it was rode outta town?
Oh, and sorry, but I am going to have to take a rain check on the buffet – I have to leave in a couple of minutes to make it to my next campaign stop on time. As such, you might want to speed things up a little if you can.
Koch: And on our right, you will see the Historic Hancock Cemetery, which is currently also undergoing a historical renovation courtesy of matching state funding.
Baker: Tom – what’s up with the big hole in the ground between City Hall and the cemetery?
Koch: It’s for the fountains planned for Adams Green.
Baker: Pretty deep fountain “Short Round.”
Short Round: Actually, the hole is for just the planned underground water supply cistern for the three fountains planned for elsewhere within the proposed Adams Green.
Baker: Is that the million dollar hole that the feds got stuck paying for?
Short Round: Actually, it’s looking to run more like a million three after, that is, I can come up with a way to finagle the $300,000.00 or so needed to cover the cost overruns so that I might then be able finish up building the cistern and then fill up the hole.
Baker: And yet you wonder why there is no way if I am elected Governor that I will consider providing you with 40 large so that you can build a $30 million mini-park.
Remember, I was the Secretary of Administration and Finance during much of the planning for the financing of the Big Dig and thus know all about holes in the ground, not to mention how to spot grifts.
Short Round: Can’t blame a guy for trying. Any chance that you could at least put in a good word for me with Carmen?
Baker: Tom, look, I know that you’re thinking about jumping ship, but I am loyal Republican. As such, she’d never even but merely take a call from me.
Plus, it’s not up to me to approach the US Attorney on your behalf in the first place.
If you really think that it’s necessary to have someone put in a good word for you, why not just have Joe ask Josephine to have someone at Conner call Barack – but don’t you dare even but merely imply that your doing so was my idea.
Short Round: Moving along, a bit up ahead of us is the proposed site for Merchants Row, the first anticipated major redevelopment project in Quincy Center.
Baker: Isn’t that the project that broke ground over a year ago and then suddenly shutdown a few months later right after you were reelected mayor? Has this project been resurrected as well as now has a pending restart date set?
If so, finally – some good news for you.
Short Round: (yet again, dead silence).
Baker: Oh, and what’s up with these other big holes in the ground?
Hmm, I starting to remember something: Quincy, holes in the ground, quarries – now I remember: Quincy Quarry! Great little local new online news medium!
Any chance you put me in touch with it so that so that I can arrange for an interview? I love its upbeat and refreshing no holds barred approach to covering local news.
Koch: Mr. Baker, it was so good of you to take some time out of your busy campaign schedule to come to Quincy. My aide will show you and Ms. Polito the way back to your car.
“Have a nice day!”
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Red the All the Stories in this Series]]>