So far, all we’ve been told by the city about the people appointed by Mayor Curtatone to serve on Somerville’s new Financial Advisory Committee is their names and titles. But, the residents of this city deserve to know more about these advisors who will have such big influence on how we cope with massive budget cuts.
When the FAC was first announced on Jan 28th, I posted an article [Is the mayor’s Financial Advisory Committee good for Somerville?] questioning whether this new committee would be a source of good advice for our city. Ward 2 Alderman and BoA Finance Committee chair Maryann Heuston supported the FAC as “an extra measure of transparency” (according to the press release). It is over a week since the committee was announced and the city has not released any more information about the members, the schedule or location of meetings, how the advisors are being compensated, or how they were selected. So, where is the transparency?
Searching on Google with the name and title of each committee member turned up the following information. It seems that at least 2 of the 5 gentlemen reside in Somerville (Hargadon and Bonney). If you know anything more about these people, please leave a comment or send your tip to [info AT somervillevoices.org] If any of them happen to read this article, I hope they will respond and tell us more about who they are and what kind of approach they will take in shaping budgetary policy recommendations.
Geoffrey Hargadon, Sr.Vice President for Investments, UBS Financial Services.
“Hargo” gained the media spotlight in Feb 2005 (almost exactly 4 years ago) for creating a miniature version of the Central Park Gates art display, called Somerville Gates. The New York Times covered him in With $3.50 and a Dream, the ‘Anti-Christo’ Is Born and then the Globe followed up with Tiny takeoff on Christo proves gateway to glory. On his website about the artwork he links to what seems to be a fake mayoral declaration of Hargo Day (the signature text even has the wrong year “in the year of our Lord two thousand and four”).
Samuel Tyler, President of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau [link to website]
SAMUEL R. TYLER. PRESIDENT
email@example.com – 617-227-1900
Sam Tyler was named President of the Research Bureau in January 1983 and has been a member of the Bureau staff since 1972. Under his leadership, the Bureau has played an influential role in shaping the direction of public policy over a wide range of municipal and educational issues. Sam is past President of the Governmental Research Association, a national organization of individuals professionally engaged in governmental research. Under his direction, the Bureau has received national recognition over the years for the effectiveness and quality of its governmental research. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Political Science from Northeastern University.
Century Bancorp, Inc.
Medford , MA
Sector: FINANCIAL / Regional – Northeast Banks
Director , BGC Partners Incorporated
New York , NY
Sector: FINANCIAL / Investment Brokerage – National
52 Years Old
Mr. Barry R. Sloane became a director of the Company in 1997. He has been a director of Century Bank and Trust Company since 1997. Mr. Sloane is Co-President and Co-CEO of Century Bancorp and Co-President and Co-CEO of Century Bank and Trust Company. Formerly, he was Managing Director of Steinberg, Priest & Sloane Capital Management, LLC, which is an investment advisory firm. Mr. Sloane is also a director of eSpeed, Inc.
Ronald Bonney, Jr., President of Bonney Automotive and Executive Committee Member of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce [website of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce]
Ron is the President/CEO of Bonney Automotive, a cutting edge automotive concern. Bonney Automotive maintains and repair high value automobiles and light trucks using state of the art equipment and training. Our ASE Master Technicians use carbon reduction systems for your auto emission system, nitrogen tire fills, high speed computer tire balancing and two or four wheel alignments to improve your auto’s efficiency and make your vehicle more earth friendly. We offer all regularly scheduled maintenance services as well as general automotive repair. We also offer fleet services running scheduled maintenance programs and general repair services for area fleets of vehicles. Ron is also the principle operating Yellow Cab Association as well as ARLEX Transportation that provide courier and special needs education transportation services, as well as the Commonwealth’s largest Dial-A-Ride service for the elderly and disabled. He also founded B.F.T., Inc., a realty trust, for commercial and residential property. Ron serves as Massachusetts State Chair for the Association of Community College Trustees and Co-Chair of the Bunker Hill Community College Board of Trustees. Ron is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Commissioner of the Somerville Housing. He graduated from the School of Management at Boston College and resides in Somerville with his wife Dr. Iwona Bonney and their two sons.
Mr. Bonney is Vice Chair of the Somerville Housing Authority [link to SHA].
Professor Daniel Richards of the Tufts University Economics Department [link to his Tufts faculty webpage]
Professor Richards received his Ph.D. from Yale in May 1981. He joined the Tufts faculty as an Assistant Professor in September 1985. He has also taught at Queen’s University, Hamilton College, and the Sloan School of Management, and has served as a consultant to the Federal Trade Commission. From September 1989 to June 1998, he directed the Graduate Program in Economics at Tufts. Professor Richards’ early research focused on: 1) wage and price behavior across different industries; and 2) the politics of macroeconomic policy. More recent work addresses issues of competition and product quality, and especially on the economic impact of mergers. His papers have appeared in: the American Economic Review; the Journal of Business; Economica, the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking; the Quarterly Journal of Economics; Public Choice; the Southern Economic Journal; the Journal of Macroeconomics; and the Journal of Industrial Economics. With Lynne Pepall and George Norman, he is a co-author of Industrial Organization: Contemporary Theory and Practice, now in its third edition.
You can read student reviews of his classes at TuftsReviews.com. And here’s a video interview of Prof. Richards reacting to the final 2008 presidential debate (shown on Campus Voices). Neither the reviews nor the interview are relevant to his ability to serve on the FAC, but they do sketch a preliminary picture of who he is.