By Steven Marantzb

Mayor Flynn said yesterday that the Supreme Court decision striking down a minority contracting program in Richmond "seems to place in jeopardy" many of Boston's affirmative action programs.

Flynn's statement reflected a growing concern that the high court's decision Monday could be interpreted broadly against affirmative action, rather than specifically against programs similar to the one in Richmond that established city contracting quotas for minority-owned firms.

"Because of the success of the programs such as parcel-to-parcel linkage and Boston Jobs Policy, I believe we have as much to lose as any city. . .," said Flynn.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry yesterday called for hearings of the Senate Small Business Committee's Subcommittee on Minority Business Development to review the implications of the decision.

Kerry, who serves as chairman of the subcommittee, said, "The plain facts are that minority businesses - for whatever reasons - receive a disproportionately lesser amount of government contracts than nonminority businesses, and that fact needs to be addressed quickly in light of yesterday's decision."

Boston officials said that four programs are jeopardized: affirmative action hiring in city government; contracting to minority-owned and women-owned firms; affirmative action hiring on public and private construction projects; and parcel-to-parcel linkage. The latter provides minority developers an opportunity to become beneficiaries of major downtown developments through equity partnerships with nonminority developers.

Flynn met yesterday with city lawyers and heads of affirmative action programs. He said he was in contact with Kerry and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, US Rep. Barney Frank and Trenton, N.J., Mayor Arthur Holland, president of the US Conference of Mayors, to ask for help in developing a federal legislative remedy to the decision.

"The surface concern is that the Supreme Court is striking down a program which seeks similar goals to programs we have in Boston," said Al Wallis, first assistant corporation counsel.

One city official, declining to be named, said, "Our concern is about how far-reaching this opinion is. Does it attack affirmative action across the board? Some language in the decision gives one pause. You have to look at all the programs that have an affirmative action component to figure out if you have to reexamine them or are they OK?"

Councilor Bruce Bolling (Roxbury), who wrote the city's minority contracting ordinance, said that each affirmative action program will have to be evaluated seperately. Bolling said it was unclear whether the decision allows for affirmative action programs established in response to prior findings of discrimination.

Members of the mayor's advisory council on minority and women business enterprise met with Flynn yesterday morning and asked him to make a determination on the impact of the decision.

"We want to know where the city stands on the continuation of the programs," said council member Pablo Calderon. "Does it affect contracting, or is it leading to affirmative action overall? If it's just contracting, does that include goods and services? Whatever the case, we want to hear it."

Frank said yesterday that legislators may try to apply the equal-protection-of-the-law guidelines of the 14th amendment, to enforce minority set-aside programs such as the one in Richmond. A previous Supreme Court ruling approved congressionally mandated set-asides, Frank said.