Two weeks ago was a very sad day in the City of Boston...it was preceded by news I received Wednesday night via text message that our beloved mayor would not be running for re-election.
Anyone who was born after 1993 has never known another mayor. The rest of us saw Mayor Kevin White and Mayor Ray Flynn. The city was bad. Then we got Tom Menino.
In the past 20 years, we have seen our city do a complete 180! For that, we must thank Mayor Menino. This man has made himself visible to all the citizens of Boston. He has his hand in everything, making sure the city is a better place for its residents. How many mayors can you say are truly visible? Sure, there are a couple such as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of NYC and current mayor of NYC, Mayor Bloomberg, but can they say they have met with half of their city's residents? Tom Menino can.
Whether it's "starting in Roslindale, walk down Bowdoin & Geneva, down to Grove Hall, to West Roxbury where they built an awesome park over the city's landfill then to the revitalizing of Dudley Square.” I have seen our city go from ho-hum to this beautiful city I will always be proud to call my home. It is a "history making place as long as you work together. Boston is the greatest City on Earth!"
The bewitching hour has finally come. As I sit and watch, the Mayor enters Faneuil Hall to Frank Sinatra's "I did it my way" playing in the background. Tears begin to flow during the two-minute standing ovation. The tears continue as the Mayor begins to speak. "It was a new day when you picked a mayor with Italian grandparents. I feel better today than I have in a long long time. I am back to a mayor's schedule but not in the Menino way. I tell the city I love; I will leave the job I love. I can run, I can win, & I can lead. I do plan on staying very engaged in Boston's future. I am not retiring. Choose someone who loves this city as much as I do."
So, as we wait to see how many will put their hat in the ring, just a few words of advice...you will have huge shoes to fill, people will be watching, don't be surprised when it is said "Well Menino wouldn't do that or in that way", be accountable not only for your own actions but of the actions of your employees, don't fix what is not broken! Do not forget where you came from. Listen to all and give them the courtesy of your attention, do not blow off those who have supported you. Remember, you are the employee of all the residents of Boston who put you in that office.
Most importantly, be visible! Show the residents, the businesses, and the City of Boston you can be a Mayor of the People and continue to make Boston the Greatest City on Earth!