Menino everlasting

Via WCVB-TVVia The Boston Channel

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today took his record fifth oath of office at Faneuil Hall.

In his inauguration speech (complete text), Menino said his next four years would be devoted to four main goals: Transforming education in Boston, creating a high-tech research community on the waterfront, improving basic city services through new technologies and bringing the city's residents and neighborhoods closer together.

Menino compared Boston as the recession seems to be ending with Boston in 1776 after the British fled: A bit shaken up, but still fundamentally strong. He said the city's population is heading toward 700,000, the public schools are "the most improved educational system" among big cities, crime is down, the budget is balanced, and neighborhoods are stronger than ever.

But, he said, we can do more. "Today, knowing that all of our potential remains, we innaugurate a new era of shared innovation."

Specifics

Education: He called the right to a decent education "the civil-rights issue of our time" and called for a series of reforms, including bypassing arbitration at "persistently underperforming schools." He said he wants "one system of education in Boston:" free of "wasteful feuding" of resources in arguments about such issues as pilots and charter schools.

Tech development: Called for an "Innovation District," focused on green, biotech and Web development, which would include "live/work opportunities" for entrepreneurs and researchers on the South Boston waterfront. "It's time to get back to engineering," such as "new designs, new floorplans, new material."

Improving municipal services: He said he was never really "the urban mechanic" and the monicker is completely outdated now because "we are all urban mechanics," who, thanks to things such as smartphones, are increasingly involved in fixing problems. He issued "an open call to foundations, entrepreneurs, technologists and neighbors: Help us make Boston the hub of municipal innovation."

By April, he said, he will identify two dozen existing programs to cut and consolidate and six more to expand and support.

Bringing Bostonians together: "We've come very far, from the divisions of decades past, but we still have some distance to go. [Sometimes, it seems] We share zip codes and sports teams more than a shared sense of experience. ... Complacency is no excuse for leaving people out. Our aim should be even higher." He said he would propose ideas for using parks, businesses, houses of worship, even our restaurants "to bring our city closer."

He concluded, "let us show the world that here, history is just a prelude, that here we don't lay capstones, we lay foundations."

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Comments

this year is not the important year...

adam... this year is not the important year to be council president .....unless you know the mayor is going to leave his post... the most important time to be council president is the last two years..... my bet is on consalvo..... the mayor controls the votes of lamattina, linehan, feeney, arroyo, pressley, ross, and murphy.... so game over. of course this is all based on the mayor leaving....

are you serious?

What exactly makes you think that Menino controls Arroyo, Pressley, and Ross? My count would be LaMattina, Linehan, Feeney, Murphy, Ciommo, Yancey, Consalvo. But when Murphy runs for something (anything), he might accidentally and finally win, putting Tito Jackson in place, giving him just 6 solid votes.

The reality, though, is that many on the Council want a shot at running for Mayor. Connolly, Tobin, Ross, Murphy, Linehan, Pressley, Arroyo are all potential candidates (of various degrees of seriousness) for Mayor someday. All of them would be highly motivated to block a Menino-Consalvo handover.

Ross has an agenda, too

Wants to figure out how to keep college students in Boston after graduation, plans a "best practices working group of leading thinkers and concerned citizens," to figure that out.

Also wants to make education a priority, plans visits to Harlem and to innovative Boston schools to figure out how to ensure every single child in Boston gets a good education.

And thinks it's time to look at changing the city charter to reform the way city government works. Asking Councilor John Tobin - who called for that last year - to head up the effort.

Sounds good! Lower income and

Sounds good!

Lower income and denser housing recent grads and the college educated under 30 crowd needs to be pushed pronto. Tie it to student loans taken out in their own name. it’ll help keep the little snowflakes who have no debt due to their boomer parents fronting all their bills from taking advantage of the offering.

College grads with huge loans don't want to be paying 1000+ a month in rent, or face living 50 miles away and a commute from hell to Boston every day for an entry level, 40K a year job when they can pack their bags and move to the cheap, booming southern states where they can enjoy a similar lifestyle with the added bonus of better weather and the ability to actually start a savings account and 401K.

High end gentrification is nice, but it can only go so far in this city. Yet every single developer is on the high end market, even if there’s a ton of demand for more entry level properties that would benefit the community and the future economy as a whole.

getting people to stay

It seems simple to me. Make Boston a more dynamic city. We need more affordable places to live inside the city (I don't mean section 8, I mean middle class), we need more small business creation, a more dynamic local art, music, food and bar scene (a lot less upscale wanna be french bistros would be a nice start), less restrictive zoning, less influential hysterical, I mean historical, societies and neighborhood groups. Turn downtown crossing into the cool city center it should be. And oh yeah, fix the f'n weather.

Yeah, and

we could have bars that don't take last orders at 0130, and a public transit system that doesn't shut down an hour before that.

And maybe a City Council president who doesn't demonize college kids until they graduate, THEN try to convince them to stay here.

city changes

Note that while bar hours could be changed, it would be a huge undertaking. But worth looking at. Public transportation is not controlled by the city. Union rules have employees earning double salary after 1am. Good luck getting that changed.

I agree that the best way of building population in Boston is making housing more affordable -- especially in Mission Hill, Allston/Brighton, Fenway, Dorchester, where unscrupulous landlords are converting affordable housing into overcrowded student housing. If only there was someone who was trying to stop that.

Tobin is going to look at changing the charter to help himself?

Tobin is going to look at changing the charter to help himself to be Mayor? Fat chance. Tobin won't get it by the Council or the Mayor and has not chance at being Mayor. He does not have the citywide support or organization that Connolly or Consalvo have.

Look Tobin is a district councilor that represents JP and West Roxbury, but he would easily lose those progressive votes. Hell Connolly got more votes than Tobin's hometown of West Roxbury in the last citywide election!

The race is between Connolly and Consalvo. Consalvo does not presently have the organization that Connolly has, but he would if the Mayor turned his over to him - which looks very likely. Hey no one wants to be out of a job, right?

Watch for Floon 2013

If they were smart, they'd announce the re-emergence of Floon in January, 2013. Would take it out of gimmickry and turn it into a real campaign force. They'd be nearly unbeatable.