Flaherty predicts tide of new voters will sweep him - and Yoon - into office
As he introduced the man who would be his deputy mayor, Michael Flaherty predicted 40,000 to 60,000 more people would come to the polls in November - and that the majority of them would vote for change.
"About half the people who voted last Tuesday voted for change," Flaherty said at a City Hall Plaza press conference at which he and Sam Yoon outlined their proposed agenda - which includes dismantling the BRA, performance reviews across all departments and a 311 system.
Roughly 81,000 people voted in this month's preliminary elections, which saw incumbent Mayor Tom Menino take 51% of the vote, with Flaherty and Yoon splitting most of the rest.
"The status quo is not working," Flaherty said. "Our city is stuck in neutral."
"Boston doesn't just need an urban mechanic," he said. "It needs a visionary."
The mayor's campaign dismissed the deputy-mayor idea as a gimmick and possibly illegal. Flaherty retorted that Kevin White had a number of deputy mayors. And noting the current controversy over deleted e-mail at City Hall, he added, "Gimmicks are my emory boards and Sam Yoon tote bags. ... The mayor is the last person who should be offering legal advice, quite frankly."
Flaherty said Yoon would help him take apart the BRA and develop the constituent service and statistics programs he says would improve service and cut cost. He said Yoon would be paid as a cabinet-level official:
"The mayor has Michael Kineavy and I'm going to have Sam Yoon," he said.
Yoon allowed as how he and Flaherty might disagree on some issues, but said "creative conflict" is a good thing - and can lead to better outcomes.
Flaherty said he reached out to Yoon on Friday and the two met over the weekend and came up with the idea.