By Charles Williams 3-28-2013
History was being made once again in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. The city’s longest-serving mayor said he is not seeking a sixth term.
As Mayor Menino arrived at Faneuil Hall this afternoon, he received a standing ovation from local politicians, friends, family, and colleagues.
Some of the dignitaries in attendance were Governor Deval Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley, Congressman Stephen Lynch and Interim U.S Senator Mo Cowan.
The Mayor and his wife strolled down the aisle to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
“I love the job. I love the city. Once again I can do a mayor’s schedule, but I can’t do a Menino schedule,” said the Mayor.
Menino’s passion for his job and his city is no surprise. President Obama praised the Mayor today for all his hard work over the past 20-years.
“Boston is the vibrant, welcoming, and world-class city it is today because of Tom Menino,” the President said in a statement.
During his speech the mayor highlighted major developments in what he described as a diverse city.
“You open you arms to new Bostonians, then stand with them as they become citizens. Then you cut a ribbon at the small business they start. And then the children graduate at the top of their class, you have them for lunch and marvel how fast they rise up in a city that welcomes them all,” said the Menino.
I asked Governor Deval Patrick his thoughts on the Mayor’s departure and his response was “we lost.”
The Mayor wrapped up his speech saying, “The buzz around the city is amazing. It’s a history making place which gets better everyday because of all of you. And as long as you work together that will never change.”
While talking to reporters after his speech, the Mayor also joked about getting a job at Dunkin’ Donuts. “A friend of mine owns a couple of Dunkin Donut shops,” laughed Menino.
The big question now is who will fill the Mayor’s vacant seat 9 months from now. Last month Boston City Councilor John Connolly had already thrown his name into the race.
The Mayor who grew up in Hyde Park is Boston’s first Italian-American mayor. He broke the tradition of Boston Irish-American mayors.
Menino became Boston’s acting mayor in the 1990s when then-President Clinton named then-Mayor Raymond Flynn to be the ambassador to the Vatican. Menino was president of the City Council and the charter states that whoever is president becomes acting mayor when the mayor leaves office before the team ends.
The Mayor said he hopes that his successor will love the city of Boston, just as he does. Once Menino had been in office, he became impossible to beat, earning the name “Boston’s Neighborhood Mayor.”