Kids In The Hall

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 10, 2010

Linehan has demonstrated an independent streak, according to other councilors, but is still thought of as a Menino loyalist, having worked for the mayor for years. The same is true for LaMattina, another name being bandied about for council president.

They are safe choices, but would also probably be play-it-safe presidents. It's unlikely either of them would have thrust the council into the firefighter-contract fray the way Ross did.

Ross has also used special committees to encroach upon new, politically dicey territory — and put them in the hands of the most aggressive members of the body. He chairs one committee reviewing possible changes to the city charter; Connolly chairs another on "livable Boston"; Arroyo chairs one on the 2010 Census process; and Pressley chairs one on women's issues.

Up to Menino
The new direction of the council might also be threatened by the political cycle, where the seemingly distant 2013 mayoral race is never far from anyone's mind.

Meanwhile, councilors with an eye on 2013 will inevitably start trying to draw more attention to themselves — which is sure to cause bad blood with some colleagues, and the Menino administration.

And the ongoing independence of the council may ultimately depend on Menino, who turns 68 next month. Right now, he is viewed as something of a lame duck. Mobility issues, brought about by a leg injury after the election, have limited his usual omnipresence in the city. Several insiders wonder more broadly about his health.

If Menino begins sending signals that he's planning to run again in 2013, and starts taking independent-acting councilors to the woodshed, you're likely to see the council recede. Otherwise, expect it to keep pushing the boundaries, and making more of an impact.

To read the "Talking Politics" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at dbernstein@phx.com.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  | 
  Topics: Talking Politics , Politics, Boston, Felix Arroyo,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DAVID S. BERNSTEIN
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MRS. WARREN GOES TO WASHINGTON  |  March 21, 2013
    Elizabeth Warren was the only senator on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, aside from the chair and ranking minority, to show up at last Thursday's hearing on indexing the minimum wage to inflation.
  •   MARCH MADNESS  |  March 12, 2013
    It's no surprise that the coming weekend's Saint Patrick's Day celebrations have become politically charged, given the extraordinary convergence of electoral events visiting South Boston.
  •   LABOR'S LOVE LOST  |  March 08, 2013
    Steve Lynch is winning back much of the union support that left him in 2009.
  •   AFTER MARKEY, GET SET, GO  |  February 20, 2013
    It's a matter of political decorum: when an officeholder is running for higher office, you wait until the election has been won before publicly coveting the resulting vacancy.
  •   RED BLUES: SCOTT BROWN EXPOSES THE EMPTY MASSACHUSETTS GOP BENCH  |  February 15, 2013
    It wasn't just that Scott Brown announced he was not running in the special US Senate election — it was that it quickly became evident that he was not handing the job off to another Republican.

 See all articles by: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN