A well-funded opponent in the mayor's race next year could try to make an issue out of his opportunism and ask why the incumbent has been unable to work out a deal with the firefighters over the years.

But there is no sign, yet, of a credible challenge to Cicilline. And if the campaign turns into a battle over the firefighters' contract, well, that's probably a good battle for the mayor.

Even if the neverending battle over the firefighters' contract is, ultimately, bad for the city.

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