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Nominate-best-2010

For Mayor: Vote Flaherty + Yoon

Boston District City Council: Henriquez, Ross, ciommo, LaMattina
By EDITORIAL  |  November 4, 2009

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Boston’s mayoral candidates are running campaigns that are variations on a theme.

Incumbent Thomas Menino, who has held the job for 16 years — longer than anyone in history — says that if you think the city is on the right track, vote Menino. 

Last week the Phoenix endorsed incumbents John Connolly and Stephen Murphy, as well as newcomers Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo, for the at-large City Council seats. Read that Editorial here.

Challenger Michael Flaherty, a veteran of nine years on the Boston City Council, says that if you think the city can do better by being viewed through a new lens, vote Flaherty.

The disagreement is not about civic ends. Menino and Flaherty want the same things: better schools, improved public safety, sustainable economic development, accessible parks, affordable housing, livable neighborhoods. To win the November 3 election, both candidates may go so far as to endorse motherhood — perhaps, if the polls get really close, apple pie.

An essentially shared vision of what Boston should be has not prevented the Menino and Flaherty camps from trying to bash in each other’s brains. As a result, the 2009 campaign has been the most fractious in recent memory. Politics is Boston’s true blood sport. And personality, not policy, is the issue that unites and divides.

Rest assured, before Election Day there will be intimations that someone is a scoundrel. But no election would be complete without a little high blood pressure.

Menino’s camp says voters should continue to trust in the highly centralized and often micro-managed City Hall that gets things done.

Flaherty’s campaign says that even more could be accomplished if the mayor listened, dictated less, and attracted fresh blood and vibrant, new ideas.

The Phoenix agrees with Flaherty.

As a newspaper that believes stagnation of leadership results in lost opportunities to advance, we are impressed with Flaherty’s commitment to shake things up.

Flaherty’s designation of onetime mayoral opponent City Councilor Sam Yoon (who received this paper’s endorsement in the primary) as his would-be deputy mayor was a creative move. It was certainly politically savvy to tap into Yoon’s troops of Obama-style grassroots voters. By doing so, Flaherty not only demonstrated that he can think expansively as well as practically, but that he is open to ideas from even those who have challenged his own thinking.

Flaherty has adopted Yoon’s idea to place an eight-year term limit on the mayoralty, thus tapping into the sense of many that no one should be able to be considered mayor for life. Menino had said in the past that he would serve only two terms. Things have obviously changed. If there is a fifth, will there be a sixth? (Come on, Mr. Mayor, this is Boston, not the Vatican.)

Flaherty’s proposal to reconstruct the Boston Redevelopment Authority in order to bring greater transparency to building in Boston, while at the same time making it more neighborhood-friendly, is solid.

His plan to increase the number of charter schools and give school principals more authority over their own budgets is in line with his talk of decentralization.

Flaherty recognizes the vital role that the arts and other creative communities play in developing the intellectual and the economic life of the city — a point of view this paper has trumpeted for years.

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Related: Can Flaherty woo Yoon?, Yoon or Flaherty, Can Sam Yoon win?, More more >
  Topics: The Editorial Page , Barack Obama, Election Campaigns, Bill Linehan,  More more >
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13 Comments / Add Comment

purplehusky64

Thank you for the endorsement of Michael Flaherty for Mayor! 

Vote Flaherty/Yoon on November 3rd!

Posted: October 28 2009 at 3:15 PM

bdillenbeck

 I confess, I was originally a supporter of Yoon for Mayor but after giving Flaherty a hearing at a recent event, I was impressed by his command of the issues and his passion for making Boston a better city. I wont hold my breath for an endorsement by the Boston Globe but one can hope. Thank you Boston Phoenix Editorial Board for your far sighted judgement.

Posted: October 28 2009 at 3:50 PM

ProgPolJunkie

Glad to see the progressive community rallying around the Flaherty/Yoon ticket! I've been consistently impressed by the depth of Flaherty's policy positions and the strong stand he's taken against Menino's winner-take-all style of goverment. I'm sick of city hall being an exclusive club that only listens to political insiders. Go Mike and Sam!
Posted: October 28 2009 at 3:57 PM

ProgPolJunkie

Glad to see the progressive community rallying around the Flaherty/Yoon ticket! I've been consistently impressed by the depth of Flaherty's policy positions and the strong stand he's taken against Menino's winner-take-all style of goverment. I'm sick of city hall being an exclusive club that only listens to political insiders. Go Mike and Sam!
Posted: October 28 2009 at 3:58 PM

Jimmy James

How can Councilor Flaherty, the white Irish guy from Southie who used to be against affirmative action, marches in the St. Patrick's Day parade, and championed the death penalty be a progressive who represents change? 

Posted: October 28 2009 at 6:58 PM

Jimmy James

How can Councilor Flaherty, the white Irish guy from Southie who used to be against affirmative action, marches in the St. Patrick's Day parade, and championed the death penalty be a progressive who represents change? 

Posted: October 28 2009 at 6:59 PM

Jimmy James

How can Councilor Flaherty, the white Irish guy from Southie who used to be against affirmative action, marches in the St. Patrick's Day parade, and championed the death penalty be a progressive who represents change? 

Posted: October 28 2009 at 6:59 PM

egonzsb

Ok so it's obviously not a big surprise that the Phoenix didn't endorse the Mayor; or that every single point they made can easily be refuted with the numerous amount of programs that already exist...SO, I'll just say that I agree with the Mayor: if you think the city is on the right track, vote Menino.
Posted: October 28 2009 at 7:57 PM

ObservingBoston

I wonder how one expects the Flaherty city hall to have more transparency. He has been notorious for doing many behind the scenes tactics for which this paper routinely inveighs against the Mayor.  The fire union is in his pocket, he made calls to try to have Police Department change its bylaws to have his wife admitted and was CONVICTED of violating Open Meeting Law.  I agree that bringing Sam Yoon in was a prudent decision, but I would also question the "Obama style" label that you've adorned him with. For a challenger, it is very easy to be critical, but thse panaceas and the fear mongering that Flaherty espouses will face serious road blocks in this city. We need results, not someone who will change their entireposition to simply rival their opponent.

 In my mind, the Mayor has done a great job in some areas and a good job in other area, but his success, his determination, and his capacity to put people in the right positions to make the best decisions for Boston are the reasons to cast your vote for Mayor Menino November 3.

Posted: October 29 2009 at 9:50 AM

ObservingBoston

I wonder how one expects the Flaherty city hall to have more transparency. He has been notorious for doing many behind the scenes tactics for which this paper routinely inveighs against the Mayor.  The fire union is in his pocket, he made calls to try to have Police Department change its bylaws to have his wife admitted and was CONVICTED of violating Open Meeting Law.  I agree that bringing Sam Yoon in was a prudent decision, but I would also question the "Obama style" label that you've adorned him with. For a challenger, it is very easy to be critical, but thse panaceas and the fear mongering that Flaherty espouses will face serious road blocks in this city. We need results, not someone who will change their entireposition to simply rival their opponent. The mayor's progressive record-leading the Pride parade, 3rd greenest city in America (top on East coast), bike-friendly city, equal rights for all, union support from different groups (Carpenters, Hospital Workers, etc.)-is often overlooked and villianized. No time for that anymore!

 In my mind, the Mayor has done a great job in some areas and a good job in other area, but his success, his determination, and his capacity to put people in the right positions to make the best decisions for Boston are the reasons to cast your vote for Mayor Menino November 3.

Posted: October 29 2009 at 9:56 AM
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