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Mon September 23, 2013
Boston Leadership In Flux With Menino 'Trickle-Down' Effect
One of the biggest questions in the Boston mayor’s race has been whether or not Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis should keep his job. Today, Davis took that issue off the table, announcing that he’s retiring after seven years.
It’s another reminder that Mayor Tom Menino’s upcoming retirement is about far more than just the mayor’s job.
During his morning press conference at Boston Police headquarters, Davis offered special thanks to Menino, who brought him to Boston from the Lowell PD in 2006.
"I want to acknowledge my friend and mentor, Thomas Menino, the mayor of our great city, a man that’s shown me the importance of connecting with the community, day in and day out," Davis said.
In recent months, Davis has become a polarizing figure, praised for his response to the Boston marathon bombings but hammered throughout the Boston mayor’s race for the BPD’s lack of diversity. Today, Davis insisted he’s done the best he can.
"My command staff, that I promote myself, is 42 percent of people of color and diverse. I’m proud of that record," he said.
Now the city’s next mayor – whoever he or she is – gets pick a new top cop. And that’s not the only big job waiting to be filled. School superintendent Carol Johnson retired earlier this year, leaving a mixed legacy of her own that's also been debated by the various mayoral candidates.
The Boston fire chief’s job is available, too, following Steve Abraira’s abrupt resignation in June. And then there are there are the jobs that may or may not be opening up. Boston Redevelopment Authority head Peter Meade might stay put if the next mayor likes Boston’s development status quo, but several mayoral candidates say the BRA needs massive reform – and that could spur Meade’s exit.
Also worth watching: elections to fill the Boston city council seats vacated by mayoral candidates John Connolly, Rob Consalvo, Felix Arroyo, and Mike Ross. Call it the Menino trickle-down effect: when a two decade incumbent steps down as mayor, a host of other big changes are waiting in the wings.
Larry DiCara, author of Turmoil and Transition in Boston, joined Greater Boston to discuss the city's changing political arena:
Politics & Government