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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

...The rest of world wears bifocals

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has laid out a vision for a sustainable city. Boston Mayor Tom Menino is telling a large national retail chain how to do its marketing.

Bloomberg is talking about a city where:
The goals include a massive increase in affordable housing; the pledge that every New Yorker will live within ten minutes' walk of a public park; and an overhaul of public transport, including a subway extension. Mr Bloomberg wants New York to have the cleanest air of any big city in America and to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming by 30% by 2030. And he wants to open 90% of the surrounding rivers, harbours and bays for recreation by reducing water pollution and preserving natural spaces.
Menino on the other hands, plans to stop talking to the local all-news radio station because they didn't cover a story he thought important and they thought was a promotional stunt.

Anything wrong with this picture?

Since the Mayor for Life started his fourth term, he has called for a 1,000-foot tower to be built downtown and for City Hall to move to the waterfront. He has lost a police superintendent, a school superintendent and the chief urban planner as well as a host of key people to keep City Hall running. He even lost his personal physician to the governor -- who named her head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In the meantime, the murder rate is up, the quality of roads is down and the downtown shopping district is a ghost of its former self as the retailer he lectured closed the doors on one of the two stores it ran in Downtown Crossing.

The Menino administration is a textbook case of political fatigue. The Urban Mechanic was never big on the ideas front but his city ran well -- for while. But things are heading south and we have a mayor better known for his thin skin and long memory than for offering a coherent vision for what Boston will look like a year from now, let alone 20 years from now.

And when he sticks his nose in places it does not belong while failing to tackle the issues that truly affect Boston residents and the suburbanites who work in town and spend their cash, it raises the obvious question of where Boston is headed -- other than nowhere fast.

Uh Tommy, if you think you're a news director, there's this debate about what Greater Boston said about bloggers that might warrant your attention....


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