Menino: I'm putting foot to pedal in last 9 months as Boston mayor

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March 28, 2013, 10:48 am
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(NECN) – As Boston Mayor Tom Menino was about to enter City Hall Thursday morning, he gave a short interview to a few waiting reporters, including NECN’s Justin Michaels.

Asked if he’s changed his mind, Menino says he hasn’t changed his mind about retiring.

The Mayor got a little emotional saying it’s a difficult day for him.

“It’s just a... very a... a day of a... I just don’t know how to deal with it... I mean um... it’s a difficult day for me because, you know, I love this job I been doing it for 20 years. I think I’ve made a big difference, my administration and I and... now it’s time to say to the people of Boston I will not be on the ballot this year and move on from there.”

When asked about the state of the city, Menino said Boston is doing well.

“I think the city’s doing very well today. We’ve done great things in all neighborhoods. From Roxbury to east Boston to Brighton to Hyde Park and it’s all a much changed city a much more tolerant city than before. And that’s what it’s all about, it’s about people. People say, what building, what’s your legacy? It’s not about buildings, it’s about people. And how you left people. And how you made the city work for some of the folks in our city who never had opportunities. And that’s what I hope my legacy is all about.”

When asked how it feels to be a historic or legendary mayor, Menino denied being legendary.

“Legendary? I’m not legendary. I’ve got nine more months. I’m going to put the foot to the pedal and we’re going to keep on going. I have five projects I want to get done by January and I’m going to work hard on those five projects.”

Does Menino see himself doing anything beyond?

“I think on January 1st I’m going to become a national statistic of unemployment.”

What’s on the top of his priority list as he finishes out his term?

“I’m going to stay focused on my education piece. Education is the most important thing we can do in our society. Because if kids have a bright future, they have hope, opportunity for a job and a good future. If they don’t have a good education, it turns into a public safety problem. And I’m not going to let that happen in Boston as long as I’m mayor.”

When asked on advice to his successor, he said:

“I don’t give advice to anybody, they have to make their own decisions and we’ll see who the next person is.”

People say they will miss the mayor and sad to hear about his announcement. How does that make him feel?

“You know, I’m only a kid from Hyde Park originally... I’m very humbled by that. I just did my job. Nothing fancy. There’s never been a fancy Tom Menino... I couldn’t be fancy if I tried. I just did my job.”

Menino said his family was very helpful to him as he looked to them for counsel and advice. Menino says he made the decision.

Tags: Boston, Tom Menino, Boston mayor, Justin Michaels
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