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(NECN) - Dozens of Boston school kids gathered in City Hall's Atrium to surprise outgoing Boston Mayor Tom Menino on his 71st birthday on Friday.
"I was, honestly. I'm going to get my staff and kill 'em," said Mayor Menino.
As he turns seventy-one-years-old Friday, this was Tom Menino's last birthday in office.
He didn't blow out the 71 candles on his birthday cake, but he did slice several pieces of the cake for the kids.
Meanwhile, everyone could behold and admire the kids' gift to the outgoing mayor.
"We wanted to make sure that when he left, he left a mark here. a reminder of the love he has for children and that children have for him," said Martha Pierce, the mayor's education advisor.
That gift was a multi-paneled ceramic mosaic replicating kids' drawings culled from public school art classes across Boston. It's a busy and colorful kid's eye view of the city Tom Menino loves, destined to go on enlivening city hall's gray walls long after he leaves office.
On Friday, this was making him happy and sad in equal measure.
"My feelings are mixed today. The school children of Boston did a great mosaic for me. It says something to me personally." But, Menino added, "It is a little emotional. I've been mayor for twenty years. I've done a lot of things in the last twenty years. I'm handing over the city to [Mayor-elect] Marty Walsh to bring it to the next level."
Menino says he made a decision about his future and, as he puts it, he's starting a new chapter.