Mayor Thomas M. Menino vowed today to begin the transformation of the main library in Copley Square before he leaves City Hall, saying the granite facade of the Johnson Building will be replaced with glass to open it to Boylston Street.
Menino also said in a speech to the Boston College Chief Executives’ Club of Boston that there would be a vote on a proposed casino at Suffolk Downs in East Boston before the end of 2013. And he pledged to begin the search to replace School Superintendent Carol R. Johnson, who announced last week that she is retiring.
The mayor outlined several other issues he wants to address before leaving office, from solving the dispute between state and city police regarding which agency has jurisdiction over the waterfront to a new plan to curb homelessness.
“There are 250 days remaining in my final term,” Menino planned to say, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. “And I will use every single one of them to rally people to these causes. In 20 years, we have transformed our city step by step, and we won’t stop now.”
The plan for the main branch of the Boston Public Library involves the newer portion of that Back Bay landmark, which has a prominent entrance on Boylston.
The speech at the Boston Harbor Hotel was Menino’s first since he announced in March he would not seek a sixth term. His remarks were laced with references to the Boston Marathon bombings, which he said brought out Boston’s best.
“I have never been prouder of our city,” Menino planned to say. “When the world turned their eyes to Boston over the last two weeks, they saw greatness everywhere. They saw it in our people and their strength. They saw it in the skills of our police. They saw it in the speed of our first responders. They saw miracle after miracle of greatness in our ambulances and hospitals.”
Menino also said he heard echoes of the Marathon explosions in the sporadic gun violence that haunts some Boston neighborhoods, evoking Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the bombings. A photograph circulated in the media after Richard’s death showed the 8-year-old holding a sign that read, “No more hurting people.”
“We must heed young Martin Richard’s call: ‘No more hurting people,’ ” Menino said in the prepared remarks. “We have to put an end to violence in our neighborhoods and the senseless scourge of guns.”