When Mayor Tom Menino announced Thursday he would not seek an unprecedented sixth term, Boston residents reflected on the mayor’s work and changes the city has seen under his two-decade tenure.
Sam Manka, 54, a self employed North End resident said he was surprised to hear Menino would not run again. He said Menino has done a “great job” and praised city services under his administration.
"The neighborhood is cleaner. We've got the street sweeping program going and the Mayor's hotline is very responsive to issues, public works is on top of things, snow removal has been great," he said.
Many residents praised Menino for his focus on fixing everything from potholes to parks in their neighborhoods, while others praised a bigger picture goal of unifying the city.
"There seems to be more of a connection with the neighborhoods," Andy Procopio, 65, of the North End, said.
Procopio said he thinks Menino considered what was best for the city when he decided not to run again.
"I think he wanted to function at the capacity he is used to" Procopio said.
Recent health problems have prevented Menino from keeping a busy schedule of ribbon cuttings and neighborhood appearances he is known for.
"He's always at every function...wherever you go, he's there" Allison Seavey, 48, a North End resident and GE employee, said.
While there was much praise for Menino’s public works improvements, many were ready for a younger, new perspective in City Hall.
Steven Gallanter, 54, a bartender and longtime resident of the Fenway said he supported Menino during the first half of his tenure, but not since about 2004.
Gallanter said that while crime is down in his neighborhood, so are independent businesses and rents have skyrocketed. He also criticized the institutional expansion of colleges and universities into neighborhoods under Menino.
"I think it is time for Boston to have a new face and a new head," he said.
E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.email@example.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.