We’ve had a new mayor (Marty Walsh) for a year following the 20-year tenure of Tom Menino. We’ve had outrageous snow and public transit failings. For pluses, crime hasn’t been terrible and our economy is doing well.
On its face, the Council has one primary legal charge â€” analyzing, tweaking and approving the multi-billion-dollar budget annually. In that sense, Murphy is THE MAN. He is the money guy, the councilor others turn to to answer can we afford that and if we do this, what will it cost?
Beyond the budget, Boston’s Council really is a legislative body. It studies all big issues, creates and helps direct policies, and works with the mayor’s office to identify, prevent and solve serious problems. That’s where Murphy sees himself adding value. This is an election year for all nine district and four at-large councilors. Murphy has always been at-large, having to be one of four convincing the entire city to elect him.
Listen in as Murphy addresses:
- The new and previous mayors, how they differ
- The conflict between council and mayor on a committee to advance Latino and Black men and boys, and who the council ended up having its way
- Why he and fellow Councilor Michelle Wu are advancing a BYOB option for the many restaurants without any liquor licenses
- What the Council wants to do about getting the damned snow off the streets, maybe like Toronto does
- How Boston has handled losses of $200 million in federal and state subsidies
- Quality-of-life issues only parents of asthmatic kids may think of, like filtering older construction equipment operating in town
- New technologies in the works, including enhanced 911
- Adding that pesky Styrofoamâ„¢ (a.k.a. polystyrene foam) to single-stream recycling
Even though we know each other pretty well, Murphy wouldn’t bite on my request for more info on his pending reelection campaign. It is true enough that papers aren’t really due and the candidates won’t be set for a couple of months. However, he isn’t showing his hand yet.