In remembering Mayor Tom Menino two conversations that we had together come to mind which I think really capture who he was and what was important to him.
The first was when as Mayor of Worcester I lead a delegation of Worcester residents and business owners to Boston to learn about Mayor Menino’s Main Streets Program. During that visit I rode with the Mayor in his SUV down Harry Truman Parkway in Boston in the Mayor’s neighborhood. He gleefully shared with me how in the closing months of the Clinton Administration he had secured a few million dollars to resurface Truman Parkway and add brick treatments and decorative lamps. He went on to say that Harry Truman was his political hero because ” Harry Truman was all about hard work and didn’t worry about who got the credit.” Certainly the same will be said about Mayor Menino.
The second conversation with Mayor Menino was years later as Lt. Governor when I visited him at the Parkman House. I was exploring the pros and cons of running for Governor and I went to visit the Mayor to seek his advice. We had a great conversation and he shared with me his experiences as acting Mayor and stories from his first campaign for Mayor. However, the most impactful thing he said was that no matter what my decision was that I needed to take care of my family because “family is what is most important.” Tom Menino always had his priorities right. He and the entire Menino family are in my thoughts and prayers and I will miss “America’s Mayor”.
Former Transportation Secretary wrote this nice article about an event I attended this past week with Governor Patrick, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Secretary Davey, and others to announce the redevelopment of the Beacon Park Yard in Boston, which includes construction of a new West Station.
The historic acquisition of track ownership from CSX across the state was about expanding commuter rail service between Worcester and Boston as well as unlocking development and transportation opportunities for the entire state.
I want to thank Governor Patrick for allowing me to lead the state team in our negotiations with CSX and thank all of the partners who assisted in the success of this complex deal. As a result we will create thousands of new jobs, a better transportation system, a healthier environment and improved quality of life for Massachusetts residents.
Read the full article written by former Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan here.
Today, as my wife Tammy prepares to run her third marathon, and all of us in the Commonwealth mark this momentous day, I want to share these memories from the events of last year…
“But deliver us from evil”
One year ago I was stripping wallpaper on a rare day off from duties as Lt. Governor when I received the call from a staff member to let me know there had been several explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line. The staffer speculated it might be a gas related event, but my immediate fear was that it was something far more sinister given it was Patriot’s Day and the location of the blasts. I quickly cleaned up and drove to the MEMA Bunker in Framingham to meet my state police detail.
As I drove to Framingham I recalled an event earlier in our Administration when electronic devices that looked like explosives were attached to bridges in the Boston area. We were criticized by some in the Boston media at the time for overreacting to what turned out to be a hoax. But, on this day we would soon learn that the explosions at the Marathon were not a hoax but evil in our midst.
Upon my arrival at the MEMA Bunker, I was briefed by state officials and spoke with Governor Patrick by telephone as officials in Boston worked to treat the injured, secure the scene and determine if more attacks were imminent. At the Bunker multiple TV screens on the massive underground wall simultaneously ran news feeds while personnel from various local, state and federal agencies gathered information over dozens of phones and deployed resources in response to the carnage and the still unknown threat.
I am proud to have helped create this program as Lieutenant Governor. The first round response was phenomenal with many applicants. It underscores the equipment needs of our vocational technical schools. We need to train our students on modern equipment that they will use in the private sector.
Please be an advocate for vocational technical education by speaking with your School Committee, State Representative, State Senator, Congressman and candidates for Governor. We need to support and open up these schools so they are 18 hour a day educational/workforce training grounds.
One Commonwealth is a place to share ideas, stories, challenges and perspectives on what matters most here in the state we call home.
Massachusetts is a large and diverse state; every region and municipality is equally important as we are all connected in one way or another. So the scope of dialogue on this blog is as wide as our Commonwealth. The rules of the road are simple: be civil, responsible, and be willing to put your name on your words.