At Faneuil Hall on Monday morning, Thomas Menino made history by taking the oath for the Mayor’s office for a fifth time.
While there were lighter moments as when Menino was swearing in the City Councilors and gave them the oath for the office of Mayor, Menino’s inaugural address outlined the four serious areas that he will concentrate on in the fifth term.
These areas are improving the public school system, delivering city services better, finishing developments in downtown, along the waterfront and Dudley Square and bringing the city residents together.
Each area represents a challenge.
Some of the challenges are clearly within Menino’s power to fix like city services and development projects. As for bringing residents together, Menino is clearly the master.
The challenge of public schools is perhaps the most bold undertaking since the solutions will require authority from beyond the city. Menino is seeking help from the State House.
Senate President Theresa Murray. Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo as well as Governor Patrick were in attendance on Monday. These are the leaders that Menino must make sure are on his side in the coming battle with the School Union.
In this election year, many of the state representatives and senators as well as the Governor will not be willing to go out on a limb for Menino in his fight against the School Union.
However, the public school system must be addressed and these state leaders must do what they have been elected to do.
A healthy school system in Boston will make Menino’s other goals easier to attain and bring about a better city.
Boston needs a first quality school system that will show all the students the lesson that education is the best road to achieve success, both in business and personal choices.
Clearly there are bright spots, but there are as many troubled spots in the public school system.
Students who can clearly read and write and understand will make Boston neighborhoods safe and vibrant.
Almost all the City Councilors at large in November’s election decried the state of the public schools where many of the basic supplies are left up to the teachers to provide while paying more than $40 million yearly for a failed bussing system intended to aid the education of our children.
Menino said that we must try new roads and new solutions and that the status quo is no longer acceptable.
With his place in history certainly assured, we look forward to Menino taking the gamble and risk. With these choices can come victory or defeat.
However, Menino will need a little help from his friends at the State House.