It has been a big week for Major Martin Walsh soon to depart from my home town of Savin Hill. Trying to figure out exactly why he intends to move from a mainly blue color neighborhood filled with three-deckers that was a short trip down Dorchester Avenue to downtown to the more uppity neighborhood of Lower Mills was not difficult. Everything became clear when I read the part of the article telling of his move that said: ““Everybody loves the mayor,” said Russell Hutchinson, a 76-year-old who moved to the street less than a year ago and feels a connection to Walsh, even though he has never spoken to him.”
If you know Russie Hutchinson you’d know Tuttle Street was not big enough to hold both men. One had to leave. It wasn’t going to be Russie.
Good luck to the major on his move. Now that he has convinced his Lorrie Higgins to leave Savin Hill with him perhaps he can get her to take down the Walls of Jericho that kept Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert separated and follow their example.
That, of course, is not the big news about the major. Whether it was the audience with the Pope or the break he took that took him away from Boston which gave him time to hob nob with other mayors, he came back to the Hub intent on making it perfectly clear to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) that runs the show in America, the committee that decides what American city will be able to bid with the World Olympic Committee on hosting the Olympics, that Boston was not going to be the sucker guaranteeing the debts of the games.
I have noted before that the Olympics traditionally go four times over its budget. That would have made them cost around 20 billion with the estimated revenue somewhere about a quarter of that. Even with the state willing to pick up some of it, as Governor Charlie Baker seemed intent on doing, the taxpayers in the city were going to take a big hit. Being basically a blue-collar guy, Mayor Walsh knew that for many Boston homeowners that would be a crushing blow. He knew from the Pope that his job was to make life easier for these people.
It is good he put Boston 2024 out of its misery before too much more time was wasted on that pipe dream which depended upon the Commonwealth of Massachusetts spending an additional six billion dollar on highway projects. Without being privy to his thought process I have to think that he recognized his ability to move the city forward would have been hampered by outsiders. He could have made no bold moves without having to run it by these strangers on the USOC. He would also have to run things by the governor and the Boston 2024 group.
Now that he has freed himself from these restraints, he can take the plans that were developed by Boston 2024 with respect to the recently discovered Widett Circle, Colombia Point and other parts of Boston and use them to come up with his own plan on expanding and improving those areas. Within two to three years he could be in a position to move forward with those plans rather than having to wait until after the 2024 Olympics were finished.
There is however one real downside to the major’s discussion of the Olympic bid. He said of the opposition to Boston 2024 that it its “for the most part is about 10 people on Twitter and a couple people out there who are constantly beating the drumbeat.” That shows a complete misunderstanding of the people who were opposed to those games. Worse, it shows a major who does not have his hands on the pulse of the city. Is he becoming too isolated; too surrounded by sycophants?
The statement about the “10 people on tweeter” and the move to a more exclusive neighborhood are unwelcome portents. Do they show the major is forgetting on what side his toast is buttered? I hope not because I think he can be a great major.
But if he is not careful, Russie Hutchinson might decide he would like to move into City Hall.