Let's be honest: former Mayor Tom Menino ruled like a benevolent despot. He was a likeable dictator, which happens to be the most effective, efficient form of government.
Because there's no opposition, no give and take, and no need for compromise.
But now Boston has a mayor committed to making all Boston one Boston, and there's no escaping his belief that's not what it is right now.
So every decision Mayor Marty Walsh makes can--and will--be debated, which will reveal differences and disagreements that have long been hidden.
Which is very good for the health of the city, because democracy is supposed to be noisy.
It's not disrespectful to say Mayor Menino took the city as far as he could, and--for the next step--it needs exactly what it has: a new mayor committed to change.
And--in his inaugural address--Mayor Walsh gave us the ruler to measure him by. "I will listen. I will learn. I will lead," he said.
If he does, Boston's future is secure.
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