First of all, Mayor Tom Menino wants us to be talking about "economic recovery," not "economic stimulus." I'm not 100% sure why the distinction is so important, but I know that it matters to hizzoner, because he was kind enough to chat with this morning about the federal government's "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act." Menino is understandably very keen on getting some of those trillion-or-so shekels into the Hub; he is trying to extol the virtues of giving much of the money directly to cities, rather than to governors -- the latter, he argues, is slower and more bureaucratic, with poorer oversight, whereas cities can get shovels in the ground right away on worthy projects.
To help Boston's effort, Menino has named an "economic recovery czar" for the city, who will be Jake Sullivan of Menino's intergovernmental relations office. Several years ago, Sullivan was in charge of getting Homeland Security grants for the city, which was not entirely dissimilar to what he'll be doing with this economic stimulus -- oops, recovery -- funding. If I'm not mistaken, Boston had to go to the state for that homeland security money; clearly, Menino would prefer to get as much as possible straight from the federal government, in addition to fighting for the state dollars.