Q&A #9: Boston

A couple of Boston questions! "R.O.B." asks:

After Mayor Menino, who are the most powerful figures in city government?

This strikes me as one of those mind-bender Zen koans. There is no power in the city of Boston that is not ultimately derived from Mayor Menino, is there?

I'll say this, though: aside from Menino, there may be nobody with more influence on the city's future than Kairos Shen of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Anybody disagree?

On another front, "NoMichaelFlaherty" asks:

With John Connolly and Steve Murphy coming in a weak 3rd and 4th in last year's At Large race during a low-turnout election, what would the impact be of a 3rd strong candidate of color running in a mayoral year. For instance, a Suzanne Lee?

First question is whether there will be an actual mayoral race in 2013. If Menino runs again, as I've long predicted he would, I'm not sure who of significance would take him on -- and if the answer is nobody, then you've got another low-turnout, low-attention race in which the incumbents are once cycle better known.

So I'm saying it would be tough. But it's also possible that 2013 will be the year Murph decides to call it a career, opening up a seat -- and there would certainly be a good chance of a minority taking it.

As for Lee, I think she'll run again in the district, regardless of how it gets redistricted.

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