Q & A, #3

"Wes" writes:

How are the two new city councilors - Mark Ciommo of A/B and John Connolly of WR - fitting in to their new seats? Are either making any waves? Where would they fall in the impending Flaherty/Menino showdown (exactly how close are they to the mayor)?

And is there any chance Tobin would throw in for the 09 race? Would Tobin ally with Flaherty for the 09 race?

Too early for me to have much to say about Ciommo and Connolly, but my sense is that the Council has so many newbies -- five of the 13 joined within the last two years and change, right? -- that the newest newbies aren't feeling too odd. I spoke with Connolly fairly recently, and he seemed to realize how much he has to learn, and how quickly, about the way things work in City Hall. He was still putting together his staff, learning the rules and procedures, and of course figuring out who you need to know to get things done. I imagine it's similar for Ciommo, although with the added burden of the nitty-gritty demands of his district constituents. Plus, both have significant committee assignments -- Connolly (a former teacher) is education chair, and Ciommo (whose district has BC and Harvard expanding) chairs institutional relations. AND both are on Ways & Means, and it's time for budget hearings. Wisely, both seem to be keeping their heads down for the moment.

Ciommo is considered a Menino ally; Connolly not so much. Tobin was a huge help to Connolly in his election campaign, so if Tobin runs it puts JC in a tough spot -- he'd certainly want to be with Tobin, but is he willing to alienate himself from the mayor so early in his public career?

I think Tobin is unlikely to run this time, because the circumstances just aren't going to look right. But, if circumstances change, he'll jump. Let's put it this way: If he thinks there's a serious chance that someone other than Menino will be taking the oath in January 2010, he won't want it to be somebody else -- because then it's another 12 or 16 years before there's another chance.

Oh, and I don't think any of the current city councilors will endorse Flaherty if he runs, but I could be wrong.

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