Boston Mayor Tom Menino won't be running for a sixth term this fall, as first reported on Twitter by David Bernstein (one week after his longtime employer, the Boston Phoenix, ceased publication).
There hasn't been a mayoral race in Boston without an incumbent since 1983, so expect a lot of new faces and unrealistic hopes in the campaign. Given the city's large population of newcomers (most current residents weren't even born in Massachusetts, let alone the Hub), there will be a lot of voters casting a ballot for a new mayor for the first time.
I'm already seeing Tweets and Facebook updates about how a new mayor could make Boston a livelier, more welcoming place, but most of the desired changes are either long-term in nature (building enough housing to meet demand, restoring Downtown Crossing and other former retail centers by bringing in... something) or not under the control of City Hall (the state controls the MBTA and the number of liquor licenses permitted in Boston).
I'm not sure what a new mayor can do in his or her first year to fulfill the expectations of the Future Boston crowd. Despite his reputation for stodginess, Menino did preside over the introductions of food trucks and bike-sharing and windmills in the Hub, and he helped make the city government one of the most gay-friendly in the US. A new mayor, no matter how hip, cannot bring 24-hour subway service or happy hours (banned by the state) to Boston. I'm curious to see what a creative-class-backed mayor would do to keep up the enthusiasm of his or her political base.
And I'm not impressed by anyone who says they'll be voting, or volunteering, in their first Boston election. Not unless they're serious about following through and voting in 2014, 2015, and 2016.