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Newton mayor Setti Warren on what Tom Menino taught him about governing

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  March 28, 2013 05:05 PM

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When I first became mayor of Newton, I had a chance to meet with Boston Mayor Tom Menino. I thought it was going to be a very brief courtesy meeting. But it turned into a 45-minute talk about how to be an effective mayor and public servant. We talked about everything from his initiative on gun violence, which I joined, to some of the new innovative practices on citizen outreach he put into place.

In that meeting, he really emphasized the importance of giving kids opportunities. One of the things I'm pushing this summer is internships for local kids. I got that idea from him. He advised me that it’s important to have the long-term view, but it's vital to be on the ground. Certainly that’s the way he conducted himself as mayor. On a personal level I appreciated his friendship and advice. From a professional standpoint, having him as a role model for municipal government was a real opportunity.

He and I have had a lot of time to spend with each other, and one of the things I learned is that he developed this great friendship with Pedro Martinez. I used to love watching Pedro pitch, so to hear the mayor talk about him as a friend was a great surprise to me. This is a guy who can be friends with a future Hall of Fame pitcher, but can also relate to the local person in the neighborhood that has no fame or wealth. They are both just as important to him. I really enjoyed that authentic way about the mayor, how he had friends like Pedro, but at the same time he treated people from Dorchester and Southie with the same respect.

Setti Warren is the mayor of Newton.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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