Mayoral challenger Michael F. Flaherty Jr., a son of South Boston who grew up playing hockey, joined the Teamsters as a young man, and still likes to hit the heavy bag at the gym in the morning, isn’t exactly known as a touchy-feely type.
But talking about his approach to conflict resolution today, he sounded more like a New Age guru than a rough-and-tumble man of the streets, saying that, as mayor, he wouldn’t keep a “naughty list” of critics and political opponents -- a reference to a phrase found in the emails of a top aide to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
"If you come to a community meeting or you come to a press conference, or you offer a concern or a different point of view or you’re critical, we’re going to hug it out," Flaherty said at a news conference about development in Allston. "We’re going to recognize it for what it is and work through it."
Paul Alford, an Allston resident who was at the press conference and had been sharply questioning Flaherty about how many community meetings he had attended, piped up and asked: “Do I get a hug after the conference?”
Flaherty nodded. "You get a hug," he said, to laughter from his campaign staff and several local activists.
Not to be outdone, Councilor at Large Sam Yoon, who is campaigning with Flaherty, offered his own embrace, as well. "We’re going to hug it out," he said.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more