Editorial: Passing the political torches

With the New Year will come a new mayor for the first time in a generation.

We thank outgoing Mayor Thomas Menino for his tireless devotion to the city and its neighborhoods. Menino was a great promoter of the idea that Boston is only as strong as its neighborhoods, and it is no coincidence that Mission Hill came into its own, through very rough times, under his leadership. Menino never sought other offices and did the job until he literally could not anymore. Few mayors can boast of such commitment.

We also welcome incoming Mayor Marty Walsh. In his impressive, broad-based campaign, Walsh highlighted many issues of crucial local interest: housing costs and the dwindling middle class; public transit improvements; small business development; better government transparency.

Another big passing of the political torch is District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross stepping down and Josh Zakim taking over.

Ross lives in Mission Hill, and the neighborhood has never had a better advocate in City Hall. Omnipresent and consistently effective, he won fewer negative impacts and more community benefits from local institutions. He championed small businesses, battled bad landlords, and fought for Mission Hill to have quality public schools. We thank him for his unparalleled service to the neighborhood.

Zakim, who lives in the Back Bay, knows he has something to prove as the new city councilor. He is off to a good start, operating his campaign headquarters in Mission Hill and reaching out to learn the local ropes. We welcome him as the neighborhood’s newest partner.

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