We get to vote for 4 at-large councilors next week to fill the four at-large seats on the City Council. But the Globe endorsed only one at-large candidate. Does The Globe feel that strongly positive about John Connolly or that negative about the other candidates ? I wonder what has changed, particularly for the incumbents who have been endorsed by The Globe more than once over the years. Here's a look back at what previous Globe endorsements have said about Yoon, Arroyo, and Flaherty who this year are not getting The Globe's "vote".
In 2005 The Globe endorsed Connolly, Yoon, Arroyo, and Flaherty, writing:
"We also endorse Sam Yoon , 35, a housing specialist and the city's first Asian-American to run for council. Yoon represents the best of the new Boston, bridging constituencies with smart, independent ideas.
We also believe incumbent councilors Felix Arroyo and Council President Michael Flaherty deserve another term. Arroyo, from Jamaica Plain, has become a popular fixture on the council and is committed to equity for all the city's residents. Flaherty, of South Boston, could do more with his council presidency, but he has a broad knowledge of city operations and bridges constituencies well."
Back in 2003 the Globe endorsed all four incumbents in the at-large race - Maura Hennigan, Stephen Murphy, Michael Flaherty, and Felix Arroyo. Their reasoning was:
Stephen Murphy used his Beacon Hill connections to good purpose last summer when fighting for local aid restorations for Boston. The 46-year-old incumbent, serving his third full term, acts as a bridge between younger and veteran councilors. He also weathers Mayor Menino's political paroxysms better than most.
"If he screams, half of them dive under their desks," says Murphy of his colleagues. The councilor from Hyde Park may appear rash, but he's smart and attentive, as evidenced by his recent role in reforming an ill-conceived state law requiring Boston to set aside disproportionate funds to pay abatements on property taxes.
The City Council president, Michael Flaherty, has been assailed in recent weeks by a district councilor who pegged him as autocratic and complicit in "institutional racism." It can be argued that Flaherty has been arbitrary when applying a procedural rule used to silence councilors who stray from direct city business. But the racism charge was deeply unfair. Flaherty, 34, represents the new political leadership in Boston that rejects the racial divisiveness of the past.
Flaherty recognizes percolating issues. He tracks potential land sales by the Archdiocese of Boston for use as schools or inexpensive housing. He argues passionately for city funds for drug treatment to block further inroads by heroin dealers. And he used his Council clout to pressure Manulife Financial Corp. to make good on its commitments to city housing and job training trusts. Flaherty understands the city's pressure points, and he uses that knowledge responsibly.
Felix Arroyo, who finished fifth in last month's preliminary, is fighting gamely to retain his seat. The city's first Latino councilor boasts an impressive resume, including stints as a member of the Boston School Committee and personnel director for the City of Boston. Arroyo will ensure equity for minority students if the School Department, as expected, expands its system of walk-to neighborhood schools. And he brings an understanding of how tough it is to make a go of it financially in Boston, a point made well when Arroyo speaks of needing a relative's help to make a down payment on a family home.