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On Menino’s Hyde Park street, fond wishes for a ‘great neighbor’

Menino spoke to a gaggle of reporters when he left his house in Hyde Park this morning.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Menino spoke to a gaggle of reporters when he left his house in Hyde Park this morning.

After Mayor Thomas M. Menino briefly spoke with the media this morning outside his Hyde Park home before heading to City Hall, several of his neighbors expressed disappointment that he would not seek a sixth term in office.

They also reflected on Menino the neighbor, who shoveled snow from his driveway and sidewalks, offered condolences to families who lost loved ones, and held magnificent summertime barbecues that filled his street with people.

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“Great neighbor — I wish him the best and I hope he enjoys his retirement,” said George Poulos, a retired MBTA employee who has lived in the neighborhood for 14 years.

“I don’t think anybody else will duplicate it, go five terms, I think that’s a record that won’t be beat,” Poulos said, standing on the sidewalk in front of Menino’s house in the Readville section, holding a leash attached to Sonny, his frisky golden retriever puppy.

“He’s helped a lot of people; that’s his legacy.”

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Directly across Chesterfield Street, Judy Pais, 64, teared up when she recalled how the mayor reached out to her when her father died years ago.

Menino sent her family two cooked turkeys and fixings for her father’s wake, and came back early from a trip to attend his funeral, she said, standing at her front door.

“I’m heartbroken he’s not going to run again, I’ve enjoyed having them across the street. They’re wonderful people, good neighbors,’’ Pais said of the 70-year-old Menino and his wife, Angela.

“He’s a regular guy just like the rest of us, you know, and that’s how he approached the job of mayor,” Pais said. “I’m not so politically active, but I think the city’s better off for having him these past 20 years. It’s the little things that count, in a big way.”

Louie Giannangelo, 78, a retired crane operator, has lived in the neighborhood his entire life. He’s offered his services as a driver to Menino, but the mayor politely declined, telling Giannangelo he would have to be a Boston police officer to have a shot at that post. Giannangelo said he haf helped the mayor on some of his campaigns.

“Oh, he’s a great mayor and this city will never see anyone like him again,” Giannangelo said. “He’s done so much, taken care of the people and he’s put the city on the right path. I’m sad that he’s retiring. I think he has more to give.”

Brian Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com Follow him on Twitter @GlobeBallou.
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