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The Boston Globe

Opinion

TOM KEANE

Term limits would weaken Boston’s mayor

Tributes and encomiums followed Tom Menino’s announcement that his fifth term would be his last. But there’s been an undercurrent of discontent, too. It’s not so much over what the mayor achieved, but how some say he achieved it: by aggregating power and wielding it ruthlessly — “Boss Menino,” if you will.

There are those who fault Menino’s personality, saying he’s obsessed with score-settling, taking offense at the most minor of slights and holding grudges forever. Others look at the issue more broadly, arguing the problem is the length of the mayor’s tenure itself, which allowed him to obtain so much clout. The simple solution is term limits. What’s good enough for the president of the United States should be good enough for a mayor, right? Be wary of simple solutions however. They often have a downside.

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