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The Boston Globe

Opinion

TOM KEANE

The defining issue of the mayor’s race

It’s nonsense to say that Boston can’t afford the $83 million pay hike a panel of arbitrators just awarded to the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Union. With an annual budget of $2.6 billion, of course it can. Here’s how: Increase class sizes. Reduce the number of cops on the street. Stop twice-weekly trash pickups. Cut the parks department.

It’s choices like these that make this issue — a consequence of a bombshell decision that just came out last week — perhaps the issue of the city’s mayoral campaign. And it’s one that will hurt candidate Marty Walsh, feeding into worries that he is too beholden to city unions to be an effective mayor.

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