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The Boston Globe

Opinion

TOM KEANE

The numbers are in: Menino was a great mayor

Politics is fun: the clash of candidates in campaigns, the pageantry of speeches and ribbon-cuttings, and the gossip about who did what to whom. Governance, on the other hand, can be dull: Few get excited about the back-office world of spreadsheets and green eyeshades, of non-recurring revenue, balanced budgets, bond ratings, and pension obligations.

Boring or not, though, this is the stuff that really matters. If you want to measure a city politician’s real success, look at the numbers — and by that measure, former Boston mayor Tom Menino’s tenure shines as an example for his successor, a point driven home by a just-issued report from the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, the independent business-funded watchdog.

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