Why does a hospitality blog include a review on the job performance of a big city mayor? Part of it may be the timing in the Boston Marathon Bombing trial but that is only one small slice of it
The answer is that mayors actually are much more the heart and soul of where we all live, just as we as hotel and restaurant managers and hotel owners are the center of many small businesses.
Menino -What a new Boston and new America needed then and now- a person who cares more about the citizens than himself! This book is properly titled as America needs a NEW approach in city governance. Thomas Menino has authored an exceptional recap of his time as the CEO of one of America’s oldest, most culturally diverse and at times controversial cities.
First – the oldest descriptor – Boston has often been a hot bed of activity, in politics, government, trends, sports and more. Menino tackled all of those topics and more in his 5 terms. In his 1st inaugural, he addressed Boston’s newest immigrants with “I am your mayor. You came here seeking a better life, just like my grandparents.” The book addresses the many small and sometimes large ways this rather quiet man from Hyde Park found his way to City Hall for that record 5 terms and service as the longest mayor in Boston history. (He actually ran unopposed in 1997)
Second, the descriptor of culturally diverse – Boston has had many waves of immigrants from many nations. Some of those immigrants stayed, while others left. Some kept their native heritage while embracing the new American dreams, while others chose to blend in as quickly as possible. In a city (and state) known for its Irish politicians, Menino became the 1st Italian American to find his way into the heads and hearts of the very diverse population of Boston. As one who was born 50 miles from Boston and a former resident, I have experienced this blend of different values that can be both uplifting as well as challenging. The stories in this book are not so much about him, but more about how he cared enough to keep trying until there were results for all.
Third, the descriptor of controversial. Boston has had much controversy. Some was about race, some about schools and others about the financial differences in the many parts of the city. He discusses busing, racism and the efforts to get better jobs and opportunities for more than just a select few.
He openly shares the struggles and challenges in dealing with school committees and school reform to make 21st century students in Boston. He describes the issues with teachers unions, as well as the police and fire departments that had two centuries of tradition that Menino felt needed discussion and updates.
He discusses reform and change in dealing with the evolution in health care, while caring for the poor of Boston. Real estate is very valuable in certain parts of Boston and the wheeling/dealing insights are fascinating. He even discusses the then controversial topic of what Boston should or should not do to keep the New England Patriots and their financially well set owners content to stay.
This is a self made man – he entered the University of Massachusetts to begin to earn his college degree the same year as his 18 year old daughter.
I enjoy only a limited number of books about politicians and public service, as too many tend to glorify the author or person described. This book seems to tell it pretty much like it was – at times down and dirty, and at other times everyone working together, like the city did after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
I have not lived in Boston since the 1970s and am not naive enough to think Thomas Menino was a perfect mayor. It does seem like he was what a new Boston and a new America needed at the time – someone who cared more about the citizens than himself.
I READ AND REVIEWED THIS BOOK IN LATE SEPT/EARLY OCT 2014. IT WAS VERY SAD TO LEARN THAT MAYOR MENINO PASSED AWAY ON 10/30/14. SEE THIS LINK FOR OTHERS WHO COMMENTED ON HIS LIFE http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/10/30/local-leaders-remember-mayor-tom-menino/
John J. Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan MBA CHO are the co-founders of HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.
The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses. Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals. While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.
John Hogan is also the principal ofHoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.
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Dr. John Hogan