Boston Mayor Marty Walsh won't run for re-election for another two years. But at UP Academy Dorchester — a polling place in District 4, where longtime City Councilor Charles Yancey is trying to fend off a tough challenge from Andrea Campbell —Walsh's performance was very much on the mind of Anita Criswell, who voted around 4 p.m.
And judging from her comments, the mayor may have some work to do to win Criswell's vote in 2017.
"The one issue I have is crime," Criswell said. "The kids at the corner of Geneva Ave and Tonawanda and Waldak Street[s], they should not be hanging around that corner like that. I avoid that corner. I will not come in from Geneva Ave."
"The other issue I have is cleanliness," Criswell added. "They" — the Walsh Administration — "don't do as much as Mayor Menino did, okay?"
Former mayor Tom Menino served as mayor from 1993 to 2013, the longest stretch of any mayor in Boston's history. He died in October 2014.
Asked if she sees any other differences between Menino's tenure and Walsh's, Criswell said she does.
"I don't see our mayor in the neighborhood like we did with Menino," she replied. "You know, you'd see him a few times a year in the neighborhood. I've yet to see Walsh in the neighborhood. Maybe he's been here, but I haven't seen him, and I'm in the neighborhood all the time. I haven't seen him to come around and see what our problems are and what our concerns are."
Richard Shelton, who was leaving the polls with Criswell, had another issue on his mind — namely, the impending arrival of winter, and his frustration with the way the city handled snow removal last year.
"Snow problems [are] very bad," Shelton said. "You dig out, and they come back and shovel you back in. You have to go to work in the morning. It's terrible."
Come 2017, Walsh may have an easier time wooing Shelton, who didn't seem to recall superior snow removal doing the Menino years.