In a surprise move this week, the Boston City Council votedalmost unanimously to amend its rules and allow the council to remove its president — currently acting Mayor Kim Janey — with a two thirds vote. The Scrum podcast co-hosts Peter Kadzis, GBH news politics editor, and Adam Reilly, GBH news politics reporter, joined Henry Santoro on Morning Edition to break down what it means for Janey and the Boston mayoral race.
The council’s move to change its rules took most political insiders by surprise, but it doesn’t mean there are any plans to remove Janey, Kadzis said.
“I don’t think anyone wants this to happen,” he said. “It’s a warning shot.”
Reilly said the move reflects the council members' inclination to work more closely with Janey as “political partners.”
“I think people were just frustrated and wanted to remind her, ‘you’re the acting mayor, you haven’t been elected mayor by the city as a whole — you’re still one of us,’” Reilly said. “‘We made you acting mayor essentially, and we want to be able to work with you.’”
WATCH: Adam Reilly on the city council's new rules
Boston’s other acting mayor, Tom Menino, often left out the ‘acting’ part of his title when he introduced himself to city voters, Kadzis noted, but behind the scenes among fellow councilors there was a sense of comradery. Janey, he said, is striking a different tone behind closed doors.
More importanly, Kadzis said, the move is partly a warning to Janey after the firing of Dennis White: “‘Don’t even think of naming a police commissioner.’”
Also this week, mayoral candidates Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell, both city councilors, announced they wouldn’t seek an endorsement from the police union, a move Kadzis and Reilly said was a smart political play.
While neither Wu nor Campbell were likely to get the endorsement, nevertheless, Kadzis said, “it’s very good politics… in today’s climate, it could be viewed as a badge of shame.”
Reilly said refusing the endorsement could also give an upper hand to both candidates, as Annissa Essaibi George emerges as a favorite candidate for public safety organizations. “If and when she [Essaibi George] gets the big police unions, it’s a way to diminish the value of that, maybe even leverage those endorsements against her,” he said.