Boston's Mayor Tom Menino: Back Behind the Wheel

According to an article in the Boston Globe today, Boston Mayor Tom Menino -- who is set to retire from public service the first of January – is back behind the wheel after 20 years of having a Boston Police officer chauffeur him around the city. He's purchased a Lexus SUV, and he's ready to hit the streets again. Would you take a ride with him? At age 71, Menino is headed to a new job founding an Institute on Cities at Boston University, and when he shows up there to punch in, it'll be behind the wheel of his own car. RELATED: How Duck Boats Became the Official Vehicle of Boston Championships Menino took office two decades ago. He still lives in the humble Hyde Park house where he started out as a Boston City Councilor, but his one concession to the trappings provided for the Mayor of one of America's most vibrant cities was the use of a Boston Police-provided chauffeur. He still drove to church on Sundays until recently, when he had some health problems that forced him to use the City-provided ride. Last week, Mayor Menino purchased a Lexus RX350, and he's expressed some surprise about the amenities: “There was a button to turn on the engine!” Menino exclaimed of a car he recently drove. “A button to call somebody,” he added, working his way to a punch line. “I kept looking for the clutch!” RELATED: Examining the Vehicles of the Boston Manhunt
Boston's Mayor Tom Menino: Back Behind the Wheel
According to the Globe, Menino has a valid driver’s license, according to the Registry of Motor vehicles. He has not received a ticket since 1989, when he was cited for speeding in Hatfield, the day after his 47th birthday, records show. RELATED: Mercedes Safety Tech Helped Track Boston Bombing Suspects Twenty years later, the Boston Globe reports Menino remains the city’s most powerful backseat driver: “Still today I tell them you gotta go there, you gotta go there,” Menino said, pointing. “I know all the shortcuts. I know ways around some issues. I drive them crazy. I drive them nuts. I always think I have a better idea. Most times they have a better idea.” True to his word, Menino bickered with his driver last week on a trip to Downtown Crossing. “It would have been quicker that way; that’s all I’m saying,” he said. “We’re going all round the world.” Now Menino has to face traffic like the rest of us. “Driving to town in the morning is the worst thing in the whole world,” Menino said, noting that can take him more than 50 minutes to get to City Hall. “People come in from New Hampshire faster than I come in from Hyde Park.’’ Image Source: Boston.com

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