Flaherty says he's in, expected to apply for at-large nomination papers on Monday

Michael Flaherty: Campaigning for mayor in '09. He'll return to the citywide stump tomorrow. Michael Flaherty: Campaigning for mayor in '09. He'll return to the citywide stump tomorrow. Former City Councillor At-Large Michael Flaherty said Sunday he’s launching an effort to reclaim one of the four at-large seats he held prior to running for mayor in 2009. In a release, Flaherty, who was an at-large councillor between 2000 and 2009, said he will be at the Election Department on Monday at 11 a.m. to apply for nomination papers.

Flaherty is also planning an organizational meeting with top supporters on Wednesday evening at the Cornerstone in South Boston.

Flaherty’s entrance into the race guarantees a ballot royale in an off-year election, with low turnout expected in most neighborhoods. All four incumbents -- Stephen Murphy, John Connolly, Felix Arroyo and Ayanna Pressley -- are running for re-election.

Flaherty announced his run through an emailed four-page press release and on social networking sites like Twitter. A former prosecutor, Flaherty currently works at the law firm of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan PC.

In 2009, Flaherty unsuccessfully ran for mayor, opening up his City Council seat. Speculation has been swirling since last year about his next steps.

“The fact is that members of the council are routinely marginalized by the mayor, kept in line by a carrot and stick approach that is counterproductive to spirited and thoughtful political debate,” he said in a statement. “I know this from first-hand experience and I will be the first to admit that, during my early council career, I was part of it. Gradually, however, you come to realize that this situation is unhealthy for the city, its finances and its future.”

In the release, Flaherty echoed some of criticisms he leveled during his mayoral run, saying some areas of the city had become “shooting galleries,” hitting the city’s school assignment policy, and pointing to the “huge crater” in Downtown Crossing in a reference to the stalled redevelopment of the former Filene’s Basement building.

Flaherty, a South Boston Democrat, also sought to head off questions about whether he is running to get back on the 13-member council in order to slingshot into another mayoral run in the future. He said in the release he was focused on running for City Council.

"If and when the appropriate time comes, I will assess future political options then. But right now, it is my goal to win election to the Boston City Council in November and to get back to work for the people of Boston,” he said.

Potential candidates need 1,500 certified signatures in order to make the fall ballot.

PREVIOUSLY: Flaherty says he will make decision in spring on At-Large run; Reporter's Notebook: On pastor’s show, Flaherty focus is Menino, Council