#BosMayor Round-Up: Oct. 2, 2013

34 days to Nov. 5. Thirteen days until the first televised debate between the two finalists. City Councillor At-Large John Connolly heads to Citizen Schools’ Fort Point HQ to speak to sixth graders from Orchard Gardens about what it takes to run for public office. State Rep. Marty Walsh is also scheduled to meet with students, as well as hit the Downtown Boston Improvement District’s annual meeting on Court Street.

GOLAR RICHIE SAYS SHE’LL ENDORSE IN NEXT FIVE DAYS: Former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie, who came in third place in the preliminary election, said Tuesday she plans one of the two finalists in the next several days. “In the next five days I will make a decision,” she told Jim Braude in an interview on New England Cable News. “I don’t want to drag it out, right? My endorsement’s not going to be that helpful if I’m waiting ‘til Week 4 or something.” She said she has had “preliminary” discussions with both candidates. The “BroadSide” interview covered a wide variety of topics, including the patrolmen’s union arbitration award (“It’s pretty rich”) and whether she’ll make another run down the line (“I don’t have a plan to run for office anytime soon”). She also defended her campaign, which came in for criticism from both columnists and political insiders. Golar Richie said her campaign did “quite well” despite coming in third. “But we knew that we had some obstacles that we had to get past. And one was the timing of my entry into the race; another was the fact that I didn’t have a ready organization and war chest. Those aren’t excuses, that’s just the reality we were dealing with. Still, I felt that I could get in there and that I could really gain the traction I needed to make it into the final. We came real close we just didn’t get to the end.” Asked if she received fair treatment from the media, Golar Richei said, “I would say, generally speaking, I was pleased with the media.”

THE DAY AHEAD: A list of happenings, as provided by the campaigns. Schedule entries are subject to change:

State Rep. Marty Walsh

3:30 p.m. Rep. Walsh will meet students from Roxbury (Orchard Gardens, 308 Congress Street)

4:15 p.m. Downtown Boston Improvement District Corporation annual meeting (Oceanaire Seafood Room, 40 Court Street)

6:15 p.m. Chinatown Residents Meeting (Josiah Quincy School, 885 Washington Street)

7:00 p.m. Rep. Walsh will greet supporters in East Boston (East Boston Yacht Club, 1 Rice Street)

8:30 p.m. Rep. Walsh will meet with community activists in Jamaica Plain (15 Woodman Street)

City Councillor At-Large John Connolly

City Council Meeting
12:00 PM
City Hall, Boston, MA

Teacher For a Day with Citizen Schools*
3:00 PM
308 Congress Street, Boston, MA

Speaking at Chinatown Residents Association Meeting
6:30 PM
885 Washington Street, Boston, MA

ARBITRATION AWARD, ROUND 76: Connolly said Tuesday that he would vote against the award in its current form.

Since the arbitrator’s decision was released this weekend, I did what I said would do, which is to gather the facts and make an informed decision that is in the best interest of the city and its people. I met with the city’s chief financial officer, Meredith Weenick, to understand the financial impact. I met with the city’s labor relations chief, John Dunlap, to understand the city’s view of the negotiations. I met with the patrolmen’s association and their attorney to understand their view.

After gathering the facts and discussing the issues in detail with both sides, I have concluded that the City Council cannot responsibly vote to approve this contract. It would damage the city’s long-term fiscal health and it would set a dangerous precedent for all future labor negotiations in the city. I have also concluded that our police officers with less than ten years of service are disadvantaged by the structure of this contract.

Boston’s police officers have gone without a raise for nearly five years. There is no question that our police officers deserve a raise – a significant one – and shouldn’t wait five years for it.

But the question is whether the arbitrator’s decision strikes the right balance between achieving fiscal responsibility and compensating officers fairly. I have concluded that it does not and I’m calling on the city and the patrolmen’s association to go back to the bargaining table.

Having talked with both the city and the patrolmen’s association, I know they can find common ground on this contract. The city can responsibly afford a generous proposal, one that is fair to our police officers, but not one that will cost us over $80 million. I am confident that if the city and the patrolmen’s association come back with a reasonable compromise settlement, the City Council will approve it. But if not, and if this contract is presented to the City Council, I will vote no.

Walsh's camp issued a statement after Connolly's press conference outside City Hall.

“I believe that the arbitrator's award is out of line with the current economic environment and not in the best interests of the taxpayers. From the beginning, I have made that clear and called for the Mayor and the BPPA to return to the negotiating table to come up with an agreement that works for the City and honors the hard work of our brave police, who have been without a contract for years. If a majority of the City Council should in fact vote no to the existing agreement, the parties will be forced back to the bargaining table. I will continue to encourage those same parties to honor the basic tenets of collective bargaining and avoid the City Council vote by jointly agreeing to resume negotiations, and for that reason I am going to continue to call for the sides to do that as quickly as possible so that the City Council does not have to intervene. I believe that the best thing for the City and the police is to get back to the bargaining table and agree to a deal that works for both sides."

ODDS & ENDS: Natasha Perez, who served as Michael Flaherty’s spokeswoman during the then-councillor’s mayoral run in 2009, has signed on with John Connolly.....Pols versus pundits? Journalists and elected officials chat about setting up a basketball game now that the preliminary is over.....MassLive’s Garrett Quinn talked to the mayoral candidates about the federal government shutdown.