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The Hiller Instinct

Should Menino run for another term as mayor?

It's the holiday season, and I'm hoping Mayor Menino will be home for Christmas after spending Thanksgiving in a hospital.

Now he's in a full-time rehabilitation facility which means he's not sick enough to stay in a hospital, but not well enough to recover in his own house.

The mayor has been out of action for more than six weeks, and the city is now counting the days.

So let me just say it: the mayor should think about not running again.

He could retire as the longest serving mayor in Boston's history - the champion of city hall. Best of all, he could leave on top, on his own terms.

Why should he?

Well, what words best describe Menino? How about neighborhoods, people, long days, and pressure?

He's been dealing with them all for nineteen years.

To see what he's accomplished, just look around: how many other cities in America are as vibrant, or as filled with potential for the future? Not many.

Please be clear: I'm not telling the mayor not to run, I'm asking him not to run if his mind is up to it, but his body isn't.

And--if he called it a career--who'd argue that he wouldn't have won if he ran again--even if his health were in doubt.

I don't want to be premature, but do you know anyone who's spent more than a month in a hospital and wasn't very sick?

The mayor is going to be 70 this month. He has Diabetes and Crohn's disease. He has two bad knees, and his back is bad enough to need pain medication.

For decades, Tom Menino has been the face of Boston.

But if he can't do the job the way he has, then he needs to face that.