Marty Walsh Learns How Being Mayor Is Like Having an Overprotective Parent

And that parent’s name is City Council.

cape cod

Cape cod Photo via Shutterstock

It was said often during Tom Menino’s reign that the power of the mayor’s office far outstripped that of the City Council, so Marty Walsh might have been surprised to find a way in which being Mayor is occasionally like being 14-years-old with a mom who is, like, totally ruining his life.

The Globe pointed out this weekend that when Walsh snuck off to Cape Cod, he broke the law by failing to notify the City Council in writing. Indeed, it turns out that being mayor of Boston is akin to having a mom who demands you call her and tell her where you are at all times, even though you’re basically already an adult and she’s being totally insane. The Municipal Code for the City of Boston stipulates:

The Mayor of the City of Boston shall be required to inform the City Council President of any absence of the Mayor from the City of Boston. The Mayor shall provide the date of his departure from Boston and the date of his return to Boston to the City Council President.

Walsh’s press secretary suggested to the Globe that this rule—like the City Council president’s continued refusal to buy Walsh a car for his birthday or let him go to the Zedd concert even though Jane’s mom is letting her go—“may require a fresh review and change.”

It’s not even the only onerous rule in the city ordinances that Walsh has to follow in order to stay in the the City Council’s good graces. Being mayor, it turns out, is a lot like having a helicopter parent. For instance:

Walsh has a fixed allowance. (“The Mayor shall be paid an annual salary of  one hundred seventy-five thousand ($175,000.00) dollars.”)

He can’t just throw a good old inauguration party whenever he wants, “unless such funds are expressly appropriated by the City Council for such purpose, nor unless the time and place for holding such ceremony is fixed by the Mayor with approval of the City Council.”

He’s not even allowed to remove constables without asking first. (“The Mayor may, with the consent of the City Council, remove a constable from office for gross misconduct.”)  What a buzzkill.

So while Walsh may thank City Council when he gets older for giving him structure and teaching him limits, for now, a life that he thought might confer great power is turning out to contain some real bogus restrictions, too. But like Mayor Menino before him, maybe Walsh can look forward to leaving the mayor’s office and heading off to a nice college like B.U., where he can really let loose.