T-Mizzy Gets Shrewd

1212681592It’s very easy to underestimate Mayor Tom Menino. As Howie Carr likes to point out, he mispronounces a lot of words, and he wears big blueberry windsuits when he bikes around Hyde Park.

But while he sometimes speaks like he has a mouthful of marbles, and while he remains sartorially challenged, he ain’t stupid.

The Globe reports that the city council forgot to read a line item buried on page 342 of Volume II of the Mayor’s budget, and inadvertently allotted more than $2 million for studies on the feasibility of moving City Hall to the Waterfront.

In an interview after the hearing, [councilor Michael Flaherty] said that he did not realize he had already voted to approve the funding for the studies. Nor, he said, did he realize that the council had approved $850,000 last year for a study of the site, known as Drydock 4. Flaherty accused the administration of slipping it into the 417-page budget in a bid to fool the council.

The response from Menino’s cabinet? Too bad, so sad.

“It’s not hidden; this is the way the document’s structured,” said Lisa Signori, the mayor’s Cabinet chief for administration and finance. “The page number is irrelevant. There’s an index.”

What a great response. It was all right there. In the index.

Menino isn’t only dealing blows to the underlings on the city council. He’s also exacting his revenge on national political figures, namely leaving Sen. John Kerry out to dry at the state’s Democratic convention.

Menino abandoned Kerry as the senator sought to block a primary rival from winning enough support to make the ballot at the Democratic State Committee convention in Lowell two weeks ago.

It was a blow that means Kerry – who has sought to rebuild his national profile since his 2004 presidential defeat – will face a primary foe for the first time since 1984.

The message, as always: Don’t mess with Menino.