Yesterday’s Boston Globe featured the main course: A front-page piece on the hospital room where Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s been holed up for a month with a Whitman’s Sampler of symptoms from blood clots to spinal cracks.
Top aides help mayor retain links to his city
A black accordion file sits on a desk outside Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s empty office on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall. Most days, city employees stuff paper work into manila folders in the compartments: One sleeve is reserved for documents Menino needs to sign, another for memos the mayor needs to read.
Normally, the bundle goes home with Menino to Readville. But for the past 25 days, the plastic file has been driven the 3½ miles from City Hall to Francis Street, where doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital continue to treat Menino for a variety of ailments.
The impersonal shuttling of documents to the Brigham — and verbal orders the mayor shares from his hospital bed through an inner circle of aides — has become the main link between Menino and roughly 20,000 city employees he has closely managed for almost 20 years. It marks a stark change for Menino, who so prides himself on personal connections that he has forbidden voicemail at City Hall.
Another stark change: Today’s slim pickins in the Boston Herald, which feel decidedly warmed-over.
Gov. Deval Patrick and Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley have been among the visitors to Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who has been at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for a month and is expected to remain there through Thanksgiving.
Patrick and his wife, Diane, met with Menino for about 30 minutes at the hospital last weekend, while O’Malley, the Boston archbishop, visited on Friday, said Menino spokeswoman Dot Joyce.
“He’s able to engage and have conversations,” Joyce said. “They’re not long visits.”
The hardreading staff hopes that soon those visits won’t be necessary, and Mr. Mayah can get back to not checking his voicemail at City Hall.