City Councilor at- Large
A son of South Boston, Michael Flaherty is one of 8 candidates on the final ballot for Boston City Council at-Large. He is no stranger to local politics. He served on the Boston City Council before as well as ran for mayor of Boston in 2009. He is married to Laurene (Farrell) and the father of four children, Patrick, Michael, Ella and Jack. Here’s a little Q&A with Michael Flaherty:
Why are you running for City Council?
I am running for Boston City Council At-Large because I am committed to helping Boston become the greatest city we can be. With Mayor Menino stepping down and coupled with several members of the city council coming off the council to run for mayor, there will be a large turnover in City Hall and a great loss of experience within the council. But now, more than ever, there is a real opportunity to make the city council a more active and effective partner in helping to lead city government. I have the experience of working on behalf of all of Boston’s neighborhoods, and having that experience on the council will be vital in guiding our city’s future. I look forward to the challenge.
Why did you decide not to run for mayor again?
Prior to deciding to become a public servant once again, I spoke with family, neighbors, residents, and community leaders across the city to decide how I could best serve Boston. There are some bright, talented, and qualified candidates within the race for mayor, many of whom I have previously worked with on the council. Right now, I believe I am best suited to serve the city of Boston by bringing leadership and experience to the City Council and by helping to ease in the new mayoral administration.
In the past 5 years, South Boston has evolved and changed, tell us what you think about the changes to your hometown.
There has been a great influx of young professionals and that alone is a testament to all that this neighborhood has to offer. While it has always been a vibrant community, South Boston has become such a desirable neighborhood with a myriad of businesses, restaurants, and social events. It has been truly incredible to watch my hometown transform over time while still maintaining its history and strong sense of community. Whether you have lived here for 1 year or 100 years, we are all neighbors, thus all from Southie. I hope to be a voice for both new and lifelong residents alike.
Favorite childhood memory growing up in South Boston?
Winning the Midget “A” state hockey championship and moving on to represent Southie at the national tournament in Michigan.
Tough one… No disrespect to my Uncles Tommy and Duddy at the Cornerstone or my friend Guy Mirisola, but the Drydock Cafe has the best seafood in Boston!
Favorite spot in Southie?
Definitely my parents’ house where our whole family gathers each week for Sunday dinner.
Bike lanes on Broadway – for or against?
Bike lanes have helped facilitate safer transit for cyclists all across the city. While I encourage their use throughout Boston, I would not support bike lanes for Broadway. Broadway is a high-traffic avenue with a multitude of buses, delivery trucks, pedestrians, and double-parked cars. I believe bike lanes would only contribute to the chaos and thus create dangerous paths for cyclists. I think Southie offers better alternate routes for bike lanes and I would be in favor of exploring those options.
Parking in Southie is a huge issue – how do you think we remedy it?
We need to increase the parking requirements for all new development sites. Currently, in South Boston, the law does not require developers to provide a full parking space for each unit built. In a community where many residents own cars and drive daily, this law simply does not suffice. If we increase the parking requirement for developers, we will decrease the density. I support amending the current law to create more on-site parking to bring relief to both our residents and local patrons.
Name 3 things people would be surprised to learn about you?
I learned to play the violin, love to scuba dive, and cannot get enough of 70’s music!
The election takes place on Tuesday, November 5th. Don’t forget to vote!