The mayor had a short two and half-weeks left in office when he sat down one-on-one with 7News’ Kim Khazei.
Mayor Tom Menino reflected on his life, his legacy and the city he loved.
“I never did anything for myself, I always did it for the people,” Menino said.
The Meninos’ home was decorated with images of Boston, many with a story, like a painting by Ted Kennedy personalized for the couple.
The mayor’s name is everywhere in Boston, including in Hyde Park.
The Hyde Park YMCA had just been renamed in his honor – the Thomas M. Menino YMCA.
“It’s a huge honor, I was fighting that, I didn’t want for that to happen, but at the end I gave in,” he said.
While he was touched by the gesture, he said it wasn’t about getting his name on buildings.
“I never expected that. I did it because I was doing what I was supposed to do as the mayor of City of Boston: try to serve the people the best I can every day to the best of my ability,” he said.
The mayor got choked up when they sang “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” during the ceremony. He did wear his emotions on his sleeve those final months.
But he said he didn’t have second thoughts about leaving office.
“Twenty years is long enough. I’ll leave it to somebody else to do, bring another chapter to the city’s history. It was a decision I feel really good about today,” he said.
Through it all, he had Angela by his side.
“He loved the city, he enjoyed doing his job and it was very easy for me to be part of that; I was very honored to be a part of that,” she said.
We saw Boston change dramatically during his tenure.
“Boston is a more inclusive city than it has been. We had a bad reputation for a long while. I’m proud of that, we gave neighborhoods the opportunity. The other part of that is the educational piece which I think is so important to us as we go forward,” he said.
The seaport district also transformed on his watch.
“Those were rail yards when I first got there and now there are 500 businesses there,” he said.
Menino was a man of the people, by some counts more than half of Boston’s residents met him, and that made him proud.
“Trust comes out of that. If they trust you then you can do almost anything,” he said.