Ex-councilor on how Menino might adjust to private life

December 20, 2013
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On Jan. 7, Mayor Thomas Menino will lose the title he’s held for the last 20 years and become a college professor. How should he cope with the big change?

John Tobin knows the feeling. He traded the local District 6 Boston City Council seat to become Northeastern University’s vice president for community and governmental outreach. In a recent Gazette interview, he offered Menino some tips.

“I was only a city councilor for nine years. The mayor’s been mayor for 20 years and he was a city councilor for 10 years before that,” Tobin said. “It’s going to take a little while to get used to. The pace of his life is going to slow down tremendously.”

Menino is known for waking up at 4:30 a.m. to start his first phone calls at 5.

“That is, if his phone hasn’t rung in the middle of the night,” Tobin said. “But now he’ll be able to set his own schedule.”

But Menino will still be “in huge demand,” Tobin said, as he has a book coming out along with a new job at Boston University (BU). Menino has grandchildren as well.

“It’s an emotional time for him. On January 7, he won’t be the mayor anymore. It’ll be bittersweet, but he can look back on a legacy that helped a lot of people,” Tobin said. “He’s made a big difference in people’s lives.”

And his opinion on politics will still be in demand, Tobin said, explaining that people at NU and BU will still look to him for opinions and advice.

What should Menino should do on his first day as a private citizen?

“Sleep in,” Tobin said.