BOSTON — A confident Mayor Thomas Menino touted Boston’s recent accomplishments and outlined several new proposals in an annual address to business and civic leaders on Monday.
“As I speak with you today, I have never been more confident about Boston,” Menino said in his address to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, according to prepared remarks (PDF). “Look around and you see that Boston’s many successes are only half the story. It’s the pace of our progress that sets us apart.”
He cited the city’s total number of jobs and its ongoing development projects, and changes in Boston’s education system, such as the recently approved new school assignment plan.
“Our test scores are up. Our graduation rates are the highest they have ever been. Our students are out-performing their peers in other big cities,” Menino said. “Our schools are better than ever, but they aren’t as good as they will be.”
Though the fifth-term, 70-year-old mayor did not address his own up-in-the-air political future in the remarks, he outlined several forward-looking initiatives for the city, including:
– the creation of a Quality Review Panel, with the goal of increasing quality in all Boston Public Schools;
– a program called Boston E-lit, which will seek to deliver 10,000 more mobile devices to public schools and an undetermined number of e-readers to public libraries;
– and a Housing Boston 2020 Plan, which will seek to lay the groundwork for 30,000 new housing units by the end of the decade. (Menino said 20,000 housing units were created from 2000 to 2010.)
The mayor also announced that construction at the long-stalled Filene’s location in Downtown Crossing will begin in the late spring, and that a Wegmans supermarket is coming to the Fenway neighborhood.