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Mayor-Elect Walsh Announces Transition Team

BOSTON — Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh on Friday presented the people who are leading his transition team. He also gave further indication of the administration he’ll have.

Walsh is not the first elected leader to look to his former rivals to help him get started in his new administration. For his transition team, he has picked the three former mayoral rivals who endorsed him in the general election: former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie, former Boston School Committee member John Barros and City Councilor Felix Arroyo.

Additionally, he’s picked Katherine Craven, executive director of the University of Massachusetts Building Authority; Joyce Linehan, a public relations executive who was a top aide on Walsh’s campaign; and Samuel Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, an independent group that monitors the city budget.

Walsh said of Tyler Friday: “Sam’s insight into city government is important to a transition, and particularly his ability to watch the budget and his fiscal ability to make sure and not be shy, to call people out.”

Walsh said he will add more people to lead his transition in the coming weeks.

Barros said Walsh has asked them to look at how other cities structure their governments. So, at first, this won’t be so much a search committee as a group that provides options to Walsh about how city government could work.

Walsh showed his sense of humor during Friday morning’s press conference. He was asked who would be able to tell him when he’s making a mistake.

“Lorrie, which she’s already done,” he said to laughter. Lorrie Higgins is Walsh’s life partner.

But then he turned to Tyler again.

“During the campaign, in some of these forums, Sam asked me very difficult questions, and we spoke very often after those forums,” Walsh said. “And he’s here because of somebody who can say, ‘Wait a second. This isn’t the right way to go.’ And I’m not surrounding myself on the transition team with yes men and yes women. I’m going to surround myself with people who want to do right by government and move government forward.”

Walsh promised to staff City Hall with the most-qualified people.

“I certainly am not going to load my administration up with people that held Marty Walsh signs, and Marty Walsh bumper stickers in the car,” he said.

Walsh, the former leader of the Boston Building Trades, then met Friday afternoon with Mayor Thomas Menino and business leaders.

“In the business community, we’ll probably hear about not enough transparency, some concerns they have there,” Walsh said. “You have a lot of businesspeople that are concerned about a transition. History has it, from a White to a Flynn administration, from what I understand, development in the city basically came to a stop for about a year. I don’t intend on stopping development and progress.”

Right now, $5 billion worth of construction is going on in Boston. Walsh wants to make sure development in the city doesn’t stop when he takes over as mayor.

Two of the biggest figures in real estate development in Boston are expressing confidence in the mayor-elect. Kevin Phelan, who raises money for Boston real estate development projects, calls concerns about Walsh’s debt to unions for his victory overblown.

“Marty understands economics, and without businesspeople doing deals, building buildings, growing the city, you’re not going to have jobs,” Phelan said.

Another big figure, John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction, says he’s looking for predictability.

“I think that having a strong mayor step into the fifth floor and giving the business community a sense of confidence that the policies are going to be predictable,” Fish said.

Fish said the meeting with Walsh Friday afternoon went “very well.”

This post was updated with the All Things Considered feature version.

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