By WGBH News
Oct. 25, 2011
BOSTON — With two weeks left before Election Day, aspirants to political office are running hard and fast. It’s especially true in Boston, where seven candidates are vying for four City Council at large seats — and one recently accused the incumbents of being pawns of Mayor Tom Menino.
The results of this race could reshape the diversity and dynamics in Boston’s lawmaking body, from the number of women on the council to those representing communities of color.
WGBH’s Callie Crossley held a radio roundtable with four of the candidates: incumbents Felix Arroyo and Council President Stephen Murphy, former councilor Michael Flaherty and businessman Will Dorcena.
Catch up on Crossley's October 18 roundtable with the other three candidates.
They were divided on the controversial question of whether Walmart should be allowed to open a store in Roxbury’s Dudley Square.
Dorcena: “No in Dudley Square… maybe other places.”
Flaherty: “Last time I checked there were a lot of people in Boston out of work…. We get a commitment from Walmart to treat their employees with dignity and respect, with good wages and good benefits, then I think we should be at least entertaining the concept of them coming here.”
Arroyo: “I’m agreeing with candidate Dorcena. Not in Dudley. But it’s because there should be community control around development and the residents in that neighborhood have made it clear that’s not the future they see for their neighborhood.”
Murphy: “They want to build union, they want to pay union, that’s at least what they’re telling us…. There aren’t a lot of grocery stores in the Dudley triangle.”
Murphy also defended himself, Arroyo, and incumbents Ayanna Pressley and John Connolly against Flaherty’s charge that the four, who are campaigning together, are on “Tommy’s Team.”
The four were elected independently in 2009, he said. Since then, “We’ve worked very well together in a down economy. We don’t always agree on everything but we understand where each other are coming from and we’ve learned to kind of coexist and support each other.” He cited Council opposition to the mayor on firefighter contracts and library closures.
Said Flaherty, “At the end of the day, the people of Boston will decide.”
Follow these four candidates on Twitter:
AT LARGE ROUNDTABLE, PART ONE
MORE CALLIE CROSSLEY SHOW