City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan), hopes to start the ball rolling on getting the state Legislature to let Boston not have to hold three and possibly four mayor elections this year should Marty Walsh become labor secretary before March 5 - Covid-19 just makes that too damn risky to voters, not to mention expensive.
The city charter currently would require a special election to fill Walsh's term until after the next regularly scheduled election - which would be this fall. If more than two candidates file to run in the special election, then the city would have to hold a preliminary election as well. Any changes to the charter, such as eliminating its mayoral special-election calendar, require action by the legislature and the governor.
Boston would not be mayorless during the interregnum - under the charter, Council President Kim Janey becomes acting mayor upon Walsh's resignation.
In a statement, Arroyo said that it just doesn't make sense to elect somebody who would only serve until January, when whoever wins the November final would take office.
Holding an unnecessary and redundant special election for the position of Mayor of Boston would endanger the health of Boston residents during a deadly pandemic, exacerbate an already uncertain financial future for the City, and contribute to existing inequities often seen in special elections that contribute to the disenfranchisement of immigrant, low-income, disabled, Black, and Latinx communities.
Arroyo will ask for council action at its regularly scheduled meeting, which begins at noon on Wednesday.