It's not often that David D'Alessandro steps out of the shadows these days. The former John Hancock CEO is comfortable in his semi-retirement - owning Toscano on Charles Street and dabbling here and there in matters public and private.
But the guy is nothing short of genius and, when he puts pen to paper, I read. Today's tour de force in the Globe was worth it for me and everyone who cares about Boston and it's future should take a look.
It's a difficult sell at first - this idea that a search for a new superintendent of Boston schools should be at least semi-private, cutting out the do-gooder neighborhood and school groups that help drive any success the schools have. But when you look at the unmitigated disaster that has so-far unfolded in trying to replace Tom Payzant, it starts to make a hell of a lot of sense.
As a former reporter, I do believe in transparency in government. But I have seen in my two years in government that there are times when a story - even a straight story - can upend government's over-arching goal, which is to do its best for the people.
In this case, if Boston gets a better superintendent because the process is a bit more shrouded, who's really hurt? Plus, look at D'Alesandro's track record in searches - he was smart enough to pull Eddie Davis down from Lowell to run the Boston Police Department. He gets it.
D'Alesandro is right - the people of Boston hired Mayor Menino, he has taken ownership of the schools, let him do his job.