BOSTON (CBS) —- For the first time in two decades, the name ‘Thomas Menino’ was not on the ballot for the mayor of Boston.

“I loved my twenty years as mayor,” Menino said at the polls on Tuesday. “I encourage [the candidates] because government is the best thing in life.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

Menino reflected on the changes Boston has seen while he has been in office.

“Boston’s a better city now than it was when I took over,” Menino said. “We educate all the kids in Boston … We have more people employed in Boston today than every before. Crime is down.”

Although Menino wouldn’t say who he cast his vote for, he said he approves of the candidates running for mayor, praising them for their new ideas, energy and vitality.

Menino has said he will not endorse anyone for mayor and will only step in if a candidate “trashes” the city.

“Young folks who have a great future,” Menino said. “I hope that if they don’t turn out to be winners, I hope they stay in the business of government.”

Menino also disclosed the characteristics of what he thinks constitutes a good mayor.

“Be honest with the public, always do what you think is right,” Menino said. “You get elected for your thought process. If you sell that out, you sell yourself out.”

Menino emphasized the important of making decisions that would benefit Boston.

“We still have some issues we must deal with,” Menino said. “It’s so important that the next person gets up there and makes decisions, make Boston a better city.”

Menino said he hopes to continue a career in government.

“When I leave office in January, I’ll be involved somewhere in government,” Menino said. “I’ll be able to throw rocks from outside instead of inside.”

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