By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano


BOSTON (CBS) – He’s a Boston institution, an urban mechanic who kept the infamous Menino schedule during five terms in office. But as his cancer has taken a turn, Tom Menino has a new focus that’s left an impact.

“There’s a poignancy to this that’s difficult for the rest of us to accept, but we have to do it, it’s part of life,” said former house speaker Tom Finneran.

The former mayor announced Thursday he was stopping treatment for the aggressive cancer that has spread to his lymph nodes and liver, and ending his book tour to relish time with his family.

But even as he battles from his hospital bed, he’s still dispensing advice to Boston’s new mayor, Marty Walsh who spoke with his predecessor Thursday night. “He said in order to be a great mayor you have to deliver services to constituents. He was mayor for twenty years, his advice is incredible,” said Walsh.

Governor Deval Patrick says the mayor was upbeat in a conversation a few days ago, and offered still more political wisdom. “He said what do you have two months left? Don’t let the knuckleheads get you down.”

It’s Menino’s example as a public servant that’s praised by former Senate President William Bulger. He called the former mayor a political inspiration who held one of the toughest jobs. “He kept his eye on the ball. He knew it was important to take public service as a wonderful calling and give it his very best,” said Bulger.

The 71-year-old Menino was diagnosed just a month after leaving office. Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn says the book tour in the midst of his struggle was a source of enjoyment for Menino to reflect on his legacy.

Now Flynn believes the power of prayer is most important. “He’s not a quitter. Don’t ever underestimate the power of prayer and don’t underestimate Tom Menino because there’s a lot of resilience,” said Flynn.

MORE POLITICAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

Beth Germano

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