By Jon Keller

SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Joe Curtatone has been mayor of Somerville since he was first elected in 2003 at the age of 38. Now after nine terms, the city will have a new leader.

After Curtatone announced he would not seek reelection, Somerville residents elected Katjana Ballantyne to replace him last week.

Curtatone joined WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller for an “exit interview.”

The outgoing mayor said he has “loved every moment” of his time in office.

“At the end of the day, it’s really about people. What we all love about this job, you get to see it up close at the local level. When you can listen, and you engage in that, it fuels you, and helps you survive that work. It’s great stuff,” he said.

Keller asked Curtatone about the challenging decisions he faced in the heart of the COVID pandemic. Curtatone said the pandemic has “been about politics. It should have been about people.”

“I would say ‘Here’s what we know. Here’s what we don’t know. Here’s what we’re doing and why,’ Curtatone said. “We had no good answers. The answers weren’t going to come easy, so I’m going to give you the best of the worst answers. This is going to hurt. But how do we help you stay in your home, how do we help your business survive and your life savings?”

Keller @ Large: Part 2

Jon Keller