Commonwealth Magazine reports how much people aren't into paying for being with Menino anymore.
Read here by Alison Lebron:
Going, Going...Still Here
How's this for a sign of dire economic times? At the Park Plaza last night, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino ran a charity auction during a Whittier Street Health Center fundraiser and almost had to arm-wrestle the audience into bidding. All 6 items up for grabs - from a one-on-one breakfast with Menino himself to Red Sox/hotel packages and Elton John tickets - were listed with $5,000 as the opening bid. Menino immediately cut that figure in half, but still couldn't get many takers.
"C'mon, it's for charity," he said several times. Silence. Usually, after several awkward moments, either Partners Health Care Board Chair Jack Connors or former mayoral chief of staff David Passafaro would offer the opening bid, then keep bidding against each other while other audience members stared at their shoes. But after a few rounds of Connors vs. Passafaro, the mayor started calling on others by name. "Bob Beal, I see you," he'd say. "You could bid."
Or "C'mon, don't any of you have any business before the city?"
Eventually, those who couldn't avoid the mayor's gaze got into the game. NStar CEO Tom May offered $4,000 for the 4 Elton John tickets and, when nobody responded to the mayor's request for a higher bid, May ended up one-upping himself. "$4,500," he called.