Lord Mayor Richie Gormley of West Roxbury was officially crowned on March 30 of 2012. Since then the soft-spoken and understated funeral home owner has had quite a year chock full of honors, fun and constituent requests.
"It’s been a whirlwind," said Tom "TD" Dougherty, Vice Mayor to Gormley's lordship, and some might say, sidekick. "We're never going to have another Lord Mayor. The first legislation he passed is he made it a lifelong appointment. No one represents West Roxbury better than ."
Conversely, Gormley said that TD actually enacted the legislation to make it a lifetime appointment. But does it really matter?
"It’s been great seeing Richie work his magic through the city of Boston, as well as Ireland," remarked TD. "The tributes throughout the city and throughout Ireland have been amazing."
Gormley's was even recently honored at the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day Breakfast, when Boston Mayor Thomas Menino asked Gormley to stand up for applause. (Click on the NECN link and go to the 4:45 mark.)
"They introduce the mayor, Menino. He gets up and he says he’s not the only mayor here. 'We have the honorable Lord Mayor Richie Gormley from West Roxbury here', so I stood up and waved and got a huge applause from the audience," said Gormley to Patch.
The Lord Mayor added that he loves the chain of office that Menino gave him at the crowning last year.
And has life changed for West Roxbury's favorite funeral home director?
"The last year everyone has asked me to do favors for them. Everybody. And there’s only certain things I can do. I’m following up on a lot of issues. I put them in touch with the right contacts," said Gormley. "Wherever I go people call me the Lord Mayor, not just in Boston."
"I've got people calling (during) the blizzard at two or three in the morning, I take their numbers down. But I have to follow up because I know these people for years. I can’t run a business without producing."
Gormley added that people have called him to get their kids into local schools, too.
And while Gormley is enjoying his Lord Mayorship, don't expect him to be seeking any other office, whether it be the mayor of Boston, state representative or Boston City Council.
"I don’t want to move downtown to City Hall. I like to walk around my own neighborhood. That’s why I wouldn’t run against (District 6 City Councilor Matt) O'Malley or (At-Large City Councilor John) Connolly. A lot of people want me to run for city councilor or state rep. They want me to run for mayor. I would never run against Menino. I’m not crazy. Tom Menino takes good care of me."
TD even answered the rumors of whether he's seeking to unseat the Lord Mayor. "That’s not accurate, it’s better to be the king maker than the king."
Runnerup to Gormley, Mary Mulvey Jacobson said she's very happy with the job the Lord Mayor has done.
"It's hard to believe that one whole year has passed since Richie Gormley was chosen by vote to be the Lord Mayor of West Roxbury. I am so happy that I didn't beat him because I would never have raised it to the level that it has been raised. I believe the community in general has benefited by Richie's sound and helpful assistance to the residents and businesses in West Roxbury. I was talking about the Lord Mayor over the weekend and I would absolutely LOVE to see Richie remain Lord Mayor for as long as he wants. He is doing a great job!"
But not everyone feels the same way, like local West Roxbury ReMax Realtor Doug McClure, who felt snubbed by not being named as one of the candidates for unofficial mayor of West Roxbury.
"I was disappointed I wasn’t on the ballot and the kids from CM (Catholic Memorial) felt I was the unofficial mayor of West Roxbury," said McClure, even adding that he thinks he could give Gormley "a run for his money" in another race.
But McClure's realty business partner and fellow West Roxbury YMCA board member Steve Morris disagreed with his close friend. “I’m voting for Richie. I think the Lord Mayor has done a fantastic job, but I think it’s always good to keep the incumbents on their toes."
So what's next for Lord Mayor Richie Gormley?
"I’ve been approached to have a book written about the contest and being the Lord Mayor and they want to make a movie," said Gormley. "It was unique. It was a very unique event. That will never ever be duplicated, there were 5,000 people estimated on the parade route, and the Irish Social Club hall was overcrowded, and that’s why they had to go to the Knights of Columbus across the street, and had a block party outside in the parking lot. That will never ever be duplicated in West Roxbury."