On her way to the may­or’s kitchen cabinet meeting, Jane Driscoll stops to chat with a cluster of skateboarders who gather at noon on the City Hall steps. The director of the Mayor’s Youth Office pats one boy’s head and compliments a girl’s earrings. Driscoll climbs the marble steps Inside City Hall and rushes to the lunch in a brightly printed billowing suit and a pink T-shirt, a belated Mother’s Day gift from her daughter that says, “Insanity Is Hereditary. You get it from your kids.” Dris­coll wears another gift on the ring finger of her left hand – a garnet and diamond ring – a token of affection from Mayor Bernard Sanders.

Sanders passes her, heading down the stairs. They ex­change discreet smiles and as Sanders hurries by, he gives Driscoll a playful nudge with his right elbow. She continues on her way. Driscoll enters the Community and Economic Devel­opment Office and sits at a table with Sanders’ secretary, Linda Niedweske, assistant city attorneys John Franco and Gretchen Bailey, constable David Clavelle and development director Peter Clavelle. Sanders joins the group with his lunch and as they munch from brown bags, the group discusses appointments, budget requests and issues before upcoming meetings of the Board of Aldermen. The closed meeting is informal, allowing each member a chance to learn what the others are doing and to add suggestions about issues outside their purview.

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