It’s time, voters: Do your duty

As we head into the final days of campaign 2010, the Reporter endorses the following candidates:

• Governor Deval Patrick — As we wrote in a more expansive endorsement two weeks ago, the governor has earned a second-term in office by captaining the Commonwealth through the worst economic crisis in 80 years. Patrick has been accessible and present in our communities in a way that no governor has been in recent years. He has been a steadfast, level-headed, and responsible steward of the public trust in the face of daunting responsibilities and a sometimes angry public. He deserves our support on Tuesday.

• Carlos Henriquez — The Democratic nominee for state representative in the Fifth Suffolk district, Henriquez is officially unopposed on the ballot, but will likely face a write-in challenge from two opponents he bested in the September primary, Barry Lawton and Roy Owens. Henriquez, 33, is a solid choice for voters in the Fifth. He has spent years as a community organizer in the Dudley triangle and, despite his relative youth, he has been a fixture at civic and ward committee meetings for years now. He is prepared to go to the State House and be an effective representative and the Reporter endorses his election on Tuesday.

• Nick Collins — The race to succeed Brian Wallace as the representative from South Boston and Dorchester was a spirited one on the Democratic side, with Nick Collins emerging as the winner. Collins now faces a Republican opponent, Patrick Brennan, on Tuesday. Collins, a South Boston native with deep roots in the neighborhood’s civic and political scenes, is the better choice. He has made it a point to campaign aggressively for votes in Dorchester’s precincts— something that bodes well for the future.

– Ed Forry

More transparency needed at Mattahunt

An agreement between the city of Boston and Wheelock College to rekindle youth programming at the former Mattahunt Community Center is likely to be a good thing for Mattapan families. But, the city must do a better job going forward in making the community a full partner in planning the future for this center and others that have been closed over the past year.

As the Reporter first reported last week, details of the Wheelock partnership, which has been in the works since last spring, have been very slow to emerge. The college is supposed to begin programming at the Mattahunt in January. But it’s nearly November and only now is the city forming a task force to plan for the change-over. And there are, as yet, few details as to how Wheelock was selected for this role and why the city didn’t just keep the facility— and others like it— open for public use until their “partner” was ready to take on the new role.

City Councillor Charles Yancey, who chairs the council’s Post Audit committee, intends to hold a hearing on how city officials on how this arrangement and others like it are forged. It’s much needed, but it never should have come to that. There needs to be much more transparency around the re-use of these important public facilities going forward.

– Bill Forry