Left In Lowell

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May 28, 2008

Cultural Dénouement

by at 2:24 pm.

We now have a Lowell Office of Cultural Affairs and Special Events , headed up by the current director of COOL. It seems rather anticlimactic when you consider what it took to get here (moving at the speed of government, or rather, the speed of consensus) but with the nest-protecting language that was added, it passed, 8-1.

I think this is not merely a simple moment in the city’s politics. The impact will be felt for the rest of this Council’s term. The Cultural Office itself will have its mark to make of course, but I don’t just mean for the creative economy here. I mean this episode will have an impact for how things will get done in the city over the next couple of years. This was one of the first major battles between what the city needs to move forward, and the objections of people trying to protect and serve the status quo. On balance, progress - and City Manager Lynch - won. And it won on the merits of the case.

Of course, there are bigger battles to fight, evidenced by the reaction of some who opposed the new Cultural Office in the first round. The protectionism surrounding the Auditorium or the MV Convention and Visitor’s Bureau should not exclude them from the same scrutiny that COOL has just received. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Lynch presented a breakdown on COOL’s budget to the Councilors at the request (past motion) of Mayor Caulfield yesterday. I’m not sure what the intent was on the motion, though I don’t believe it’s a bad thing to outline COOL’s funding and accomplishments. I do fear future death-by-motion movements wherein we see government hampered by excessive micro-managing by the Council simply for the sake of making life more difficult for Lynch (for example, we should be due for another “Request – City – Manager – Lynch – to – report – on – the – homeless – shelters – and – what – can – we – do – to – shut – them – down” from Councilor K. at some point soon). But if we have done this for COOL, I want to see this done for all the marketing monies the city spends, be it the Tsongas or the CVB.

However, on balance, things are still headed on the right track. Despite extremely tough times for the budget, we seem to be making some progress. Not as much as we’d like but it’s better than going backwards. The future payoff should be in the form of a fiscally healthier city, one where structural deficits are unseen and smart investments in growth allows us to fully fund our schools, infrastructure repairs, and services. This despite the “majority” of elected Councilors who ran campaigns about being angry about the past and their opposition to moving on. Doesn’t “I’m for Cox” seem like a lifetime ago?

The more intelligent will decide that it’s better to lay claim to good works than oppose them, and the fools will never learn. Which are whom only time will tell…

12 Responses to “Cultural Dénouement”

  1. MOONLIGHT Says:

    I Am Glad to see the COOL office passed in spite

    of councillor towtruck, andy st. onge cannot be too happy

    but all in all the city will be better off

    somewhere grady mulligan is smiling !!!

  2. Josh Says:

    “In a report presented by Lynch, it is noted that the city’s $335,000 investment in COOL since the 2006 fiscal year, has returned $1,030,500 in local, state, federal and foundation support for citywide cultural endeavors, a return on investment of $3.40 per dollar.”

    Soooooo for every dollar taken from us locally, they took $3.40 from us at the federal level. Someone explain to me how that could be considered a “return on investment?”

    So Lynne, the government shouldn’t be involved in deciding what marriage is, shouldn’t decide what speech should be censored, shouldn’t promote religion, but it should decide what is culture and promote it?
    You know who else had put the government in charge of culture? The Soviet Union…

  3. Lynne Says:

    Josh, really, you are a broken record. It’s not worth answering the same question over and over, if you ask me.

  4. Mr. Lynne Says:

    You know who else overspent on a military buildup? The Soviet Union…
    You know who else had efficient rail roads? Nazi Germany…
    You know who else had great music? Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union…
    You know who else was a vegetarian? Adolph Hitler…

    Sorry… but that’s a non argument.

  5. waittilnextyr Says:

    The federal government didn’t take the $3.40 from us, they just printed some more money and doled it out.

  6. Josh Says:

    Obviously, the Soviet Union remark was just added snark. Jeez. (This is a blog, isn’t it?) It doesn’t negate the inconsistancy of Lynne’s argument for government intervention into cultural affairs.

  7. Tim Little Says:

    Josh writes:
    “You know who else had put the government in charge of culture? The Soviet Union…”

    As do Denmark, Turkey, France, Brazil, Scotland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sinagpore, Sweden, and Canada, among others. What’s your point?

  8. Peter Says:

    Hey Josh, you marked November 4th on your calendar yet? It’s gonna be so fun to watch! Haha, enjoy brother.

  9. kpems Says:

    “Hey Josh, you marked November 4th on your calendar yet? It’s gonna be so fun to watch! Haha, enjoy brother”

    I marked that day on my calendar. It is the first day of hope that my friends children, and my cousins reserve duty husband (doing a long tour) may actually stop fighting a senseless war.

  10. joe Says:

    If I told Josh I’d pay him ten bucks to draw me a picture, and then I put a gun to his head and told him he’d better not a draw any pictures, I think his confusion would clear up real quick.

  11. Peter Says:

    Joe, I may be a moron, but I have no idea what you’re saying.

  12. Magnolia Says:

    Hey the COOL business doesn’t mean anything to me. I can;t afford most of the “cultural” events here in Lowell anyway.

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