Left In Lowell

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July 30, 2009

CC Back to Weekly Meetings

by at 6:46 am.

The City Council will soon (August 11th) reverse the decision they took last year by a vote 6-3 (R. Mercier; K. Broderick; and R. Elliott voting against) to change their meeting schedule from weekly to bi-weekly(forthnightly definition; not the twice a week one) . At the time the vote was taken, they had decided to revisit it down the road. Well, I guess we have reached the end of the road.

CC Rita Mercier did present a motion, a few months back, to have a discussion on the impact of the rule change. However, they had agreed to give the new schedule additional time to play itself out so that they would have a better sense of how it is working (not).

When the CC originally decided to change their meeting schedule to the 2nd and 4th week of the month, the primary reason given was to allow Sub-Committees to meet on Tuesday without being “rushed.” And they thought they would have more Sub-Committee meetings. Well, it didn’t work.

Jen Myers’ article in yestertoday’s Sun said it best “Council Chamber often remain dark on alternate Tuesdays, with many subcommittee meetings still being held before regular council meetings.”

I think when CC R. Mercier filed her motion for review, the majority of them knew it was not working. All they had to do was assess how many Sub-Committee meetings were taking place every other Tuesday, between the hours of 6:30 – 11:00 to determine if what they intended to do was really occurring and which CC members were showing up.

As it was mentioned by a number of City Councilors during the Sub-Committee meeting yesterday, the decision created confusion among the residents of Lowell; you really need to pay attention if you did not want to lose track of what was going on.

The weekly meeting schedule goes back into effect in October since the Summer schedule (bi-weekly meeting) runs through September.

In addition to the three members of the Rules Sub-Committee (J. Millinazzo, R. Mercier and A. Mercier), CCs K. Broderick, R. Elliott and A. Kazanjian were in attendance and participated during the Sub-Committee. The author of the original motion, CC M. Lenzi, was not present at the Sub-Committee meeting to defend his position.

16 Responses to “CC Back to Weekly Meetings”

  1. K-R-S Says:

    OMG, we have a 9th councilor? I thought we only had eight!:0}

  2. Paul@01852 Says:

    All I can say is “Poor CC R. Mercier!” Just think — now not only will she have to eat more cold dinners but Tuesday night TV will be a complete wash-out! I just hope that with all these “sacrifices” that the council will not double their stipends because they have now effectively doubled their workload! And, if they do, they will probably try to justify it by citing the saving they made by defunding the Asst CC position and eliminating the primary!

  3. Mr. Lynne Says:

    They want more face time for election season. I’ll take it, but its awfully Convenient.

  4. Ryan Berard Says:

    My position on this issue has always been clear, we need to have weekly city council meetings. We need them so that the citizens of Lowell can see and understand what is happening in their city, we need them because there are issues facing the city that can’t wait until next week, and we need them because elected officials have a responsibility to do the business of the voters. I hope this council will break the overarching stereotype that government is more concerned with free time then legislating and revert back to a more productive and Democratic meeting schedule.

    Ryan Berard
    Candidate for Lowell City Council

  5. Bob Forrant Says:

    Twice the meetings to showcase the council’s dysfunction and inability for the most part for the majority to think beyond the end of their own nose or the nearest pothole means twice the time their behavior can discourage private developers from investing in Hamilton Canal and other parts of the city and twice the time they can mess up the arena negotiations and twice the time….ah, you get the picture! On the other hand, as voters decide to get more and more informed about what’s at stake in November they just might decide that change on the council is BADLY needed.

  6. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    It couldn’t be that this appears to be shaping up as a contensious election season given that the CC cut their work load in half, but not the pay and I believe one candidate has already targeted that in his campaign.

    Let’s review. The “majority” cut $85K from the budget to eliminate a position )possibly in violation of the law) at a time when 49 other positions were cut. They also voted to “save” $35-40K by eliminating the primary election, but refused to reduce their own total of $140K in salaries even though they did half the work.

    Half the meetings also means half the face time on TV and an opportunity for challengers to make a point about their unresponsive nature.

    Golly, that couldn’t be it could it? No way.

  7. Kim Says:

    Just in time for election season.
    KRS, What 9th councilor?

  8. Prince Charming Says:

    If a farmer dumps all his manure on the fields in one load, he’ll burn the crops. Better to spread it out in equal doses. The plants can tolerate it better.

  9. K-R-S Says:

    To Kim..Bahahahahwahahaha…:0}

  10. K-R-S Says:

    So it would seem for the period of time when the mtgs were cut in half, that our CC voted themselves a raise??

  11. lowellgal411 Says:

    You all bitched and complained when the council went to bi-weekly meetings. Now you’re bitching and complaining that they’re going back to weekly meetings. Is this just a bitch fest?

    I didn’t vote for Rita, nor will I ever. But she’s been consistent on this one. She voted against it and asked for it to be reviewed MONTHS AGO. A majority of the others wanted to “give it time to work”. She’s been trying to get this looked at long before election season began. I didn’t see any posting from any of the people on this site supporting her request. The silence was deafening.

    I’ve never seen people read so much into things and find conspiracies where there are none as on this site. And please, they did not cut their schedule in half. The summer schedule from May until the end of Sept was ALWAYS twice a month (5 months). So they cut from Oct - April in half (7 months). That is not cutting your schedule in half since 42% of the schedule was already twice a month.

    A couple of the Councilors you rip apart on this website (Mercier & Elliot) voted against it. Your hero, Milinazzo voted for it. And I am pretty sure Martin did as well. Broderick was the other councilor against it. Where’s the support for the 2 out of the 3 that voted against it? Again, the silence is deafening.

  12. Lynne Says:

    Actually, Lowellgal, we’re pointing out the terrific ironies in them going back.

    I have stated on this blog that I give CC. R. Mercier credit for never having been for this in the first place. As have others.

    And you have to admit, in light of R Mercier’s “list o her sacrifices” that going back to once a week is pretty funny.

    So, sure, maybe a 30%-40% reduction in pay would have been more warranted. However, it’s CERTAIN that they didn’t make up the slack in work during the year with more or better-scheduled subcommittees.

  13. Prince Charming Says:

    If Milinazzo’s your hero, I’m leaving.

  14. grizzled veteran Says:

    It’s the quality on the Council, not the number of times they meet per month. If they met daily, would we get 7x the work product? Further, as Bob points out, a significant percentage of the meetings are given over to dysfunction. Will that be appealing on cable or in the Lowell Sun the next day? Sorry, Ryan, leadership does not - never has - come from the institution of the City Council. And by trying to emasculate the City Manager, as Ross Perot used to say, “you can just hear the giant sucking sound.” They are tying his hands and discouraging leadership.

    I can just envision the political push to elect the next super political City Manager, Kevin Murphy. It will be deal day in the Mill City. This guy wouldn’t know a conflict of interest if it kissed him on the lips.

  15. Mimi Says:

    PC:

    Where are you going?

  16. Prince Charming Says:

    poof.

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