Left In Lowell

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June 12, 2012

Kabuki Budget Quick Notes

by at 10:56 pm.

Update: City Budget Hearing 1 & City Council / Budget Hearing 2 (Budget hearing begins at 2:07:30)

This note is for those that watched the budget hearing tonight, or will watch the video later. It’s late so I’m hitting a few quick points.

- Apparently MA Dept. of Revenue has given the CM some wiggle room in line item transfers and spending over budget. One law conflicts with another, so a reasonable person can do the right thing. Yes, “reasonable” is a subjective thing. I think the CM is. Imagine my surprise when, while riding C.Elliott coattails, C.Kennedy questioned the CM’s practices. It was C.Kennedy who, when opining on the need to comply with the law over lowering flags to half mast, quipped something to the effect,’sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.” (I’ll find the link later.)

- The remaining hacks in City Hall hate the work of the “data dink.” Imagine having to meet goals at your job. Please note which councilors peppered the GRANT FUNDED Jr. Analyst position.

- We have councilors that think city workers can live on $39K/year. If a single mother with 3 kids worked for the city at $39K, she would be eligible for assistance under the SNAP program. Do we pay workers to scratch out a living? Sad thing is, this mindset goes back to the old school when a guy could make good money, self employed at a trade. He’d get his wife a crap job with good bennies, aka city hall. The pay was nice, but it was really the bennies they were after. But, those days are over. Workers, husband and wives, both need living wages. Does Lowell want hacks in city hall, working for the bennies? Or, indentured servants? Or, do we want to fairly compensate these workers and demand efficiency from them (using data driven performance metrics?). An honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work?

- The contempt shown in that room, by several Councilors, towards city workers tonight was staggering. DON’T HIRE LOWELLIANS, Mr. Manager. Chunks of the Council will get tossed out, next election, if you do.

Music Hits the Streets

by at 9:25 am.

Buckers in downtown Lowell this summer…Howl has the scoop:

Downtown Lowell’s Busk Stops will be marked with signs and placed in areas with heavy foot traffic, including Market, Central, Merrimack and Middle streets.

Jacobson says Busk Stops should be in full swing for the launch of Fresh Air Friday, beginning the first Friday in July.

[…]

The stops will be active seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the exception of the Folk Festival during the last weekend of July, when the busk stops will be on hold due to other festival happenings.

Keen. Hope I get a chance to enjoy this! After June, which is a hellish month for me, maybe I will. :)

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