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July 16, 2012

Orwellian Spin

by at 9:18 pm.

H/T to Gerry for pointing out the discrepancies between what occurred and what was reported at last week’s City Council meeting.

1. Here is a clip of CC Elliott presented his motion on the parking garage “incentive” payment:


You can watch the entire proceedings on the LTC website for City Council meetings. Here is the link to that meeting
.
2. Here is what Lyle Moran wrote in his July 11th article
in the Sun:

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to request that City Manager Bernie Lynch explore whether the city can recoup the $33,000 it has paid in the last year to the city’s embattled parking-management company as compensation for its services.

City Councilor Rodney Elliott’s motion to have Lynch examine rescinding the management fee paid to Central Parking System of Nashville, Tenn., came weeks after it was revealed a Central Parking employee allegedly stole close to $38,000 from the city’s parking kiosks last year and possibly years prior.

3. Here is the newspaper correction that appeared in the July 12th edition under the title of “CLARIFICATION>”

A story in Wednesday’s paper focused on city councilors exploring if the city could recoup $33,000 it has paid in the last year to Central Parking System of Nashville, Tenn. “as compensation for its management services.” Councilor Rodney Elliott, who raised the issue, used the phrases “incentive fee” and “incentive award” to describe the $33,000, but a review of the city’s contract with Central Parking describes those payments as “as compensation for its management services.” The Sun used the language in the contract rather than Elliott’s terminology, which both referred to the $2,750 monthly payments, totaling $33,000 in the last year.

The expenditure is a line item in the city’s budget titled “Management — Fee & Incentive.

4. And finally here is what was written in yesterday’s Column:

CITY COUNCILOR Rodney Elliott repeatedly used the term “incentive fee” or “incentive award” on Tuesday night when talking about the $33,000 paid to Central Parking System annually in $2,750 monthly installments. Except the word “incentive” appears nowhere in the contract, which a review by City Solicitor Christine O’Connor confirmed.

Asked if he was using the word ‘incentive’ to hint that Central Parking was getting rewarded by the administration for good performance, Elliott responded that he wasn’t playing word games.

He says he goal was to recoup the money from the line item for $33,000 in the parking budget titled ‘Management — Fee and Incentive.’

That $33,000 is the fee paid to Central Parking as ‘compensation for its management services,’ known as a management fee.

Elliott told The Column the money should be recouped, if possible, because of alleged theft by a Central Parking employee and the months-long cover-up by Central Parking and city officials.

‘Whether you want to call it a management fee or an incentive fee, I don’t think they should have been paid that $33,000 in the last year,’ Elliott said. ‘An employee of theirs stole money from us. We should terminate that company immediately.’

City Manager Bernie Lynch told The Column Friday that to his knowledge no incentive fee has been paid to Central Parking.

Neither Lynch nor O’Connor told Elliott during the meeting that ‘incentive’ doesn’t appear in the contract. Asked why he did not correct Elliott’s terminology, Lynch said he wanted to verify the terms of the contract.

Lynch said the ‘incentive’ budget line was created by the city auditor in 2004 and he does not know why it was titled that way.

You might say incentive, management fees. What is the difference? Well, I for one, who was watching and listening to the meeting, really believed that the Parking Contract had an incentive, i.e. bonus clause, and that the City may have paid the management company that extra amount in spite of the on-going investigation. Why did I believe that? Because CC Elliott presented it that way.

So instead of the Sun mentioning the misunderstanding, they cover it up. Then they begin the spin.

What is now laughable (once upon a time it was disturbing, but the paper’s coverage of City Hall jumped the shark long time ago) is that they think the rest of us are so naive, so uninformed, so political illiterate that we buy this rewrite of history.

Political Retaliation, Lowell Dem Style

by at 3:49 pm.

On Sunday, Gerry Nutter offered some thoughts on the contortions around the Commonwealth’s budget. Now, Gerry isn’t above simply picking a scab, just to pick a scab.

The 3 Lowell State Representatives are clearly upset with Gov. Patrick for vetoing the Lowell based items in this years state budget. Rep. Dave Nangle is said to be furious and the most upset. Especially with the Governor’s lack on providing any relevent reasoning for the cuts.

The best reason being floated is a good old fashion one – Political Payback for the way Lt. Governor Tim Murray has been treated has a result of the Mike McLaughlin Fiasco which is tied to the Dracut Housing Authority and the appointment of Brian Bond over the re-appointment of Rep. Dave Nangle’s cousin and the unsuccessful attempt at replacing the Executive Director and the alleged involvement of former Lowell State Sen. Steve Panagiotakos and friend of the delegation Jerry Flynn to save Mary Karabatsos job at what appears to be the expense of the Lt. Governor’s political career.

Of course, when cheap political dung can be flung at Democrats, don’t count Shawn Ashe out. He pipes in with some inane concern trolling:

Are you saying.. that Gov Deval Patrick and Lt G Tim Murray would play politics with jobs and projects in Lowell as political payback for the people of the state cleaning up the mess that Murray created in the housing authorities?

All those good union construction jobs? I guess its who you know…

And I thought Patrick had a “vision” for the state.

(more…)

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