Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
With permission, I lifted this note for those of you that don’t use Facebook.
Wow. Today has been overwhelming, almost like being at my own funeral (in a good way, without being dead). Thank you all so much for your support, kind words and friendship. I am excited about this new adventure, wherever it takes me, but that doesn’t mean I will turn my back on where I have been. I have spent the last 12 years hanging around the Sun newsroom in a variety of roles from stringer to Valley Dispatch reporter, Tyngsboro/Pelham reporter, Billerica (which is da bomb) reporter, City Hall reporter and most recently Senior Writer. I have worked with amazingly talented people, too many to list here. The newsroom is a unique place full of unique people and completely inappropriate humor, which makes it fun and a great place to be every day. It is a place where I met some of my best friends and the best people I have ever known, with whom I know I will remain friends for life.
I have had the opportunity to fly over the city (and Fenway Park) in a helicopter, spend a day at Shriners’ Hospital with awesome Billerica firefighter Phil Tammaro who was himself treated there for burns as a child and now gives back to the hospital, cover the wedding of two dogs in Westford (one of who was dying of cancer), and have been allowed into countless homes and lives of people in the best and worst times of their lives.
In my time covering City Hall, I learned an enormous amount about municipal government, finance, and planning, from the best municipal administration in the game, filled with brilliant, talented, funny, real people at all levels. I learned a lot about how the city rolls from a bevy of dedicated City Councilors, including my energetic, visionary new boss.
I also learned a ton about education from three great superintendents, their talented support staff, and the committed and hard working School Committee members I have encountered in the 5 years I have spent covering the School Department.
Most importantly I have fallen in love. In love with the city my Great-Great-Great Grandfather Ferdinand Longtin came to from Quebec in 1876, seeking work in the mills. A city whose diversity, neighborhood leaders, culture, food, natural beauty, history and passion make it the most amazing city on Earth. That is why people come and why they don’t leave; why generations upon generations of families call Lowell home.
I am excited about this new job, in which I can use all of the skills I have honed over the years and build upon the relationships I have formed. It is a comfort to know I am going to work in a building where I already have many very good friends and in a city where I hope to make many more while helping the Mayor’s office better serve and effectively communicate to the residents. I have HUGE clown-sized shoes to fill. Greg Page has done a remarkable job in his brief time in the office and I only hope I can live up to the example he has set of professionalism, organization and graciousness.
Update: The outgoing aide, Greg Page, jots on his blog, The New Englander: …And Now, a Brief Pause for Jenuflection
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