Left In Lowell

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July 21, 2012

Escalation

by at 11:22 pm.

The re-creation of the subcommittee was proposed by Councilor Rodney Elliott, who asked publicly to be on the subcommittee and privately communicated to Murphy his desire to be on the panel and chair it.

Elliott said Friday he was disappointed, but not surprised by Murphy’s decision to leave him off the subcommittee.

He is a vindictive person and he has shown that yet again with this move,” Elliott said. “Rather than do the right thing for the taxpayers, he has made another personal decision out of his anger toward me.”

Murphy did not respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.

Mendonca told The Sun that he advised Murphy that not all councilors would be pleased with his selection of the three panel members, but he did not elaborate.

Elliott said he plans on attending the subcommittee’s meetings and asking tough questions to make sure “nothing gets swept under the rug.”

“This decision just energizes me,” he said.

Does C.Elliott mean, “swept under the rug,” like letter from the Dept. of Revenue “swept under the rug?” Who WAS the fiscal watchdog when CM Cox burned through all the reserves? Anyone?

I wonder, how does C.Mendonca and C.Kennedy feel about being dissed by C.Elliott? We’ll know soon enough, if C.Kennedy takes it hard. We’ll know if Kennedy stops seconding Elliott’s petty and vindictive motions.
(more…)

Dracut Wingnut

by at 8:04 am.

I woke up and opted to listen to Warren Shaw’s show on WCAP. This is not my normal routine, but on occasion I check the show out. I think Shaw bends towards a more conservative view, but generally, I think he does a good job conducting the conversation. His guests, most likely reflect the AM radio listeners. (Note: I listen to the show via internet.)

Luck would have it, Shaw is interviewing two republicans, Cathy Richardson and George Boag, who are vying to challenge Democrat Collen Garry in November. I’ll tell you now, believe it or not, I was just sipping my coffee, half listening to the show. I figured I’d listen to their views on state issues. The idea of writing a blog about this was the furthest from my mind.

But … then Cathy Richardson opted to share her wingnut views.
(more…)

July 20, 2012

Thumb To Nose, Raspberry

by at 12:12 pm.

Call it silly, but I got a chuckle out of seeing Gerry Nutter thumb his nose at the Editor of the Blog of Record.

Sun Loses Public Records Request on Treasurer Applicants Resumes

Photobucket

Sadly, I don’t expect the Editor to learn a lesson from this. Sadder still, it’s unlikely that a few on the City Council, those that parrot the Editor’s ignorant grandstanding, will either.

The beat goes on.

July 18, 2012

Does Kevin Murphy Have The Last Laugh?

by at 11:47 am.

My. My. How the world turns.

Shame on me for jumping to conclusions:

It’s pretty sad when our delegation plays shadow boxing, in front of the home town crowd, with the Patrick Administration and, then, when Patrick actually throws a punch, they bitch up and run to the Blog of Record.

Grow up, Lowell. Pangy was our last great hope. He bailed. Maybe, just maybe, Tom Golden might make the moves needed to make a difference for us. Sen. Donoghue is in her first term. Frankly, I see her as a better fit for the US Congress, than MA Senate. So, I wouldn’t put too much stock in her on Beacon Hill.

Gov. Patrick just stepped over a shadow boxer, laying on the canvas. That’s how we roll in Lowell. No?

Now we have “the rest of the story” coming out of the Blog of Record.
(more…)

July 17, 2012

Public Meeting: UML North Campus and Traffic

by at 11:17 am.

Of interest to anyone who ever tries to drive over the river into Pawtucketville and Centralville (and back), UMass Lowell is hosting a public meeting to talk about North Campus area traffic affected by the new buildings UML is building there.

The East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group invites you to a Community Meeting sponsored by UMass Lowell to learn more about the big changes taking place in regard to traffic in our neighborhood.

Monday, July 23, 2012
6:30-8:00 pm
Alumni Hall
UMass Lowell North Campus

There will be a formal presentation on traffic impacts, and the Chancellor will be present from 6:30-7:30 pm to listen to concerns and answer questions. The City will also have representatives there as well talking about bridges and traffic.

Here’s what an active neighborhood group can do for you, as the East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group instigated this meeting. By the way, you can keep up with their doings and meetings on Facebook by liking their page.

Gratitude

by at 8:43 am.

Nothing brings out the community like a neighborhood disaster.

A backup of traffic, and a lot of sirens going by, got me to leave my TV (where I was actually keenly interested in one of the last new episodes of “The Closer”) to go see what was up. A neighbor pointed to the twilight sky, where a column of smoke was rising. Heart in my throat hoping it wasn’t some family’s house, or apartment, I headed down the street. Admittedly, I was not being an intrepid reporter, and didn’t take my smartphone with me for vid or photo or tweeting, but in a way, I was more a neighbor in this case than a blogger.

Hiking down Main St (Lincoln was seriously backed up both ways by rubbernecking and street cutoffs), I think every single neighbor was outside trying to make out what was going on. I gleamed some rumors and such from people I passed, but largely what I was told turned out to be actually correct according to the Sun. It was a commercial storage shed, not a residence, and that gave me some relief.

It was a pretty tough looking fire, where something inside there was burning pretty bad. Even once they seemed to have some control, the fire kept coming back, only to be doused again, and then back.

Our city’s finest did a great job protecting nearby property. At one point I saw a few adjacent tree limbs on fire, and given how dry our state is right now (if my lawn is any indication), that could have spelled disaster. Luckily no homes were in danger.

Over and over in my head, I thanked the stars I live in a state, and city, that believes in the Common Good, and not that we’re all on our own. Unlike some states and counties, we have striven not to gut our fire and police services, nor to force families to watch their homes burn to the ground with their pets inside for forgetting to pay a specific fee. Examples of why paying for our Common Good should not be voluntary or optional. Whether a $75 fee forgotten or not paid (or not affordable), or a corporation or very wealthy person paying zero dollars in taxes, it amounts to the same thing.

We’re all in this country together, and in many things, we’re better together than apart, and we should not punish the good people willing to donate to charity or service organizations, but consider it one’s duty as a citizen to pay into the pot so that we can all flourish. After all, a healthy society is actually better for even the most fortunate among us, in the end.

And above all, I’m grateful for the fact there are some brave people out there willing to put themselves in danger to help others. Grateful to the firefighters who are here to protect us, whether it’s a non-occupied commercial building, or a home where lives need saving. Thanks guys.

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…)

July 14, 2012

They Won’t Play This On City Life

by at 11:11 am.

Update: They did play this on City Life. Thanks to John and George.


Mitt Romney accuses President Obama of not talking about the issues, but he has run a campaign of carpet bombing and tearing down his opponents.

July 13, 2012

Open Thread: Impotent Edition

by at 5:14 pm.

When You’se Impotent, You’se Gots To Act Important!

I can name a litany of Democratic-sponsored bills that I’ve done that never would have passed hadn’t it been for me, and the president had called me, and vice president calls me, and Secretary Clinton calls asking for my vote all the time.

In reality, Brown’s staff says he has spoken by phone with Clinton just twice during his Senate career — most recently over a year ago, on July 5, 2011.

The other call occurred in December 2010, when the Obama administration was seeking votes to pass the New START Treaty.

Brown and Clinton have spoken in person twice, when the secretary addressed a group of senators on political uprisings in Egypt and Libya. Those sessions were over a year ago, in February 2011 and March 2011.

Please stay humble on this Open Thread

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