Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
It’s sad that instead of just focusing on the matters at hand, the Mayor and others in this city have to sit there and un-spin the Lowell Sun on top of it all. It’s not like the problems we face in the city aren’t already serious enough, right?
I suggest you go read this post by Mayor Murphy at his assistant Jen Myer’s blog in full.
Most of the post is specific refutations on specific public safety issues that the Sun has been hammering the Mayor on, but I enjoyed this part a lot too:
On the tired issue of subcommittee assignments and perceived “snubbing” of Elliott for chair of the public safety, finance and auditor/clerk oversight subcommittees, I can only say that the purpose of these is to discuss substantive issues, and that my appointments are meant to reflect a preference for workhorses over showhorses in those roles. On public safety, the Police Superintendent himself will tell you that two issues raised by Elliott last year (proposals later overturned by the state legislature and state court respectively) were a distraction from the more pressing problems we face. Elliott’s shortcomings on finance and public safety issues are crystallized in his motion a couple years ago to cut all departmental budgets–including police, fire, health and inspectional services—by 2.5%, thereby endangering federal grant funding because of reductions below the required staffing levels, and putting our community at greater risk, financially and otherwise. During the issues last fall with the clerk’s office, Councilor Elliott was absent from all four ad hoc Clerk Oversight meetings, and this February was absent from our first Special meeting on Clerk Oversight. Accordingly, these assignments were placed in more capable hands.
In short, subcommittees are not to support one councilor’s psychic need for media attention, but to do work, discuss difficult matters, hear residents’ concerns and suggestions, plan for long-term substantive changes that can impact people’s lives. I have been disappointed that these have not been widely used for policy discussions.
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