Left In Lowell

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October 20, 2012

Chinese Finance Officials Visit Lowell

by at 5:54 pm.

It’s great having a writer and former reporter of Jen Myers’ caliber working for the city. Her posts at Room 50 are always a joy to read, and her corresponding photography slideshows a big bonus. Check out her latest post on the visit to our city by finance professionals from the Chinese Ministry of Finance, here to see how we do things.

On Friday morning City Hall welcomed a delegation of 20 finance professionals from the Chinese Ministry of Finance, eager to learn the ins and outs of the City of Lowell’s budget process and successful financial management policies.

The group, which included 16 Supervision Commissioners from the Office of the Ministry of Finance, from cities ranging from Sichuan (population 87 million) to the “small” city of Dalian (6.1 million), began their morning with a tour of the City Council Chamber and brief introduction to the city’s Plan E government. They were quite astonished to learn Lowell was the first place in the world to utilize telephone numbers.

They then enjoyed a two-hour budget discussion with City Manager Bernie Lynch in the Mayor’s Reception Room.

There were some really amusing moments, apparently:

His Chinese visitors were surprised by the level of public input and participation in the budget process, but were much more stunned to hear the population of Lowell is only 106,000.

Some chuckled.

“You mean 106 million?” asked one of the delegates.

“No, 106,000,” answered Lynch.

“Oh, you are a very small town,” responded the Chinese visitor, astonished to learn Lowell is the fourth largest city in Massachusetts.

Go check out the full post. It’s great to have an inside eye on some of the really cool things that happen in our city government.

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