Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Much has been said recently of the most recent city council meeting on January 8th. (Video here. It’s long and tortuous in many places - brace yourself.) I had been alerted to it by those watching it or attending it live when they expressed frustration on Facebook. There’s a lot that could be gotten into on this meeting, but I don’t have all day so I’d like to focus on one thing in particular - the petulance of councilor Elliot.
At one point in the meeting the council took up an update to the city ordinances regarding dogs. The reason for the ordinance update was pretty simple - it was in violation of state law. Let me repeat that - it was in violation of state law. This state of affairs didn’t come together for sinister or malicious reasons, of course. It’s just that some more recent state law invalidated language in the current ordinance by making it illegal. It was asked in the meeting if we were the only municipality addressing the issue and of course we are not. So some very nice people took it upon themselves to rewrite the language in order to - and this is important again - bring our ordinances in compliance with the law. Eliot was of the opinion that since the current ordinance was working there was no need to update it. He was the lone no vote. Really, he just doesn’t like the new law that required the ordinance change. I guess there’s nothing wrong with having that opinion but what is galling here is that he seems to think it’s ok to not follow the law in this case. He doesn’t believe that being in violation of the law is a problem that should be solved I guess.
Fast forward to a latter part of the meeting for an appointment to the housing authority. The candidate was (is?) involved in the temple project up in Pawtuckettville which was cited for violations by the
EPA (State EPA?) Mass. DEP. He objected to this person on the basis that following the rules was very important.
Yeah, he went there. (sigh)
Another issue that came up in the meeting that got Elliot upset was that apparently there were blog posts regarding board appointments to be voted on at the meeting. Elliot was upset because the blog posts went up with information about these appointments before he even read his packet. Not to be clear, the packet that announced the appointment is public information and is released publicly. Moreover, as far as I know, the blog posts he’s complaining about didn’t precede the release of public information. He was very upset though, that the blogger’s ability to digest and comment on public information was faster than his ability to read his email. Seriously. What exactly does he want to do here, suppress other people’s right to comment on stuff? Why? For his own sense of propriety (or self importance, take your pick)? Elliot, admittedly “doesn’t live on line” but he seems to think that it’s the law that he’s supposed to find out stuff before everyone else. (Notice he’s concerned about the law all of a sudden.) At one point he actually accused Lynch of leaking stuff himself.
Sorry, but the more I see of him the more he sounds like a petulant child. He wasn’t always like this - I remember watching him several election cycles back and I don’t remember him taking umbrage as standard operating procedure. Apparently he was a keen observer of Mr. Caulfield’s tendency toward the same thing. He seems to have forgotten that Mr. Caulfield ameliorated the negativity of umbrage with an equal amount of Cheerleading. Mr. Elliot is not so charming and histrionics is no way to manage a city.
I should note that the appointment issue above was a tangent (Elliot can’t be asked to abstain from an opportunity to spin against the manager) from another issue regarding the leak of information about someone who was not brought up for appointment but whose appointment was considered by the administration. Councilor Kennedy brought this up and was upset by the leak and decided to get mad at Lynch for it. (As a side note, it should also be noted that Kennedy doesn’t consider blogs part of the media.) Naturally Elliot piled on. The details of the leak are unknown, so naturally they pile on Lynch, who can say nothing to appease anyone. (As a side note, it should also be noted that Kennedy doesn’t consider blogs part of the media.)
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