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Left In Lowell » Blog Archive » A Losing Proposition For The Old Guard

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February 12, 2013

A Losing Proposition For The Old Guard

by at 6:00 pm.

So, the chatty Councilors are miffed!

… Murphy didn’t stop there. “I think the last council was a lot more productive,” he said, adding that the current council is “more chatty” with longer meetings, but that it “hasn’t been as productive as it can be.”

Ouch! Veteran councilor and former mayor, Rita Mercier, and councilors Rodney Elliott, Marty Lorrey and Ed Kennedy all took offense at Murphy’s remarks.
Tuesday afternoon, The Column Blog picked up some political intelligence indicated those councilors who aren’t so mature might fire back at the mayor, who became the city’s youngest-ever mayor at age 29 in 2012, during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

One councilor even said: “There is going to be a war.

Issues that are expected to blow up on the City Council floor often fizzle, and get settled in the cloak room. This one, however, sounds like it could have legs.

This reminded me of George Anthes talking at C. Kennedy & C. Leahy on City Life, yesterday. Anthes was fluffing the idea of voting Mayor Murphy off the Chair. Could it be done? Is the sentiment on the Council strong enough? .. Yada Yada

Tonight, I would expect several Councilors to grouse about Muphy’s candidness. Not unlike they did back, last October.

But, if they decide to ratchet it up a notch, and try to vote Murphy out? I can’t help. but think, that would be a big mistake. See, there is no good reason to remove Murphy. He is legitimate in his criticisms of the Council. Just because The Blog of Record can’t manage a fair representation of this Council, does not make Murphy wrong. Diplomatic? Murphy is not. Well founded? I’d say, SPOT ON.

So, should the Council err and unseat Murphy, let me tell you how it will go. First, we will replay the whole “Strangle Him In The Crib” routine. Except this time, the hit will not be on a Republican. It will be old school Dems sniping the young upstart Murphy. Don’t tell me that Dave Nangle isn’t sweating Murphy finding new digs in the 17th Middlesex. Further, don’t tell me that C. Kennedy wouldn’t stoop so low as to move against Murphy in the Chamber. Kennedy would have 2 votes, behind him. Could he beg Lorrey and Leahy over to the “Dark Side?” Ponder that? Could the dominoes fall?

Such a move would clearly be a political move, motivated towards stunting Murphy’s much speculated “ambition.”

And, such a move would backfire.

In the 2012 November election, Lowell had the largest voter turnout in modern history. Making Mayor Patrick Murphy a martyr would create some “fireworks” alright. But, bet this, the ones playing with fire will get burned.

29 Responses to “A Losing Proposition For The Old Guard”

  1. Mimi Says:


    Great analysis. Who knows, maybe tonight’s action or reaction will be the final straw to push some individuals to run this fall. :-)

  2. Robert Gignac Says:

    Just to clarify, which I believe the Mayor did on this very mentioned radio appearance, Mayor Murphy no longer lives in Rep. Nangles district. He is now a resident of the Highlands.

  3. Jack Says:

    I wrote, “… Murphy finding new digs in the 17th Middlesex.”

    But, thanks for helping out our low information lurkers.

    PS. WCAP’s Radio Replay: Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy talks about his decision to not seek re-election

  4. Kim Says:

    “He is now a resident of the Highlands”- Could he be considering at a run for K. Murphy’s seat if he retires or moves on? He has the right last name.

  5. Jack Says:

    Based on Mayor Murphy’s efforts, encouraging a broader inclusion amongst ethnic groups in our local politics; I’d speculate that he would defer to a prominent figure, likely from the SEA community.

    That speculation is reinforced by his actual words in the WCAP interview, which is linked above.

  6. Tax Payer Says:

    Murphy doesn’t even own any property!

  7. joe from Lowell Says:

    Ohnoes, he’s not a land owner?!?

    He’s a white male, though, right? I mean, we need to have some standards.

  8. Molly Says:

    More than 50% of Lowell residents don’t own property, clearly “those people” do not deserve representation, nor should they be allowed to participate in elected politics.

  9. Christopher Says:

    Why would longtime Councilors take offense? After all they were part of the last Council that the Mayor said was more productive. I would expect the first termers (Are there any this time?) to be more upset.

  10. Tax Payer Says:

    Murphy should be excluded on voting any property tax issues!

  11. Jack Says:

    THAT’S RIGHT!, Tax Payer. Because none of the rent that one pays goes towards paying taxes! *eyes roll*

  12. Tax Payer Says:

    He doesn’t pay taxes to the City the LANDLORD does. Murphy as not written one check to the City except for excise tax probably. No water/utility bill! LANDLORD DOES! I just think if you are in the position of City Council you should at least know what it is like to write checks and contribute to the City instead of just taking $20,000 to be a ceremonial mayor and cry!

  13. Mr. Lynne Says:

    Tell me more about this planet where costs don’t impact prices.

  14. Prince Charming Says:

    I like the mayor, voted for him etc. It seems like ever since the forces lined up against him, it’s been “All About Murphy”. He’s too smart of a guy to just write off, but he has burned a lot of bridges. Elected politics - I think he’s cooked. He may have something lined up for the future, but I don’t think Kevin Murphy’s soiled himself about this guy. And he’s waaaay too brainy to appeal to the Nangle crowd. There won’t be too many defections there. I do believe that the mayor has painted himself into a corner this term. Maybe he’s just being Irish and saying his piece before he moves on but you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

  15. Christopher Says:

    TaxPayer, if the Mayor so much as owns a car he is paying excise taxes to the city (which is a form of property tax), as I was reminded just yesterday when I received that bill in the mail. Besides, you are coming awfully close to suggesting that only property owners should be allowed to vote or participate in government, which I’m pretty sure fell out of fashion when Andrew Jackson was President. Plus the Mayor has a fair amount of work to do for 20K.

  16. Jack Says:

    To appease Tax Payer, I suggest the 3/5 Compromise - where every 5 renters counts as 3 homeowners in terms of apportionment.

    We could also apply such logic to ‘blow ins.’

    There is a Constitutional precedent. It could hold up in Court!

  17. joe from Lowell Says:

    I just think if you are in the position of City Council you should at least know what it is like to write checks and contribute to the City instead of just taking

    Blah blah blah, takers!

    Go away, Mitt. People in your position are not the only ones who matter.

  18. gerry nutter Says:


    I’m 50+ and have never owned a home preferring to rent because I have no skills to fix anything. I feel I contibute by paying rent that goes to taxes and water bills plus I pay excise tax which goes to the city and meal tax if I go out to eat.

    Many renters contibute much to this city and have the right to run and serve in any capacity.

  19. Tim Little Says:

    And here I thought TaxPayer was speaking tongue in cheek….

  20. Tax Payer Says:

    I pay 3,900 in taxes, $110 a quarter in water/utilities $100 in excise. Plua a mortgage AT 1,500. What percentage of your rent goes to utlities and taxes. If you think it does you would boviously know what your paying correct? IM SURE YOUR RENT AT 1300 COVERS ALL THAT. GIVE ME A BREAK

  21. Jack Says:

    Tax Payer,

    I’s sorry you feel you are a victim. It is rather pathetic. But, the good news is, you build equity under the yoke of the Bank.

    Studies show:
    The longer people live somewhere (whether minority or not) the more invested they become in their community and thus more likely to vote. Participation increases with residency tenure for those living in the same place for two years or longer (Squire, Wolfinger and Glass 1987). Research also indicates that owner-occupied housing tenure in particular has a positive impact on voter turnout (Pratt 1986).

    So, renters care and renters lean in to make Lowell a better place.

    The chip on your shoulder, Tax Payer, is ugly.

  22. Tax Payer Says:

    Its not a chip, I’m just saying when your in a position to vote and raise people’s taxes, you should at least be in their position to feel the taxes go up and etc. Mayor Murphy is wonderful man, I just don’t think he is qualified to be a Councilor.(Voters DO) It seems to me he has an ego yet what has he done nothing outside of the being the Mayor to support such ego. (He’s not a KENNEDY) I beleive in all Dept. Heads, Manager etc should all be residents. City Couniclors should own property if your going to vote to raise residents taxes!

  23. joe from Lowell Says:

    So what you’re saying is that only people with a personal interest in a financial matter should be able to have input into it.

    That’s just brilliant.

  24. Dan Murphy Says:

    He’s already given the city the equivalent of 10-12 years worth of average property taxes (in his two years of forgoing the councilor’s stipend.)

    That’s nothing compared to the work he’s done to lower taxes through efficiency to the point where we will probably have two straight years of a 0% increase in his two years as mayor, and one of the lowest tax increases in recent years in FY2012–during his second year on the council. Of course his colleagues deserve credit for that. Just not the entire crop that’s in there now. Government moves slowly. This work is the work of the last council, particularly the ones who voted FOR those budgets and measures, upon which future budgets are predicated. That’s what he was saying. That’s what has the sensitive crowd running to the paper for some kind of solace from the truth.

    Charm School–The theme you put forward is one that the Lowell Sun, anonymous electeds and others have been pushing since he became mayor. Kudos to them, if with some they’ve made it stick. I think it will be comforting to Patrick and his family that he worked as hard as anyone to put the city in a better place than when he first came onto the council. (Remember what was happening in 2009). And he has had some success in that.

  25. Jack Says:

    Sometimes it’s little things, like getting the packet e-mailed out, as opposed to hand delivery by police courier.

    Sometimes it’s other things like slowing down the process that was pushing the Manager’s quest for ‘Plan Design.’

    And, then there is the big picture stuff, like adopting the ‘Stretch Code.’

    Of course, there is more. h/t Gerry Nutter

  26. joe from Lowell Says:

    Did you see the comments on that Nutter post?

    “Who cares about all this green stuff? And those goddam kids, with the hair!”

    I go through that list, I don’t see a single proposal to name an intersection. Not one. What the hell, Murphy?

  27. Tax Payer Says:

    Mayor is equal to Councilor in Lowell…. Credit Murphy then you better credit Elliot etc. “The work he has done” give me a break he has no more power than any other Councilor.!

  28. Jack Says:

    Elliott? The words, “Eight Yeas, One Nay” speak to your assertion, soundly.

    I’ve never thought of Murphy as ‘grabbing power.’ Yes, he is a Councilor, as are his peers. But, certainly, Murphy has developed the role of the Mayor in ways different from others. All within the purview of our Charter.

    I like the flavor that Murphy has brought to the role of Mayor. It would have been that much better, had C.Elliott not opted to perform a weekly hissy fit because a majority of his peers rejected his ‘flavor.’

  29. Lynne Says:

    This thread is so full of #win.

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