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May 23, 2013

The Council, as a Kangaroo Court

by at 7:04 am.

I went to watch the Council meeting, last Tuesday. Partly, I went to watch the chicken dance, but also to watch a motion brought by C.Elliott:

21. C. Elliott - Req. City Solicitor provide an explanation on damage claim refused for 58 Carroll Parkway.

Thankfully, the motion was moved up in the agenda and I got to go home after and watch most of the Bruins game. #gameon

What I saw was, as this motion unravelled, a travesty. First off, C. Elliott pulled a bait and switch. His motion prompts an explanation. Of course, the motion would have to carry and the Solicitor would follow, at least a week, later. Immediate gratification is not the normal course of the Council’s outcome. Yet, C.Elliott structured the proceeding to drag forth his desired outcome. The Council was degraded into a Kangaroo Court.

Over on Gerry Nutter’s Blog, you can read his reaction to the proceedings. For sure, the analysis is hyperbolic; but I concur with the gist of Gerry’s assertion. Words such as ‘grandstanding’ and ‘pandering’ gelled in my head, as I sat there that night. So, Gerry’s reaction is familiar to me.

One very important point, I will carry in to this diary:

EVERY person who argues and loses a traffic or parking ticket they received here in Lowell, Everyone who appeals to the Assessor’s Office and loses and Everyone who puts in any claim to the City and loses or has lost in the past year, PLEASE PLEASE Call Councilor Rodney Elliot his phone number is in the Phone book and ask him to put you on the Council Agenda. He has now set a president and the rest of the City Council by allowing this ludicrousness to happen have opened the door to a new Agenda Item every week and the people of this city need to take advantage of this and call Rodney Elliot 978- You can look it up and get on the agenda.

I am convinced that C.Elliott is trying to poison the atmosphere in the Council chamber. That his demeanour is consistently contrary to the social norms of the Council’s decorum. C.Elliott acts this way with such ferocity and consistency, he has convinced me that he wishes to undermine the smooth operations of these meetings. This ploy is masked as “asking tough question.” They are only tough in the sense that they are presented in a way to befuddle and aggravate emotions. That residents will grow sick and tired and quit observing the meeting. That other Councilors will fatigue and surrender. That he is bent on punishing the Council that did not elect him Mayor. I am convinced that C.Elliott’s strategy is to erode the public trust in City government and facilitate the removal of Bernie Lynch as the City Manager.

This is a war.

Watch for yourself. In this battle, the City Solicitor is targeted.

The debacle begins at 18:15 -

12 Responses to “The Council, as a Kangaroo Court”

  1. Michael Straw Says:

    Apparently The Emmert’s don’t like going through the proper channels. Instead of appealing the decision on this matter, they go to Rodney; and a few years ago they went to the paper before contacting the DPW about another matter:

    “This road work is causing more than headaches: Residents say sewer project in Highlands creating safety issues”

    http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_12962682

  2. Jack Says:

    @Michael Straw & all

    Although I am thankful that you provided this link and brought some clarity, I am compelled to throw a caution flag.

    The over arching issue, here, is not the action of the constituent. It is, imho, the exploitation of the constituent, who was wedged into a chronic narrative of ‘public trust malaise.’

    Residents should never be shy of seeking redress of grievances. I would loathe a chilling effect, if we battered ’squeaky wheels.’ That would encourage poor municipal stewardship on the part of the public employees, including the vendors we employ.

    No doubt, some wheels are enamored with the squeak of their own wheels. Hell, bloggers could fall into that trap. ;v)

    Checks and balances. Our Founders were wise to include this in the mechanics of American civics.

  3. Mr. Lynne Says:

    OK, apparently I missed the ‘entertaining’ part of Kabuki Tuesday.

  4. Michael Straw Says:

    Jack, I mostly agree. It’s just that I am a constituent that uses e-gov, See it, Click it, Fix it, and direct contact to city departments when I have a question or problem. What I don’t do is call the Sun or a councilor just because I don’t like the answer I got and feed into the kangaroo court that you so accurately described. I wanted to post the link to the sun story because it is public information and may indicate a pattern in the constituent’s behavior. Though I am not a lawyer or inspector, or psychologist. I actually trust that a lawyer, inspector, etc. knows more about the rules and laws than the newspaper, a councilor, or a citizen.

  5. Tax Payer Says:

    Jack I agree with you here! AND NO TO THIS! Opposition to city methadone-clinic move mounting (VIDEO) Get Rid of It!

    Note: TP, if you send me the link for the video in another comment, I’ll splice it together for you. -Jack

  6. Michelle Says:

    I was horrified watching that! I can’t believe that couple didn’t run out. I was embarrassed for them.

  7. Eric J. Says:

    A classic case of over-playing your hand if ever there was one. An uninformed observer, not schooled in the historical record of douchery compiled by the councilman, might conclude he is Clark Kent emerging from the phone booth to protect the citizenry from the heavy hand of an apathetic government bureaucracy as it plows under Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public.

    And even withstanding his Massengillian reputation, he was on a solid footing right up until the time he began asserting a new area of expertise which up until now was not one we knew he possessed – R. Elliott – Forensic Investigator.

    Actually, not just Forensic Investigator, but a newly created branch called Clairvoyant Forensic Investigator because without actually witnessing any aspect of the incident Mr. Elliott was able to discern that indeed the city was clearly at fault. This is when any pretense of genuine advocacy was laid bare to the abject cravenness of Elliott’s desire to exploit the Emmert’s situation for his own political ax grinding.

  8. Jack Says:

    #7 Is da bomb. ROTFL

  9. Michael Straw Says:

    The council agenda just came out, and apparently other councilors or constituents are following the lead of Rodney or Gerry’s suggestion:

    MOTIONS
    C. Mercier – Req. City Mgr. ratify the settlement agreement between the City of Lowell, the City Manager and Mr. Walter Bayliss, Jr.

  10. Mr. Lynne Says:

    ‘ratify’? What the hell does that mean? For that matter, what ‘the settlement’?

  11. Tax Payer Says:

    This City is a complete joke, neighborhoods are deplorable and we are talking about chickens, guy never pays into a pension system but is entitled to health care give me a break. This City is going right down the tubes see you at Duck Island!

  12. Paul@01852 Says:

    I just hope someone asks C Elliott if he is willing to vote for a tax increase in order to reimburse everyone who bought a wireless fire alarm system since he is willing to bring a motion to the Council floor with that goal. Or might we see history two weeks in a row, i.e., another motion that fails to garner a second. Who on the current Council has the courage to second a motion that inevitably means either a tax increase or further cuts to a budget that is already cut to the bone?

    And is C Mercier willing to violate the law (re: reinstating insurance for a former Licensing Commission member) to pander to a friend?

    I have a feeling Kabuki Tuesday will soon be renamed Kangaroo Court Tuesday!

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