Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
I think the future of the city manager continuing in Lowell will now become a centerpiece of the city election.
His contract will expire next August. Some of the incumbents and strong challengers have not made it clear on where they stand on retaining Lynch.
I don’t think that issue can be ignored in the election campaign.
Hiring and firing a city manager is the biggest responsibility of a city councilor.
Tuesday’s vote wasn’t a good result for City Manager Bernie Lynch. If indeed those nine hold, Lynch either will not get a new contract or fighting for one won’t be worth it. In the no-contract column will likely be Mercier, Elliott, Kennedy, Leahy and Rourke. In the yes column will be Martin, Milinazzo, Samaras and Lorrey. Lynch’s contract expires in August.
This morning, former School Committee member, City Councilor and current candidate for re-election, John Leahy, opted to call into WCAP’s Saturday Morning Live and respond to the alignment framed in the Column Blog, cited above.
Leahy, rolled the dice. Will it come up snake eyes in November?
It is stressing all the wisdom that John Leahy can muster to find a way forward on the looming question, re: extending the CM’s contract. Leahy is not alone, on this. Hard core door knockers like Marty Lorrey will tell you flat out, “If you run against the Manager, you lose.” Recently, at a public event, Dan Rourke, another dedicated knocker, echoed Lorrey’s assertion. Lowellian’s are satisfied with the outcomes of this Administration. (Note- Re: Running against the CM. Freddy Doyle is a bomb thrower, who’s only in this race to perpetrate character assassinations. He does not intend to win, just smear. As for C.Elliott; this fella has assumed that there are enough ‘Bernie Bashers’ out there, to carry the day. Elliott carries the water of a bitter element in Lowell. His gambit is another matter all together. Voter turnout will make or break Elliot. Every vote over 11,500 will lend to Elliott losing a council seat.)
John Leahy, wishing to actually win a seat, this time, waffled on Warren Shaw’s show. Meekly mumbling about being happy with what he is seeing from Bernie Lynch, but also being dedicated to overlooking the manager, as we move forward.
But, then, and I’ve heard Leahy mutter this before, Leahy slapped down the notion of signing a new contract for Bernie Lynch because Leahy is opposed to the notion of contracts. He shoved forward the concept of an ‘at will employee.’
Leahy is blowing smoke up your ass. How does it feel?
School Committee OKs most of ‘12 budget, The Sun (6/16/11)
Lang signed a five-year contract with a starting salary of $118,963 and 3 percent salary increases each year. He will also be eligible for 2 percent merit increases if he receives successful performance evaluations.
Hmmm. How could that be?
Now, one contract does not a habit make. And we all know, politicians flip-flop when they are over a barrel. And, Bernie is a big barrel. Shady Lowell wants Bernie GONE. So, I’ll give you Leahy’s crumb trail.
Lowell City Council to negotiate with embattled auditor, The Sun (9/25/12)
Leahy, who has only been on the council since earlier this month, said he voted against contract negotiations because he is not a supporter of contracts.
Lowell school administrators’ raises came with perks, The Sun (7/18/08)
The new agreements call for salaries to increase to $118,963 for Franco; Jay Lang , assistant superintendent of finance and operations; Susan Mulligan, assistant superintendent of personnel and recruitment; and Ann Murphy, assistant superintendent of student support services.
The raises translate into a 9.8 percent increase for Murphy, who was previously making $108,308; a 7.2 percent pay hike for Franco and Lang , who were both earning $111,010; and a 1 percent increase for Mulligan, who had been making $117,785.
The contracts were ratified by a 4-3 vote Wednesday night with Leary, Mayor Edward “Bud” Caulfield and Dave Conway in opposition, citing the tight fiscal crunch the district and city are facing. The School Department eliminated 49.5 positions in this fiscal year’s budget.
Lowell committee picks Norfolk superintendent for top school job, The Sun (3/25/08)
On the first vote, the committee was spilt 4-2-1, with Jackie Doherty, Connie Martin, Jim Leary and Mayor Edward “Bud” Caulfield voting in support of Scott , Regina Faticanti and Dave Conway voting for Jack, and John Leahy voting “present.”
Leahy called for a new search, saying he was “not convinced that we have found the individual ready to take on the challenges of the Lowell schools.”
Caulfield urged his colleagues that once a selection is made, the committee as a whole must “embrace that person, get behind that person, circle the wagons and work with that person for the benefit of the children. Put your personal and political issues aside.”
Once it was clear that Scott had the four votes necessary to win the position, Faticanti, Conway and Leahy changed their votes to make the choice unanimous.
School board scolded for breaching closed session, The Sun (3/3/08)
The School Committee voted unanimously last night to approve a three-year contract for newly selected Superintendent of Schools Chris Augusta Scott .
Candidates sound off on superintendent, LHS move, The Sun (10/31/07)
Incumbents Connie Martin and John Leahy also said they would renew Baehr’s contract . Challengers Dennis Canney and David Conway said they are undecided.
If I interpret Leahy’s ‘path’ with a kind heart, I see a really nice guy trying make it through some tough, thought provoking choices.
If I’m a dick about it, I see a guy that is happy to vote for fat Admin contracts for some, like Jay Lang. (Do you remember when Leahy went on WCAP and asserted that Lang should be thrust onto the list of finalists for LPS Supt.. after the ‘blue ribbon committee’ cut him? The position currently held by Jean Franco. I can still hear Anthes, snorting “Who threw Jay Lang under the bus?”) YET, now that Leahy was dragged up to the City Council, he can’t quite wrap his head around the notion of giving the CM (or Auditor) a contract.
How the F&$K is THAT?!
Listen up. Leahy is a good guy. He bought me a beer once, so I kinda owe him. So, to be fair, Leahy is just parroting some bullshit a swindler like Ed Kennedy has pitched to him. As the campaign wears on, listen to the bullshit artists that “SUPPORT the Manager, BUT have grave doubts about providing a CONTRACT.”
This is a feeble dodge to avoid the blowback that Marty Lorrey sees out there while talking to voters.
This cohort of candidates are betting that you are either, stupid enough, or distracted enough, to miss that they will not keep Bernie Lynch on as City Manager. As far as I know, Lynch won’t stay on without a contract. (Large/Small/Long/Short?) I don’t know, what Lynch’s terms are.
The gambit that Leahy and his dodgy pals are betting on, is that you will swallow the line, “We WANT to keep Bernie! He is LEAVING based on his decision to not stay on without a contract.”
They will lather-rinse-repeat that line, aided and abetted by The Sun, until the 2015 election cycle. Assuming you let them. Get Out The Vote!
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