Left In Lowell

Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs

2013 Candidate Questionnaire Responses!

November 6, 2013


by at 8:42 am.

Here are some next-day observations I have about yesterday’s election results.

We did see increased turnout. 11,581 is still a pathetic number of registered voters (20.6%) voting to select our local government. I’m not satisfied. Obviously not just on who got elected to Council, but also just on the fact that less than 30% (which is also not a non-pathetic number) are the deciders on who serves on our Council and school committees.

Name recognition, funding, and city connections still win elections. I note that the only first-time candidates who make it on the council (besides Franky who worked hard during what was a huge change election, and Murphy who basically knocked more doors than humanly possible) are longtime city names, generally townies. I think this is bound to change, as the very old demographic which are the “strong city voters” are…well, old. This is going to continue to put downward pressure on turnout, which is a big problem. If we get to the point of 4-6,000 voters turning out in local elections, that will be very disappointing, of course. But that older townie demo consistently pushes the big connected names onto the Council. (I know Rourke worked hard, but did he have the campaign apparatus that Derek did? I tend to doubt it. The hardest-working candidates aren’t always the one to win, if they don’t have those deep personal connections to the strong city voter.)

Newcomers who are “blowins” (as in, no long standing familial and friend connections in Lowell among the strong, older, city voters) did pretty spectacular considering. In particular, Derek should be toutin’ proud of his 12th place finish, precisely 350 votes behind 9th place. If he runs again, with the same vim and vigor and as a seasoned campaigner, he not only makes the Council, he probably gets up higher in the ranks. A strong 12th place can mean a 5th or 6th placement the second time around.

I am heartbroken for the Cambodian community. I hope they, and the engaged younger southeast Asian voters people like Van Pech bring to the table, use this loss to make themselves stronger. Don’t give up. You are a huge demographic in this city, and you are part of this city’s future. A good way to bring this about is to do some voter education and registration in the meantime, before the next election season starts, and keep running candidates!

The same can be said of the younger (what the pundits term “new Lowell”) voters and candidates who back people like Stacie Hargis and Derek Mitchell. Don’t give up, get active! You are the future. The past is just making a last gasp right now, but it can’t sustain itself much longer.

We seem to wave back and forth every single election. The 2005 election which elected Ramirez and ousted Cox. Then the Kaz/Lenzi 2007 Empire Strikes Back election. Then ousting them in favor of Murphy and Descoteaux in 2009. Then a reprieve (I guess Kaz really pissed people off in the previous Council) in 2011. Now we’re seeing The Empire Strikes Back Part II with the Dailey-backed (I cant’t wait to get my hands on the finance reports) Belanger and Rourke. That means in two years we’re due for a flip again - here’s hoping professional city management can survive til then.

Speaking of professional city management, this new Council is not guaranteed going to get rid of Lynch. There are only four definite no’s on a new contract. The rest are all lean-yes (Rita Mercier and John Leahy), or definite yes. They need to hear from constituents that Lynch is doing the job the city wants. Don’t be shy on calling them over the next year (contract is up in August).

Also speaking of contract/no contract, it’s plain to me that voters (who are not attentive to the blogs or other outlets) do not vote based on the core values of city management. On the one hand, it’s plain that the people of Lowell really like Lynch a lot. They’re happy with the direction of the city. They’d be pretty pissed, I think, if the Council gets rid of him. On the other hand, ink-master Elliot gets to rank #2 (the ink, I’m convinced, is why he gets to #2). Voters have not connected the basic issues at stake in these elections - frankly, because the Sun doesn’t want them to, and fails to educate them on this. The voter demo that shows up still gets the paper. This is only going to last so long, as the younger voters (people under age 50) are a whole different animal, but for now, we’re stuck with the awful paper blog of record and its agenda.

And I do think that the most important core issue at stake in our elections lately is legitimately “contract or no contract.” In other words, are we hiring/keeping professional technocrats as City Managers or do we go back to hiring unqualified hack former politicians (often ones with ethics problems) who not only can’t do the job, but also use the position for personal and political gain for their friends? The whole worm turns on what attitude our city council has towards the city manager position. We all know what names are bandied about to replace Lynch every couple of years (state Rep. Murphy, former state Sen Panagiotakos, etc). Those people would be short-lived and disastrous for the city. Is Pangy a fairly smart dude? Sure. Is he qualified to run a freaking city? Hells NO. And his hack history isn’t that great either. (Frankly, our entire House delegation could leave tomorrow and I’d be super happy. Thank goodness we have Sen. Donoghue at least!)

The Mayor selection is a little stickier than the CM contract, in my opinion. I have some thoughts on that but prefer to leave the details to others. Those chips will have to fall where they fall. However, I will state one thing: Can you imagine super-negative Elliot as the Chair of the School Committee? I urge the next Council to seriously consider the damage someone like him can do on the most important job of Mayor, chairing the SC. Also, I don’t think we should reward such negative behavior with a mayorship. It sets a bad precedent. And the worse precedent that if you wait long enough, it becomes “your turn.” Bollocks.

My last thoughts are this: I’m taking serious consideration as to how we engage more voters in these elections. I’m tired of a tiny minority of this city (myself included) deciding for 100,000 people who should run their local government. It’s time for a non-partisan “League of Lowell Voters” to find ways to reach the non-city voter and get them engaged. Again, I have some ideas for that. Unfortunately because this blog is so “partisan” (not just in the liberal sense but in the supporting a certain type of candidate sense) that any effort I make will get a Gerry-Nutter-for-Election-Commission type welcome. I know I’ve made some enemies (fairly and legitimately - by truth telling!) but seriously, I’ve had it up to my eyeballs on the turnout issue. Anyone else feel the same way? If enough people are mad as hell and won’t take it any more, something could be accomplished.

84 Responses to “Perspective”

  1. Taxpayer Says:

    Your whole blog is about negativity check your titles for each post! The city is moving forward for the positive. The voters have spoken!

  2. Mr. Lynne Says:

    I’d be against a Panagiotakos CM bid just on the his record of being unable to separate the way his religion treats gays and lesbian couples from the way the state should treat them (equally and fairly). I depend on a CM to serve all the constituents, which was also my problem with Cox (before the DOR issue) - its almost as if he refused to consider the acre part of the constituency.

  3. Linda C Says:

    Lynne a brilliant and incisive commentary on the state of the situation in our beloved Lowell. The landscape at present is sketchy and foggy and warrants much diligence on behalf of the quality of life for all of our citizens versus the well connected or better located. I will try to reserve judgment on these matters and allow the process to move forward with the hope that the group may do the right things as it is time to end the infighting and get back to governing for ALL the Citizens of Lowell. Thank you for pointing out a few horrors I had not even considered. I was grieving the lack of ethnicity on the City Council most and am committed to the Asian Community to see that their needs are met and their voices are heard. Based on Mr. Elliot’s past votes and comments his Chairmanship of the School Committee would not be a step forward for the children of Lowell. He has thus far, not offered a vision that would enhance the educational future of our children nor has he advocated for an investment in them.

  4. Lynne Says:

    /ignores the silly gloating people who she knew were going to come out of the woodwork.

    Pangy would hire friends. Hands down. He’s part and parcel of that whole culture (indeed, in some respects, the godfather of it). No thanks. Had enough of that.

    No former or current politician should EVER be considered for that spot, ever ever. The qualifications for running for office and being a legislator or councilor are NOT technocratic in nature. Their resumes do NOT show a history of municipal management. So long as actually experienced muni managers apply for the position, no politician should even get in the running. This is not a game. This is running a city, in a position designed for a professional, someone with budget experience, with union negotiation experience, with managing a ton of staff experience. It is not a “learn on the job” type of job.

  5. Joe Says:

    And I do think that the most important core issue at stake in our elections lately is legitimately “contract or no contract.”

    I understand how important this issue is to you. It’s a huge deal. But was it the reason that the election turned out the way it did? I say no. Based on nothing but a hunch I would say that the city is pretty evenly divided on the city manager. Those in the anti lynch camp will say look at the results last night to prove that they are in the majority. But I think it’s much deeper then pro/anti lynch. A lot of the precincts around the city did double the vote. The double the vote campaign did its part but the real uptick in voters came out for one reason and one reason only. Public safety. It was the shootings that got people to get up off their ass and vote. It’s the #1 reason why Corey Belanger got elected. It might be the reason Derek Mitchell did not get elected. Corey was vocal about getting more cops now. Derek had a much deeper rooted approach to violence that really could have a far better impact on the city in the long run. But politically speaking the house is on fire now. Attempts to reach the root cause are not going to keep people safe TONIGHT. I understand that this mentality is incorrect. But this is the political reality that some candidates got whacked with last night

  6. Jack Says:

    If I may summarize Joe: “The political junk food junkies came out in droves.”

    I won’t lie, I feel deflated. I don’t believe, all the way to my bones, that Lowell’s destiny was catastrophically altered, last night. We are going ‘Back to the Future’ for a spell. If we learn from our mistakes, the 2014 iteration of the Club ‘375′ House will be more keen.

  7. Taxpayer Says:

    The Mayor hired friends! No?

  8. Taxpayer Says:

    The Manager is still here, you people talk in future the tense. You seem to predict things before they even happen. Let’s focus on the present and the issues at hand and stop making assumptions Lowell is moving forward regardless on whatever negative spin you want to predict and write about!

  9. joe from Lowell Says:

    We should hold our elections on even-numbered years, so the City Council races are on the same ballot as the President and Congress. That would boost turnout and make the results more representative of the city as a whole.

  10. Lynne Says:

    Joe - no, you miss my meaning.

    People like (mostly) what is happening in the city. (Recent high-profile gunplay aside.) What they do not understand, is that that is what is at stake with contract/no contract. And this context is never explained to them. Of COURSE it’s not an important issue to them. It’s not even on most voters’ radars. That’s my point - this is a problem. All the things they like - getting their pothole filled or their neighborhood park cleaned up or their public safety issues addressed - it all comes tumbling down if we pick the wrong type of head honcho.

    I remember what it was like under Cox. We were $2+M in the hole. If you don’t think THEY (GOBs) know what is at stake in these elections, I have a temporary bridge to sell you…

  11. Lynne Says:

    PS - Derek didn’t get whacked. Historically, a newcomer candidate like that almost NEVER gets on his first run. A close #12 is actually pretty damn good.

  12. Lynne Says:

    Joe - I can get on board with something like that. I suspect it won’t happen. But it could backfire - the attention a national or statewide race sucks up in the atmosphere might mean a lot of undervotes on the local stuff as people don’t feel comfortable voting in a race they don’t know anything about.

    I just wish the Lowell Sun was a better paper. No, I wish it was not a shitty paper. I suspect half our problem in this city is low information due to absolute lack of objective news sources.

  13. Joe Says:

    If I may summarize Joe: “The political junk food junkies came out in droves.”

    Sorry jack but this is outrageous. Someone from UTEC gets a lazy stoner to vote and its democracy at work( it is). But some single mother of two that is tired of the gunshots on her street shows up to vote public safety and she is a political junk food junkie? This proves to me that you still have no clue what happened yesterday.

  14. Lynne Says:

    I don’t think you’re right either, Joe. Here’s the thing: the bulk of the voters who turned out are ones who always do.

    And the same lack of information about what’s at stake also applies to remedies for the recent shootings. Do you think that single mother of two had knowledge of Belanger’s (belligerent) stance on public safety? And if you do, then when didn’t Gitchier do better, he’s been hitting on that issue hugely for a long time.

    I’m sure some of the voters were motivated by the shootings in the paper. But by and large, we have the same pool of voters (with a few extra) that we always see. I just don’t think that was the motivating factor.

  15. RickG Says:

    caution, rant ahead:

    i’ve been wanting to say this for a while now: I don’t like Rodney Elliott, I think he’s a bad city councillor and bad for the city, and I can’t believe that people vote for him.

    I’ve listened (online) to every city council meeting since the start of the 2009 council. Elliott is not very bright. He’s bitter, petty, pandering, and wastes the council’s time pushing his personal agendas and having to have the manager and the city solicitor explain things to him over and over again.

    But apparently he knows his supporters well and they buy into his crap. I can’t believe more people don’t see through it, but I guess most voters don’t follow the council meetings.

    people don’t get it. you can’t have city services without taxes. if you want more cops you have to pay for them.

    as far as I can tell Manager Lynch and his team are brilliant. The way they pulled us through the economic collapse was pretty incredible, if we had any brains we’d sign Bernie to a 10 year contract with a hefty bonus.

    yesterday’s election has many many lessons.

    first, when lots of good old boys run their families and friends bring out lots of voters and they vote for each other. i’ve never seen so many people holding signs at my polling place, it was like a family reunion.

    and let’s face it, Franky and Broderick and Murphy were great councillors and they walked away. i don’t blame them, i can barely stand listening to those meetings let alone having to be there every week and having to do all of the work. but it’s hard to replace strong voices like that on the council.

    i think Patrick Murphy is/was a great councillor and mayor, but he didn’t play the game and I guess people didn’t like that. But he had a vision for the future and for getting things done. Thank you Mayor Murphy.

    and Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Derek Mitchell and Stacie Hargis! please don’t give up. We need you and more people like you willing to work so hard to bring the city together and find real solutions to our challenges.

    and thank you to Lynne and Jack and other bloggers and blog contributors. personally I depend on you when i need sanity.

    and finally, thank you Lynne for looking at the big picture. i think there are lots of good signs that things will improve here. we’ve just got to keep on working.

  16. Robby Greenhalge Says:

    As someone who has voted in every possible election, I feel your pain and frustration.

    Turnout for local elections is always painfully low. People are simply too busy to get active, frankly don’t care, or are just tired of government in general. They have seen enough of a mess both locally and nationally to pay any mind anymore.

    I have strong disagreements with this site on local and national issues but always read to get a different perspective. I have no doubt Mayor Elliott is coming.

    I think this election was more about Mayor Murphy than Bernie or professional city management. Those most connected to Murphy got canned. Vesna, Bob Gignac, and Murphy’s pick for Lt. Mendonca all went down.

    Biggest/only surprise for me was how lousy Martin did.

    I don’t feel bad for the Cambodian community at all. Clearly many did not like what they seen, and couldn’t support him. I know many Asian city folk who voted for him the last time around and refused to support him this time. They are not going to support someone simply for being Asian. Individual personalites are just as diverse as skin colors.

    With that said we the results are what they are. Let’s move forward and keep doing the best we can for our city.

  17. Jack Says:

    I think Robby rightfully points out the scorched earth abandoned by Murphy. Patrick didn’t start this fight. But, we lost it.

    For sure, Elliott, like Murphy, has a big chip on his shoulder. Except, Elliott, apparently, has 5,300 other chip ladened fuckers behind him.

    I should also point out, it’s easier to rise against Lynch, than it is to rally to pick his replacement. Now, the mob will stare at each other.

  18. Jack Says:

    @Joe Do you really think “From Lowell. For Lowell” is a healthy slogan?

    Was there a wave, drummed up by a flailing-pandering Elliott & the corporate media? Yes. Did the voters respond. Yes.

    But, please don’t lecture me about public safety. No bike path chevrons for my street. Just chalk outlines.

  19. Greg Page Says:

    @Robby thanks for making that point about the Cambodian community.

    I think there are a lot of people in this city — and certainly, many who read this blog (myself included) who want to see a more diverse council, and will even tilt their votes a bit in favor of that ideal as a tie-breaker or even a factor in and of itself.

    Still, individual people have individual preferences, tastes, rights, etc. Even when it comes from a well-intentioned place, there’s a danger of veering into pat-on-the-head-style condescension when speculating about what things do or don’t mean for entire groups of people.

  20. Judith Durant Says:

    Thank you, Lynne. I’ve been feeling a bit disheartened today, but as with the election results, I hope this is only a temporary set-back. We do need to find a way to bring out the vote, but it’s a bit tricky. When we have ONE candidate to support (Warren, Markey), it’s easy to get out there and knock on doors with a specific message. With a council election the lines and tactics are not as clear. But I’m with you–we need to figure out how to get out there and bring people in to our local elections. Will be thinking…

  21. Renee Says:

    @Jack #18

    That’s why I would be more inclined to vote for Genevieve over Dan in regards to public safety. UTEC doesn’t tolerate ‘lazy stoners’, they do engage with young adults with limited to no social supports. Little things we take for granted we got from our parents/guardians. UTEC has GED/job programs and even will help a young adult get their learners permit and use their car to practice driving. At 18 a young adult does not fall into DCF criteria, unless they are in DCF care on their 18th birthday. UTEC fills a very important gap.

    Dan Rourke I’m sure now elected will tour all the differing services we have downtown, I hope he has a chance to meet and work with DCF.

  22. Joe Says:

    @Joe Do you really think “From Lowell. For Lowell” is a healthy slogan?

    Your question implies that I support this slogan. I hate it. It’s simply minded. It might be the most unoriginal slogan in the history of politics.

  23. Robby Greenhalge Says:

    “Chip ladened fuckers”

    Whoa, easy there Jack.

    Look at this way. Elliot becoming mayor may be the best way to get rid of him.

    Look at our 2 previous mayors. Milinazzo jumped big and became Mayor, only to suffer a humiliating defeat two years later. Murphy becomes Mayor and people start talking state house and even comparing the guy to Kennedy, only to quickly turn sour and the pressure cooks him faster than a steamer.

    Point? For a “ceremonial” position, it ain’t easy being the Mayor of Lowell.

  24. Robby Greenhalge Says:

    I should have noted the comparison to Kennedy was JFK, not our own Ed. Big difference!

  25. Joe Says:

    But, please don’t lecture me about public safety. No bike path chevrons for my street. Just chalk outlines.

    I’m not lecturing you on public safety. I’m lecturing you on your disdain of voters that do not see things your way. It’s the Achilles heal of liberalism. It’s thinking you know what is more important to a voter then the actual voter. Lets take a voter from adams street. It’s not a pleasant area to raise a family. According to some on this site the city managers contract is the most important issue in the city whether people know it or not. Mrs Doe from Adams street hasn’t voted in 10 years but she has had enough of the violence. She has heard a few of the candidates say they will bring in 10 new officers and she is going to give them her vote. She doesn’t follow politics or read the paper.. She doesn’t know anything about bond ratings or reserves. All she knows is what she see’s out her window every day. All she cares about seeing a few more cops walking the streets and keeping her safe. Is Mrs Doe a “political junk food junkie” ? And is she alone? Or did hundreds of fed up citizens show up last night and alter the balance of power in this city.

  26. Robby Greenhalge Says:


    Interesting you raise Adams St. I know a fellow close who used to live on that street. Never into politics, he was not planning on voting until he got a mailer that was in half English and half Spanish from Derek Mitchell.

    He tried to vote, where he has lived for years near the McAvenue school in Pawtucketville, only to be told they had changed his registration to St. Anthony’s, which is conveniently across the city. Relying on public transportation to get to work, he didn’t get to vote, due soley to someone from the ” professional city government” inexplicably changing his registration forms to a place where he has never lived.

    Upon hearing this, I quickly recommended a quick call to the MA Attorney Generals office. He scoffed it off as if it was nothing; no more than a simple error on someone part.

    I couldn’t decide what was more important: how the city let my close friend down, or how my close friend was so accepting of a clear wrong doing.

  27. Renee Says:

    Do you know any ‘Doe’s from Adam Street? Not sure how many Mrs are on Adams St., marriage rates are pretty low in public housing. Thanks to new curriculum there are financial literacy classes in the schools.

  28. Jack Says:

    “I’m lecturing you on your disdain of voters that do not see things your way. It’s the Achilles heal of liberalism. It’s thinking you know what is more important to a voter then the actual voter.”

    So, pandering is good governance?

    I’m wondering. As we salve the qualms of a 106,000 Lowellians, is it ethical to start with stewardship aimed at voters, first, then work down the list to the lesser among us?

    But, winning is everything. So, let’s conjure up the rapture over a 6 weeks period, half intended to slant the selection of the next LPD Supt & half intended to slant the election results.

    And then, for good measure, wrap a bow around it, in the rhetorical form of Ms. Adams St which I respect enough to work to provide a full fledged City, engaged in every arena of challenges surrounding her versus grandstanding on a flash in the pan crisis, so she will be distracted from the fact that her long term betterment will be buttfucked by hacks put into City Hall.

    I know who I disdain. It’s scumbag liars that talk out both sides of their mouth. (Not you, Joe. We disagree. But, you seem to be forthright, for the most part.)

  29. Magnolia Says:

    I would prefer to focus what comes after this election. The voters have spoken. Let’s give Elliott a turn at Mayor. He can’t be any worse than Milanazzo or Murphy on bad days. I was sorry to see Mendonca go - but not Nuon. Between his involvement in the Temple issue and his newly acquired slumlord status, he was not doing himself any favors.
    I want to see some serious changes in the atmosphere of violence that seems to be hanging over this city. I hear a multitude of things on my scanner that never make the paper. The people in the Lower Highlands have just as much right to feel safe as those in Belvidere. They do need to help themselves by speaking out more. There have also been several incidents in downtown, as well as those aggressive panhandlers. While the police cannot prevent everything, more officers would certainly mean better coverage. I do believe that we need more than the proposed 11 plus transfers and I am certainly willing to pay a few more dollars in taxes for them.

  30. Jimmy II Says:

    Jack, you seem angry….. Why?

  31. Taxpayer Says:

    Because Lowell has spoken!

  32. Jack Says:

    Jimmy II,
    Because City politics is poisoned by lying, two faced, self serving bastards?

    It’s not even the “self serving bastards” part. I’m not so Pollyannaish to think a majority of folks do it for the public good. That sorta thing is left for nitwits, like me.

    It’s the “lying, two faced” part. I really do get pissed having to deal with greasy, used cars & snake oil salesmen, dressed up like public servants.

    Maybe, I should sell out? Did you, Jimmy? You sound like you did.

  33. Jack Says:

    Don’t count your mandate before it is hatched.

    Be careful what you wish for. Campi is a desperate peddler of political pornography. Your feudal lord is now the ‘meat-du-jour.’ I’m looking forward to it.

    Though, with McMahon & Daly holding Poulten’s nads, WCAP will play the tune, sung by Billerica Bud & The Long Meadow Boys.

    FYI: I’m saddened, not angry. I know Coxville is a shitty place to live.

  34. Jimmy II Says:

    Jack, clue, all level of politicians are liars, by definition. We need to start electing public servants.

  35. Jimmy II Says:

    I don’t vote in Lowell

  36. Lynne Says:

    Thank god. Why do you post here?

    RE all politicians are liars, that’s stupid on its face. Some politicians are liars, like some people are liars. I know a lot of really great people in public service - honest people just trying to do the best they can for constituents. You can take your brand of cynicism elsewhere, because here it doesn’t sell. I’ll even go so far as to say Rita Mercier is pretty honest. Misguided in my opinion, oftentimes, but genuine in her beliefs and in what she does on the Council.

    It’s people like you that turn good people off from running, or even voting. Go away.

  37. Lynne Says:

    FYI, all, “Jimmy II” is temporarily banned until he can figure out how not to personally attack people. We have a very liberal moderation policy here but personal attacks are one of the lines.

  38. Molly Says:

    @Magnolia….on the Mayor Elliott issue: the reasons he should not be mayor are as follows:
    1. He NEVER says anything positive about the city or attends community events; is this who you want as the ambassador of the city?
    2. He is rude and petulant. The “it’s his turn” mantra doesn’t hold water. He cannot bring people together and has been nothing but divisive for the last 4 years. Giving him the gavel and making the poor School Committee have to deal with him as well only rewards his bad behavior.

  39. labba Says:

    Not that I really care if you block someone from commenting but if you’re going to allow Jack to call people that voted for Elliott “chip ladened f*ckers” you may want to reevaluate your reasoning.
    Anyway, I really only decided to post in response to Molly. I can assure you one of the main reasons you don’t see CC Elliott at some community events it is because his weekends (and many weeknights) are spent at Edwards St Soccer Fields, as he is the president of LYSA. Parents will tell you he runs meetings, lines fields, refs, runs the concession stands and much more. But I am sure you are right-he must never say anything positive about the city because you’ve had a chance to ask him…? Doubtful.

  40. Robby Greenhalge Says:


    The arguments you offer against a Mayor Elliott can easily be compared to Murphy. Perhaps we shouldn’t make the same mistake twice?

    I can recall city events that Murphy was a no show. Or when he did show up, he was dressed like he was going to a backyard BBQ.

    Second, who exactly has Murphy brought together over the past two years? The last two years have showed a council more divided than I have ever seen.

  41. Lynne Says:

    How about you let me moderate my blog. You don’t know what was deleted, and attacks on public officials for their official actions, votes, and statements is fair game.

    “But I am sure you are right-he must never say anything positive about the city because you’ve had a chance to ask him…? Doubtful.”

    We watch city council meetings pretty much EVERY week. He is the most negative person ever, and I say this having seen years of Bud Caulfield and his “kitchen table musings.” Sorry, but the case is made every single council meeting right there on public TV. He’s either unhinged (really, I’m worried about him) or else drumming up bullshit because he is cynically playing politics. Either way, he’s disqualified.

    Robby - I’ll admit to being disappointed in the last part of Murphy’s tenure. It started out fine. In some ways, I can’t blame him for disengaging. He was smacked around all over the place for very stupid, non-issue, made up sorts of things. Yes, some were ill-advised self-inflicted wounds, but in any other town, with a DECENT editor in chief of the local paper, he wouldn’t have had nearly as much thrown at him. He couldn’t ever win. He could do everything right and not win with these guys. Look at the Pericles issue - which he had NOTHING to do with, and yet he was attacked for it.

    This council was pretty united actually. You had Elliot, and Councilor Ditto, and sometimes Rita tacked onto their ranting, but honestly, Elliot has been doing this for years, prior to Murphy being mayor, so it’s not like Murphy’s mayoral term has much to do with that.

  42. Lynne Says:

    You know, Periclesgate, and door-slam-gate, and all these things made up about Murphy, remind me VERY much of the attacks on Gov Patrick after his inaugural. The caddy thing, which was literally drummed up from nothing, and the drapes thing, another nonissue. Both of these had perfectly reasonable explanations behind them, both got blown by the media for god knows why (when they KNEW better) - I think blown up because of right wing talk radio, frankly. If you don’t know the story, on the caddy, the Governor was given a very short list (of like 4-5) vehicles that could be used to retrofit bullet-proofing, all of which have to be substantially large vehicles (for adding all that weight), were SUVs, etc. One was a caddy. He said, “sure that one.” All of them were not cheap - and this situation is put in front of every new Governor.

    The drapes/furniture was stupid too - when Romney left, he took all the Gov’s office decor with him. Furniture, drapes, everything. You see, when he came into office, everything was shabby, so Romney personally paid for a redecoration and new furniture and stuff. When he left, he took it all. (I think that was pretty classless, he as a super-rich guy could afford to leave it behind, he could have called it a contribution. But whatevs.) So when Gov Patrick came in, back up went all the nasty shabby drapes and the falling-apart furniture came out.

    Keep in mind, our state house is the only official place that the Gov receives dignitaries - we don’t have a Governor’s Mansion like many states do. (Which means we don’t have that upkeep cost either!) So to have the place looking like it was falling apart was unacceptable. I heard a story about how members of the media, visiting (prior to the redecoration under Patrick) KNEW that the furniture was no good - they were in the room when one reporter put his stuff down on some table, and it broke.

    Anyway, I see a lot of the stuff against Patrick as being of the same sort. For even worse reasons than the anti-Patrick stuff.

  43. Jean Paul Sarte Says:

    Labba, I was thinking the same about Jack being untethered. That is what happens when the gatekeeper doesn’t like your point.

  44. Jack Says:

    “Untethered” Score one point for Team Tipa! ;v)

  45. Taxpayer Says:

    Its good to know that the views and opinions on this blog are in the minority! Lowell’s next stop is the right direction!

  46. Lynne Says:

    And what is that right direction, so-called Taxpayer? Going back to government for your friends, by your friends? Or going back to the budget being over $2 million in the hole? Which one appeals to you exactly? I’d like to know.

  47. Jack Says:

    Here’s something the confused Taxpayer may be able to grasp.
    Click here.

  48. Lynne Says:

    PS - Jack and I have always been strongly worded and full of conviction. As Rita Mercier has known since the year I started blogging, when I said she was not worthy of an endorsement, which caused her to make a snide remark to me after a Council meeting.

    I don’t know where you’ve been, but you obviously haven’t been reading this blog.

  49. labba Says:

    Your blog, your twisted rules…I get it.

    P.S. check out breaking news!

  50. Lynne Says:

    They are not twisted. I just explained them. If you can’t see the difference, well, most of my readers can. You seem to be new here, maybe you should learn the rules before making assumptions?

    I knew Rourke was a finger in the wind type. So sad to be proven right so quickly.

    Well, we now know there’s precedent for rewarding really terrible, unhinged behavior on the Council. I feel for my friends on the School Committee if this comes to pass.

  51. Lynne Says:

    (PS - funny thing is, “Jimmy II” hasn’t made a peep of protest since I posted that he was temporarily banned for his personal attack. I do love the drive-bys, because they are so predictable. I bet dollars to donuts you are not going to become a longtime commenter on the site, either, labba, you have the look about you.)

  52. Mr. Lynne Says:

    I wonder what UTL is going to think of an Elliott mayor.

    “Positive force”? I doubt it.

  53. labba Says:

    I pop in from time to time for a good laugh. You guys think you have such a grip on Lowell’s local politics-ha. Being called a “f*ucker” prompted me to post. But, hey, at least there are over 5,300 others to keep me company. Might make a habit of posting….might not. We shall see I guess.

  54. Lynne Says:

    If we’re so unimportant, why are you here?

    In case you haven’t noticed, which you would have if you really read my post, I observed a pretty specific phenomenon, about elections flipping about once every cycle, and I’m pretty reality based. I also hate loyalty politics and yeah, I’m gonna get up in arms about people using local government to help their friends. If you want to defend that, please, by all means, give us your cogent arguments.

  55. Jack Says:

    JMac talks trash and spins the rumors for whoever pays him the most. WCAP peddles the crap because they are desperate to survive. They are indentured to ‘Shady Lowell.’

    Yet, Left in Lowell is a pock on Lowell?

    I blog like I talk. I use my real name. So, labba, go fuck your shady self.

    PS. My tribe is smarting over the bogus anointing of “Rod Rage,” as Mayor. The guy is a disgrace to the Council.

    That said, I tell them the truth. Elliott came in #2, AGAIN. As bogus as it may be, one half of the 10% of the City (the voters) rewarded Elliott for his petulance and contempt for civics. That should be acknowledged. As sick as it makes me.

    Had “Hot Rod” come in 8th or some low position and there was talk of making him Mayor, still, over say Ed Kennedy; then THAT would truly be a bitter pill.

    PPS labba, fuck you, twice!

    John Mark Mitchell

  56. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    Un F-ing believable. The most negative force on the CC! As much as I thought Bud lite was a joke he was a good ambassador for the city….this guy?

    “Elliott told him he will be a positive voice for the city.” and ” “I’m looking for a great ambassador for the city and I think Rodney will be that,”


    Holy Crap!

    From Lowell Sun website:
    It’s Mayor Elliott; Rourke promises necessary fifth vote

    By Lyle Moran, lmoran@lowellsun.com
    Updated: 11/08/2013 08:38:34 AM EST

    LOWELL — City Councilor Rodney Elliott has secured the commitments necessary to become the city’s next mayor, a post he has long sought.

    Councilor-Elect Dan Rourke told The Sun Friday morning he will support Elliott, giving Elliott the five votes he would need when the new council votes in January to select the mayor.

    Rourke said he made the commitment after several extensive conversations with Elliott this week. Rourke said he was pleased Elliott told him he will be a positive voice for the city.

    “I’m looking for a great ambassador for the city and I think Rodney will be that,” said Rourke. “I think he will help the council to get off on the right foot and keep the city headed in the right direction.”

    Elliott also has commitments from City Councilors Rita Mercier and John Leahy and Councilor-Elect Corey Belanger. Elliott will vote for himself.

    Elliott, 53, finished second in Tuesday’s election with more than 5,300 votes. He will be serving his ninth term on the council.

    Elliott is a congressional liaison/contract officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  57. labba Says:

    Jack, maybe you and Mike Hayden can get a 2 for 1 deal at an Anger Management program.

  58. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    Just an observation regarding what I heard the other morning on WCAP.

    I rarely listen to morning radio but I did have the opportunity on Wed. I was laughing in the car listening to Teddy Panos (Lowell Sun employee if I am not mistaken) take LiL to task for ‘almost’ destroying the political career of Bill Martin.

    It struck me as funny since he never once mentioned that Campi and the Lowell Sun did not include Bill Martin in the list of endorsements for City Council.

    I wonder why?


  59. Lynne Says:

    Teddy a Sun employee? I don’t think so…when he’s not on radio, he’s at his family’s Greek restaurant, in fact that’s where I usually run into him. RE us ruining Bill Martin’s career…OK, which is it, folks? Are we totally relevant and moving the needle, or are we irrelevant and no one is listening to us?

    I keep forgetting which it is?

  60. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    My mistake then, I thought he was a sports writer for the Sun.

    Regardless, my question remains. Why take LiL to task for the near destruction of Bill Martin’s political career and not mention that he was left off the Lowell Sun’s endorsement list?


  61. Jack Says:

    Touché, labba.

    I hear Elliott sold out and will bow to the City unions? After years of talking privatization and cost cutting, Rodney will take it on the chin? Lowell should have a very special “For Sale” sign for the hacks.

    PS. I need to stop arguing/ranting with anonymous commenters. Because Teddy Panos forgets what is inconvenient for the talking points JMac gives him.

  62. Dan Murphy Says:

    I just want to correct a few things for the record, but primarily the notion of Mayor Murphy being disengaged in his term as Mayor. Just because his work hasn’t received the paper’s ink doesn’t mean he hasn’t been working. We should know that by now.

    Since the birth of his first child in late March, he has filed nearly 100 motions, many of them significant. In a recent meeting, he filed 20 motions on wide ranging issues. Most recently, he filed a significant motion about plans for the Connector, but Rodney’s toilet bowl motion received an entire article instead. That’s fine; we know the deal. But Patrick’s also spent considerable time planning a large and innovative development opportunity in the Back Central and Sacred Heart neighborhoods in just the last couple of months, working with the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Rick Sullivan, and attending a prestigious national conference of United States mayors to present his project to preeminent city planners and urban architects. He was the first Lowell mayor to attend, and one of only a dozen Massachusetts’ mayors to ever attend the national conference in its 30-year history, chief among them, Mayor Menino. He spent three days in Charleston, SC working to better develop the planning for re-development in our family’s neighborhood and integrate feedback from guys that are planning 2-million-person cities from scratch in India. In the next week or two, he’s attending another national conference in Boston to discuss the project further. He’s been applying for grants, meeting with constituents, meeting with businessmen and women and has had little time for the job that actually pays him a living. He’s been to more events in the city than any of his predecessors. That doesn’t sound like someone who is disengaged.

    As for the talk about his perceived divisiveness, even Kendall Wallace, of the Lowell Sun, admitted this a few weeks ago:

    “Ironically, the new mayor, Patrick Murphy, brought peace and harmony to the School Committee, something he didn’t achieve with the City Council.

    Normally, mayors do well presiding over the council and struggle with school committees. These past two years it has been a total reverse. Maybe that says something about the council make-up.”

    Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/columnists/ci_24393183/saturday-chat#ixzz2k4fcxZvv

    In other words, it wasn’t the guy that gets blamed for the dysfunction, it’s the dysfunctional councilors themselves. The fact, is, in one meeting very erly in his term, he filed eight motions in one meeting, one with each of his councilors to show that we can find common ground when we work at it. Think about that, Patrick has at least one motion each that he has filed jointly with the likes of Rita, Rodney, and Ed. He tried to work cooperatively. On the school side, Patrick stewarded a very successful term on the School Committee that produced projects he’s still working on. He’s dramatically improved cooperation between the city administration and school department, he led the effort to increase capital funding for schools, he negotiated the plan to close operational funding gaps (i.e when the school department found there was over a million dollar deficit this year), and he’s led the successful negotiations of twelve (12) multi-year contract settlements. And that’s not all of it, but I won’t bore people on here about policy, because most are interested in the politics of it all. I will say this, perhaps his most important achievement this term wasn’t even on the council or school committee; it may be that the election of Elizabeth Warren and her 18% margin here in Lowell was the most important. Perhaps that’s the true source of conservative Robby’s criticism. But I do know that Patrick played a large role in that and also in transforming the position of mayor into something more than ceremonial. Ask many of the different immigrant groups what Patrick’s relationship to their community has meant in opening up City Hall to all.

  63. Jack Says:


    Lowell is in Patrick’s crumb trail. Let’s not romanticize his tenure while you’re buffing out his Curriculum Vitae.

    There’s more of them and shady Lowell pays for the results they get. It went to shit.

  64. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    One of the biggest problems with politics in the city that I see is the Lowell Sun.

    While it is true that the Sun’s readership continues to decline it is also true that the vast majority of people who vote in Lowell read the Sun.

    So if a politician gets good ink it helps them, if a politician gets bad ink it hurt and if a politician gets virtually no ink at all voters don’t know who they are…(can you say Robert Gignac?)

    The paper did a real dis-service in this election cycle by almost completely ignoring the issues of the race. The only thing the paper really did was harp on the question of contract or no contract for Bernie.

    Compare that with what the Globe did with the Boston Mayoral and city council races. The Sun is the biggest political problem the city has. IMHO

  65. NanaB Says:

    Jack calm down before you stroke out. My God if Chalk Lines outside your door plus as you stated on City Life one time “when we have a strong down pour of rain you have toilet paper crap and feminine products wash up on your front lawn”. Those issues which are health hazards to boot would bother me more than Rodney being Mayor. Sorry I wasn’t able to be one of those chip ladened blankers who voted for Rodney. But just going one toke over the line and into NH has improved my quality of life and that of my family. The services and taxes aren’t bad either. Give Salmira my best and thank you for your service to our Country. Enjoy Veterans Day with those you love and hold dear.

  66. Dan Murphy Says:


    When you find the nerve to translate into English for the rest of us, I’ll respond.

    But, from what I did parse from it, I’ll make things very clear. The above isn’t even a quarter of what Patrick’s done for the city of Lowell. That work above is just since they tried to oust him in the Spring as his wife was having their first child. But all those graphs and charts that you’re always pointing to–they don’t end up the same way if he’s not elected in 2009. Change may be inevitable, but progress is not. It’s made by people willing to work hard to push for it.

  67. Linda C Says:

    The plan prevailed. Some folks do not see the forest for the trees. Some people see the forest and identify the trees. The connected boys got together held hands, agreed to the slate on both the SC and CC increased their base and bulleted their votes. The strategy worked. It remains to be seen how many will remain in each others pockets. The only remaining City Councilor who voted for the present Mayor still standing is Martin. The Lowell Sun tried their best to take him down too, but failed. Two new guys got in on their name recognition so, that still is a factor in all things. If you want new City Councilors to get elected going forward you need to introduce them to the non-voting public looking for answers or make them better known to the die hard voters, voting now. The 2014 City Council does not reflect the kind of diversity, leadership or independence I would like to see. However, I will continue to hope this 2014 group will chose to be more about all the peoples of Lowell’s quality of life instead of being focused on their allegiance to one another as a voting block.

  68. Joe Says:

    Many years have past but once upon a time we had another fiesty councilor that enjoyed mixing it up. He had many political friends but also some detractors. That man went on to become mayor despite the opposition of some in the city. And how did it work out? He united the city and became a legend in Lowell politics.. And on top of all that he fathered the blogfather. I’m not saying Rodney will ever come close to touching the accomplishments of dick howe. But what’s best for Lowell is to at least give the guy a fair chance at success.

  69. Jean Paul Sarte Says:

    There is a lot of cackling about Cox and the budget. Was the crime rate under Cox as bad as it is today. Is it George W. Bush’s fault, or is it Jimmy Carter’s fault.

  70. Jack Says:

    Do I need to speak up, so you can hear me from the 5th Congressional District? I’m not pleased with the result of being Patrick’s steeping stone. Did you copy that?

    Riding the coat tails of the UTL and Gaelic parochial legends was a great plan to get elected. It worked. And, I gave all the credit in the world to those campaigns. But, Patrick harnessed the seat, provided by the rank and file, to assert an agenda that was way too forward thinking for Lowell’s electorate. Hurray for him?

    While Patrick can cite a laundry list of progressive wins in the yea’s ‘n nays of 9, much of that list will not go far in the aftermath.

    There are some solid wins that your clan has every right to be proud of. So notch your shillelagh with pushing sustainability and data driven governance, to name just two. Lowell owes Patrick for those accomplishments.

    But, you can’t just bolt outta town with the “Greatest Hits.” Well, maybe you can? The rest of us will sort through the afterbirth of your rising star.

  71. Jack Says:

    Even though the sight of “Mayor Elliott” should make you puke on your shoes, it won’t. Will it, Jean Paul Sarte? (who has the same IP address as Jimmy II & Jimmy V, ect.)

    Remember: The Sun Framed Cox’s Legacy, Not Me

  72. Joe Says:

    Will it, Jean Paul Sarte? (who has the same IP address as Jimmy II & Jimmy V, ect.)

    The reality of this is obvious but i think my imagination is far funnier. Just three gronk like brothers fighting over the family computer so they can log in and yell at jack. Come on jack. That visual has to make you smile…….maybe?……just a little?

  73. Taxpayer Says:

    Keep blaming the past! More excuses and more excuses. Your whole ideology is negativity. Just look at your blog of record for the truth! Majority of headlines are negative spin!

  74. Jade Says:

    I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and slowly exhale.

    Remember, “this too shall pass” …. stay calm and focus

  75. Jack Says:

    Jade is correct.

    I vented a bit too hard on Murphy(s), trying to stir emotions. We need to find a Phoenix, ASAP.

    As for Joe, it’s impossible to take these trolls seriously, but smiling is even harder. What’s that line from “The Dark Night?” “Some men just want to watch the world burn. …”

    Guys like Taxpayer and Jimmy, the got it made in the shade. They got their fiddle lessons from Nero.

    Seems I may have picked up a chip for my shoulder. Who knew?!

  76. Taxpayer Says:

    Jack I do agree Jade we all do!

  77. Christopher Says:

    I don’t understand the accusation that LiL almost destroyed Martin’s career. According to her blog post before the preliminary Lynne voted for him and this site has generally been supportive. Is the theory that support here is otherwise damaging?

  78. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    Christopher, according to Teddy Panos on WCAP the support that this blog gave Martin is what turned off voters to him and nearly destroyed his political future in Lowell! LOL LOL LOL

    Still waiting for Teddy to explain how LiL almost destroyed his career and why Teddy is ignoring the fact that the Sun left Martin off its endorsement list.


  79. Rose Says:

    Do you think the threat that Martin, Lorrey, and Mendonca would be voted out because of their Westview Rd vote could have been acted on? I think this election would have less to do with LIL and more to do with money and jobs.

  80. Jack Says:

    Rose is onto the real McCoy:
    The developer, who is CEO of Daly General Contracting and PrideStar EMS, also said he thinks the council’s vote, as well as the recent Murphy-Mercier feud, will lead to a lively election next fall.

    “This issue became so much about politics rather than what was best for the city,” Daly said. “I think you will see a pretty aggressive election cycle next year.”

    Who remembers, how Daly and JMac got in Bill Martin’s face at Dan Rourke’s time at the Long Meadow?

  81. Robby Greenhalge Says:

    I voted for Elliot and Martin. I also voted for poor Marty Lorrey and Joe Mendonca. Where does this leave me? Guess I have a chip on my shoulder.

    Despite the label from some, I wouldn’t identify myself as conservative at all. I will be the first one to tell you that I supported Murphy. I voted for him both times. While I may disagree politically, I honestly believed he was doing the best he could for the city and that is enough for me. I don’t know the answers to everything (does anybody?) and supported him because his heart was always in the right place.

    Clearly many were out to get him from the get go, but that’s politics, unfortunately. His behaviour as Mayor I have to say was disturbing at the very least and I was very disappointed with him as Mayor. He let me down; as a Lowellian, and not as a liberal or conservative.

    This election was not about Republican vs. Democrats. Or liberal and conservative. Or pro Bernie or anti Bernie. It was about what’s right for all of the people and neighborhoods of this historic city, and the people have made themselves heard.

  82. Lynne Says:

    Hey Jimmy II, we know you’re posting under other names. You’re still banned.

  83. Lynne Says:

    Robby - I’ve been saying for years that local elections are a nonpartisan (in the D vs. R sense at least). I voted for Mendonca, despite the title of this blog. Because he has been a good steward on the Council and a fact-based guy who just wants to govern. I have to disagree with your choice of Elliott with all those other ones, though, if you watch Elliot, you know that facts rarely play into his decision making.

    Also he sounds petulant and whiny and he’s pretty useless.

    And it is, frankly, about professional city government vs the other type. Whether people knew it or not. The future of the city hangs on that. I’ve been here under the less honest actors. It’s a world of difference. For one thing, we are not under threat of getting audited by the Dept of Revenue for budget shenanigans. Elliott claims to be such a big numbers guy…but he wants to get rid of the guy who’s been the reason our numbers have turned around?? He’s a dishonest player.

  84. An old lowellian Says:

    Dan, you need to understand that although Patrick did some good work, like the rest of us he isn’t perfect and made some mistakes. As someone who voted for him twice and appreciated his efforts you need a more wide ranging view of Lowell politics. And, can you let Patrick speak for himself? In his first campaign when I posed a question to the candidate, you answered for him. Please, set back for a minute. Best wishes to Patrick and his family.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

[powered by WordPress.]

If you are not on Twitter and want to follow our feed on Facebook, click "Like" for our FB page.
BadgermillCity logo


Recent Posts




November 2013
« Oct   Dec »


Email us!

(replace spaces, ['s, symbols)
Lynne | Mimi

Lowell Area Bloggers/Forums

Lowell Politics

Mass Bloggers

Politics Online

The Arts in Lowell

Trad Local Media

40 queries. 1.028 seconds