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January 19, 2014

BotW: Council Agenda Preview for 01/21/14

by at 9:48 am.

I’m going to try to do this weekly, since I’ve sort of been doing this anyway. This is a post about the possible pitfalls and rants you might see pop up during city council. Every week, there’s at least one thing that becomes a controversial mud slinging festival, and you don’t always know what that will be. But we can take bets and give over-unders and then see how accurate we are! To that end, comments are welcome. If you accurately predict an unexpected Blowup of the Week (BotW), there might be something in it for you. (Yes, LiL is offering a real prize!)

The motions on this week’s council agenda are really light. By light, I mean, just one. One lonely little motion from City Councilors…what, were they all napping? On vacation? Or are they tired of stuff going kaboom? Who knows.

The one motion is from Belanger: “C. Belanger - Request the City Mgr. organize a meeting between Trinity Financial and the City Council to provide updates regarding the Hamilton Canal Project.”

It’s not a bad instinct, as I would like to know this too, but I have a sneaking suspicion this has already been discussed recently? Am I remembering wrong? Anyway, that project is such a long term development that periodic checkins are not a bad idea. Hopefully, this will not explode in our faces on Tuesday night, but be a nice polite request, which will at some future point be fulfilled, and then we’ll all dance on rainbows and eat ambrosia.

There is an executive session at the end regarding the CM staying on a little longer - regardless of Rita’s terrific hissy fit against it last week - but since it’ll be closed doors, if there are fireworks, we won’t see them. Also, there won’t be fireworks because we won’t be able to see them. (Camera rolling = opportunity for advancement don’tcha know?)

There are a number of “Votes from the City Manager” - and those can blow up at any time. I see nothing there particularly obvious, except for something that looks like it benefits Dave Daly anyway (so why would it become this week’s hot item, it’s not like we’re taking something FROM Dave), but here’s where you can win this game, if you point out something that does wind up being exploded past all reasonableness. One guess per person, please! Give others a chance! There’s a JAM plan change too, no idea what that constitutes, but that might be a likely candidate!

But no, my one guess for the week’s standout for Blowup of the Week would be under the CM’s portion…DUM DUM DUM…appointments! You know, those things that Rourke/Golden wanted to keep the City Manager from doing at all, but which was withdrawn in confusion after the previous blowup discussion about keeping the CM on through budget season (Kennedy jumped on board that train, smart man, and I think that deflated Rourke’s little game). Look for hay to be made about some or all of these board appointments, for the City Manager having the gall to DO HIS JOB and fill vacant seats before these boards have to stumble along for another couple of months, minimum, with vacancies.

Keep an especial eye on CC. Kennedy, because as someone reminded me, he made a stink about all these vacancies being open. If he lets these fairly innocuous appointments by without a peep, or with “hey thanks for filling these” he’ll be consistent. If he wants to discuss each one to death because, ‘Merica, that’ll be pretty hypocritical. I mean, seriously, it’s no wonder that Lynch has so much trouble filling board vacancies…from appointment approval through their tenure, they get twisted, tweaked, and then risk being in the Paper Blog of Record while seated. I can tell you, I’d be loathe to serve via a CM appointment personally, and there are boards I’d love to serve on someday. (Like, the Lowell Cultural Council. That’d be right up my ally! But no thanks.) Full disclosure: I’m on the LTC board, in case you didn’t know, for a two year term, as a member. I’m very pleased to be serving and excited to give back to LTC who has given a lot of support to me over the years for productions I’ve done, both for Left in Lowell and for Threads, the TV show. And oh yeah, I forgot to post the latest clip from the show, so I will later today! It’s with Adam Baacke, so totally relevant (accidentally so, I assure you, we booked him in December!)

Ahem, so back to my prediction for Tuesday - and I’ll be really pleased if I lose this game, sincerely I will:

Communication-Appoint Dr. Julia Hans (Green Building Commission) 2014 / 49
Communication-Appoint Salmira Mitchell (Pollard Memorial Board of Trustees) 2014 / 54
Communication-Appt Robert Malavich (Planning Board) 2014 / 57
Communication-Appt Michael J. Paglia (ZBA) 2014 / 59

Those four are being appointed. It’s my understanding that Malvich is an alternate being turned into a full member of the Planning Board, so that should be a shoe-in. (Should be, doesn’t mean will be…). I don’t know Dr. Hans, but it’s the Green Building Commission, this council could care less, and I’m sure she’s qualified. Paglia for the ZBA - Paglia is a known quantity in Lowell and so, if certain people have made up their minds not to like him already it could be dicey, but I don’t know where people are lined up on that one. And Salmira Mitchell is a lovely lady from Centralville, if you met her you’d fall in love with her…she the gardener behind public gardening at an entrance to Centralville, and CNAG leader/member. The sort of sweet person that Rita Mercier would probably like very much, and she’s very noncontroversial. She is married to Jack Mitchell, as the Column today insisted on pointing out, but please do not put this nice person who has done nothing but pleasant things for this city through the wringer. She is the exact sort of person we want serving on a board for the Pollard.

Now that I’ve said that, I’ve probably doomed her. Sorry, Salmira…

OK, you’ve got the link to the Council agenda for Tuesday, what are your guesses? Remember, these are for real stakes - one guess per person!! First person to guess on an item will be the winner if that item is Blowup of the Week!

13 Responses to “BotW: Council Agenda Preview for 01/21/14”

  1. Robert Greenhalge Says:

    Caught a glimpse of Eddy Davis yesterday morning at the Owl Diner.

    Eddy Davis for city manager, anyone?


  2. Kim Says:

    I am expecting no blow ups of this week. I think that the committee will accept the board appointments (because they are no-brainers) with no issues or dialogue. Do I get a prize if no tempers flare?

  3. Lynne Says:

    Sure, if we have a calm sea on Tuesday, Kim, you’ll win!

  4. Lynne Says:

    I also have a a guess by email. So item 4.1D is taken! :)

  5. Lynne Says:

    By the way, this is limited to the actual meeting. There is also a Special Meeting on the hiring of a new CM at 5pm - but that’s rather agendaless so it’s hard to attach any action to!

  6. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    “…She is married to Jack Mitchell, as the Column today insisted on pointing out..”

    I did not put this together until you pointed that out, but at the same time the Column was pointing out the relationship between Ms Mitchell and Jack (someone they are frequently critical of) they failed to make the connection between Bob McMahon, who wants his seat back on the LHA, and a son of Bob’s who is a disgraced and fired….uh “retired” former Lowell Police officer…

    hmmmm I wonder why one is newsworthy and the other is not?

  7. gratefultobehere Says:

    After reading the agenda I still have no idea about the Blowup of the week, but M.Elliott always gets heated when something ticks him off. After the special meeting I’m going to say it’s him. He just blows up at something not even on the agenda.

  8. Lynne Says:

    OK…..here we go….I WIN. Rita’s blowing up on appointments!

  9. Lynne Says:

    AND violating open meeting law!

  10. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    Lyle just tweeted that Bernie wanted the support of at least 6 councilors and didn’t get it, he’s gone March 10.

  11. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    In reading Dick Howe’s notes it seems like all the Manager’s appointments were approved with the exception of Salmira Mitchell whose nomination was “tabled” on a 5 to 4 vote. Dick’s notes are not clear on the vote on Dr. Julia Hans but he did not note that she was denied.

    Talk about PETTY! I am ashamed of them!!!!

  12. joe from Lowell Says:

    They drive out the best City Manager in Lowell’s history, and then they whine because he’s leaving, and then they don’t accept his offer to stay.

    Well that’s just &$%^ing wonderful.

  13. Lynne Says:

    The Hans appointment did not require approval by Council, so eventually, after much stupidity, the “communication” from teh Manager on her appointment was voted approved.

    jfl: this shocks you? :(

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