Left In Lowell

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2013 Candidate Questionnaire Responses!
 

February 13, 2014

No, No, No, NO!

by at 5:29 pm.

So the big political news this week is that Eileen Donoghue is declining to put in her resume for the City Manager position, which, insiders say, means sitting state Rep Kevin Murphy is now a shoo-in.

I cannot count all the ways that this pisses me right the hell off. This is Lowell at its absolute and utter worst. Let’s elaborate why.

First of all, supposedly, a dozen applications or so have been received so far (why has that gone public, anyway?), with another two weeks til deadline. What if we get another Lynch in the pile? Someone who is just an outstanding candidate, who nails the interview, who comes in knowing all sorts of things a city manager ought to know, like about Dept of Revenue audit letters that are being ignored, and someone who could continue this upward spiral of higher Moody’s ratings (saving taxpayer dollars), green energy and conservation (saving taxpayer dollars), continuing and building on efficiency programs (saving taxpayer dollars), and transparent, readable budgets (showing taxpayers where their money is going)? Screw “from Lowell for Lowell.” I want “protect the Lowell taxpayer and residents” not a goddamned street address and birth certificate that has Lowell at the end of it.

Second: all this bullshit talk about Donoghue or Murphy are basically the only choices the Council will consider. It’s a great way to limit the candidate pool of people willing to bother, precluding a stellar candidate from even putting an application in. Maybe that’s what Elliott, Kennedy, Belanger, Rourke, Leahy and Mercier really want, but then please stop pretending this farce of a sham of an advertised position constitutes a “nationwide search.” Seriously, do these people think that the taxpayer wants a limited candidate pool? Come on.

Third: KEVIN MURPHY IS NOT QUALIFIED. Are you all freaking nuts? I don’t care if his teeth gleam white and shiny and you like him a lot. That is not how to pick the top administrator of the city. He. Is. NOT. Qualified. And the fact that he thinks he is?? Even worse.

He said on the radio something to the effect of, “I could do the job, I ran a small business.” (A law firm consisting of him and his own family member isn’t even really that!) It took a lot of willpower not to bite my own arm off. Being a small business (or indeed, any sort of business owner), or a lawmaker (who is pretty much useless, riding on the coattails of first Panagiotakos and now, Donoghue) is NOT a qualification for running a city. OMFG.

It is NOT a political job.

It should not treated like a political job.

It is a serious, VERY tough, VERY involved management position not unlike being a CEO of a large company, but with really specific and specialized matters to attend, like union negotiations. Speaking of that, here’s how Kevin Murphy is the WORST candidate for this position…

You see, the City Manager acts on behalf of the city taxpayer in union negotiations. So, when there’s a table, and unions are sitting on one side, and the city itself is on the other, the CM is in charge of our half of the process.

Key word here is: Ne-go-ti-a-tion. Not “give the unions what they want” but “give the unions what taxpayers can afford.” Now, I’m all for taking a look at the union contracts, and making sure that our city workers are fairly compensated. But state money has been a little tough to come by these days, and the City Council refuses to let the City Manager raise the tax rates even an eensy-bit to allow for more capital investments, more police positions, or city worker raises.

You copy, unions? You wanna blame someone, blame the Council for that. I don’t see this Council getting any better on that front, not with Rodney “Across-The-Board-Cuts” Elliott as mayor. They have literally hog-tied the Manager’s hands for years on taxes and revenues, such that, despite the fact our budgets have been doing better and better, there’s not a lot of room to accommodate new spending, either in raises or in “stuff.” We’re lucky to have had the capital investments we’ve had (thanks in part to those ratings agencies giving Lowell the increased thumbs-up).

But, Mr. Kevin Murphy…well. A good lot of his clients are unions or city workers.

His representation of union clients and, perhaps more controversially, of his wife in contract negotiations with the city of Lowell, has raised questions about whether it is appropriate for a lawmaker to vote on funding for public agencies at the same time he is serving clients fighting for a piece of that funding.
[…]
Murphy’s roster of clients in his Chelmsford law practice includes a number of public-sector entities, from the Lowell Housing Authority to the Dracut School Committee.
The most controversial, however, was his decision last fall to represent Lowell’s four assistant school superintendents, including his wife, Ann Murphy.

Murphy successfully renegotiated the superintendents’ contracts and in the process secured his wife a $10,000 raise — the largest of the four — two years before her contract was set to expire.
[…]
The taint of the Lowell School Department episode followed Murphy when, earlier this year, contract negotiations between management and the bus drivers for the Lowell Regional Transit Authority grew contentious and appeared headed toward a strike vote.

Murphy represents the bus drivers’ union, which is still at an impasse in contract talks.

Now, that was in 2009, and Murphy brushed off these gray areas in state ethics laws as inconsequential, since he was a state Rep and these were local or regional matters.

Those cozy relationships, even if he leaves his law office (which his own nephew Brian Akashian will take over…License Commissioner and we’ve written about him), do not make me think he’ll be the best we can do for representing the taxpayer on local union negotiations. And then, there’s the utter insanity that nearly the entire Kevin Murphy family tree is working in the Lowell Schools. It’s so bad, he made a joke out of it at the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

State Rep. Kevin Murphy wanted to make sure Superintendent of School Chris Scott was clear that it was Rep. Charley Murphy of Burlington, not him who has proposed cutting state aid for education.

“So, don’t take it out on my wife, my sister, my sister-in-law, my other sister-in-law, my cousin, my cousin-in-law or my niece,” he said. “The Lowell Public Schools — or as we call them the Murphy family business.”

And this guy would, if he became City Manager, be putting together the city’s side of the budget for the Lowell School Dept? Really?? Can you count all the ways that would be ethically questionable?

I could go on quite at length the ways the conflicts of interest make him the worst candidate for this job. I’m actually beginning to wonder if he’d drag the city down quicker than John Cox did. You know, the last guy we hired who was a former state Rep with ethics problems. How long before Murphy would unravel all the good Bernie Lynch did for the city? Whether it’s through inexperience, or graft and abuse, the result is the same. How long before we eat through our own free cash…before city departments go back to the bad old days of workers doing side work for the connected or sleeping on the job on the taxpayer’s dime…which took Bernie so long to clean out? (Not that that cleaning job is completely finished.)

Aren’t we tired of this? Aren’t we ready to keep doing business for ALL of Lowell, all its residents, the connected and the unconnected alike? I know I can’t expect any better from Elliott, Belanger, Kennedy, or Rourke, but I think Rita Mercier and John Leahy could be heroes in this. If only they’d think this through, and look for the best qualified person, instead of going with the guy (they think) they know.

As for the end of this Column piece:

Assuming he goes so far as to get an interview, ha, ha, Murphy said: “I will convince any opponents that I am not the boogeyman that some people think I am.” He also insisted he does not have an “anger problem” as he’s heard some detractors say. Murphy said his work and political experience at City Hall, at the State House and as a small businessman, have provided him with the skills to be an effective city manager.

Notwithstanding that I do think he has major ethics problems…when are city leaders going to understand, it’s not about being against anyone! It’s about wanting the best candidate for the job, period, and Muphy can’t possibly be that person with the resume and experience he has. To believe he has the relevant experience is totally arrogant. Apparently Kevin Murphy is that arrogant.

Murphy vehemently denied padding his pension is one of the sole reasons he wants the job. “I’m a Lowell guy who has lived in the same neighborhood my entire life,” Murphy said. “I truly believe that serving as city manager is the best way to help the city and its people.”

No, no, no, NO! The best way to help the city and its people is to find the best municipally experienced manager for the position. Hell, Rep. Murphy isn’t really that great as a state Rep in “serving the people.” If you don’t believe me, take a look at the list of legislation coming out of his office this session, on his official state page (8 bills), compared to, say, Lunenburg’s Jen Benson (26 bills) or Marblehead’s Lori Ehrlich (21 bills).

But regardless of how good of a state Rep he might or might not be, and his obvious conflicts of interest, he simply will NOT in all likelihood be the best and most qualified person who applies for the position of Lowell’s City Manager. Anyone who claims otherwise is utterly deluded.

35 Responses to “No, No, No, NO!”

  1. Christopher Says:

    I guess it has to be asked, if Rep. Murphy does in fact get the position, who might be candidates for his House seat?

  2. C R Krieger Says:

    It does have to be asked, since one assumes the Machine has a succession plan.  Otherwise it isn’t the Machine.  How far would this ripple?  City Council Special Election?

    Regards  —  Cliff

  3. tryin Says:

    I can sum this up in three words for a 61 year old with many years of govt. service but whose primary income was likely his law practice. Best Three Years.

  4. joe from Lowell Says:

    I don’t think the City Manager should be a political position, either, but this ragging on Kevin Murphy is very unfair.

    I’m supposed to dislike a guy because he represents unions? What am I, Charles Koch? Sure, he’ll have to stop doing that if he’s City Manager. But ruling out lawyers out because you don’t like their clients is dodgy, and unions are not, in fact, ax murderers.

    I’m supposed to dislike a guy because he has people who work in schools in his family? Everyone in my family has worked in schools at one time or other.

    Representative Kevin Murphy stood up and supported marriage equality when it wasn’t popular, and put his seat in danger when he did so, and dutifully took a bunch of crap for it at the next St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I think he’s a fine state representative, and hope he continues to look out for Lowell, and my neighborhood, on Beacon Hill.

  5. Lynne Says:

    “I’m supposed to dislike a guy because he represents unions?”

    No, joe, it’s not the union representation. It’s the fact that he has conflicts of interest - representing family members while he is a state Rep, and the fact that his whole family is so entangled in working for the city means he cannot help but have excessive conflicts of interest as CM. If he was some lawyer representing unions? Great! He’s not just some lawyer, and he’s already had questionable ethics for years - maybe he works in the gray areas of state ethics for his current seat, but that doesn’t look good.

    “supported marriage equality when it wasn’t popular, and put his seat in danger when he did so”

    Great! One issue. One issue where he actually did something decent and didn’t ride on coattails (and we all know, he usually does). Also, his seat was in danger?? Hardly. He took some shit, fine. But he still has ZERO qualifications for city manager, and he is arrogantly going around saying he has the right resume! When nothing could be further from the truth? When he might be up against actual applicants with actual muni management experience? You think he’ll step aside if better candidates apply and get interviewed? Not on your life.

  6. Lynne Says:

    BTW…I’ve always found him pretty useless. As a stete Rep. I don’t think he puts that much into his tenure there, notwithstanding a stopped clock being right twice a day.

  7. Jade Says:

    Great reporting Lynne. Also, remember the breach of the public trust a few years ago during the budget process, regarding the phantom voting.
    An unknown individual cast unauthorized votes in the name of Representative Kevin Murphy after the representative had left the State House early Friday morning to catch a flight to South Carolina. It was reported that unauthorized votes were cast in the names of Rep. Kevin Murphy as well as several other sleeping or absent representatives.

  8. Tim Little Says:

    I’d still prefer to see someone with municipal management experience on her/his resume.

  9. Jim Says:

    I have a question ….when the incumbent state rep. sits across the negotiating table from the city he represents in the House, and he REPRESENTS EMPLOYEES BARGAINING FOR MORE MONEY, did the city of Lowell take into account his role as a rep in deciding to cave?

    Also, the four women at issue here, including Rep Murphy’s wife, are doing the job that had previously been performed by two, and at salaries that are 50% higher than those two.

    NOW THAT’S REPRESENTING YOUR CITY!!

  10. joe from Lowell Says:

    “No, joe, it’s not the union representation. It’s the fact that he has conflicts of interest - representing family members while he is a state Rep, and the fact that his whole family is so entangled in working for the city means he cannot help but have excessive conflicts of interest as CM.”

    First of all, there is nothing in the state ethics code about representing family members (or even representing unions that a family member belongs to, which is the actual fact of the matter here), or about doing so while holding office. Total red herring.

    Second, yes, there would be a conflict if he continued to do so while CM; to make the leap that he therefore has an eternal conflict if he had ever done so before becoming manager is nonsensical. You aren’t eternally assumed to forever be working in the interest of a former client.

    Also, his seat was in danger?? Hardly.

    That’s a very easy thing for you to say with almost a decade of hindsight. At the time, coming out in support of gay marriage, and against including the ballot initiative to repeal it, was universally seen as a risky move. The anti-gay forces were huffing and puffing about defeating legislators who voted the wrong way, and their failure to do so in the next election came as a real surprise. I remember when Murphy announced his position; he was sticking his neck way out.

    But he still has ZERO qualifications for city manager, and he is arrogantly going around saying he has the right resume! When nothing could be further from the truth? When he might be up against actual applicants with actual muni management experience?

    First of all, he doesn’t have all-caps zero qualifications for city manager. He has the same, or better, qualifications than most city managers in Lowell’s history, and is very well qualified if you hold a certain opinion - that is, the opinion of something close to a majority of Lowellians - about what qualifications a city manager should have. You and I don’t agree with this opinion, but for a lot of people, the CM is supposed to be the Head Politician in Charge. This distraught, hyperbolic attempt to bootstrap this difference of opinion into a character flaw - oh my goodness, he’s “arrogant” because he thinks a career in politics makes one qualified to be Head Politician in Charge! - serves the cause of professional management poorly. It reduces a meaningful debate about the proper role of representation vs. professionalism into a mere personality judgment. You might as well tell me that Murphy has a bad beat and you can’t dance to him.

    You think he’ll step aside if better candidates apply and get interviewed? Not on your life.

    This is just silly. Have you ever stepped aside when applying for a job you wanted because you thought there was a better candidate? Do you think Bernie Lynch would have?

  11. joe from Lowell Says:

    An Lynne? If you don’t want to be “misunderstood” as being hostile to unions, or as arguing that representing unions is bad, then write differently about them.

    Here are your words: “But, Mr. Kevin Murphy…well. A good lot of his clients are unions or city workers.” Excuse me, but it a reasonable assumption that you are, in fact, treating the fact that many of his clients are unions or city workers as a matter of concern.

  12. Lynne Says:

    Actually, I have a LOT of concerns about how unions conduct themselves, especially on a local level. You see, I’m a progressive. I want the best outcomes for citizens. Sometimes, that includes opposing unions. I am not going to be pro-union when there are issues with something a union wants or gets that is out of whack with fairness. The ability to unionize? Collective bargaining? Sure, I’m for those things. However, sometimes, things get a little out of hand. I am so sick of local and state Dems being so pro-union, they are blinded to what is best for taxpayers or for our greater good. Being pro-union in all things all the time in all circumstances is NOT healthy for a democracy.

    And remember, it was local union organizing which got us I’m For Cox, and who ousted Bernie by supporting some of the worst GOBs we’ve seen elected since Kazanjian. Yeah, I have problems with how some of these union leaders and some members act, and what they do. And the CM’s job is to be on the other side FROM the unions, not do what the unions want, and so why is it so hard to understand, when negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers, I’d want someone who ISN’T so knee-jerk pro-union that they’ll really just be doing the union’s job for them instead of the taxpayer’s?

    And I’m not stupid. Do you really think cutting all ties two days before becoming CM will mean he’s totally impartial with regards to negotiations with union members? What about the fact he will *continue* to have conflicts of interest all over the city with regards to his family who are employed by the city? These are not trifling concerns.

    “This is just silly. Have you ever stepped aside when applying for a job you wanted because you thought there was a better candidate? Do you think Bernie Lynch would have?”

    Murphy is the one claiming to want to do the best for the city…what if the best thing is to see another candidate get the job because they are really really perfect for the position? But no, Murphy is *claiming* his “small business” experience means he’s perfect for the job. This doesn’t worry the pants off of you?? It concerns me greatly.

    “but for a lot of people, the CM is supposed to be the Head Politician in Charge”

    Yes, and those people are wrong. By the very *definition* of the position, the actual description OF the position in the job posting, and all definitions of this position in accepted literature about municipal management across the country, this job is *supposed* to be technocratic. End of story. Sure, if some local yokels think they know better than experts in muni management, by all means, let them hire another politician. But when we’ve selected politicians for this position in the past, especially ones who are known for GOBism, it’s just about always ended in disaster. Them’s facts. How many former CM’s are in jail or got convicted? Just sayin’.

  13. Lynne Says:

    Here’s the job posting. Let me quote it, and bold some things:

    SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES
    Manages 20 subordinate department heads who supervise a total of 1000 employees in the
    Treasurer, Election, Veterans, COA, Human Relations, Neighborhood Service, Library, Human
    Services; Law, License, Assessors, Inspectional, Fire, Police; Planning & Development, Historic
    Board, Library, Health; and Water, Wastewater. Is responsible for the overall direction,
    coordination, and evaluation of these units
    . Carries out supervisory responsibilities in
    accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include
    interviewing, hiring, and planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance;
    rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems
    .

    QUALIFICATIONS
    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty
    satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or
    ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with
    disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE
    Extensive demonstrated knowledge and experience in municipal finance, personnel and
    management skills, computers, purchasing, grants and community relations. Must have at least 5
    to 7 years of increasingly responsible executive management experience, Bachelor’s Degree in
    Public Administration, Business Administration, or a related field. A Master’s Degree preferred
    and/or comparable government or industry experience. Municipal management experience
    preferred.

    LANGUAGE SKILLS
    Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents. Ability to respond
    effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write speeches and articles
    using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to make effective and persuasive
    speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, public
    groups, and/or city council.

    MATHEMATICAL SKILLS
    Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability. Ability to apply concepts such
    as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.

    REASONING ABILITY
    Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to
    interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal
    with several abstract and concrete variables
    .

    Let’s see. 5-7 years increasingly responsible executive management experience, B.A. in Public Admin, Business Admin, or related field. Municipal management experience preferred.

    Yeah, I don’t think that having a small law firm with your own nephew and warming a seat in the state House counts.

  14. Lynne Says:

    To be clear: I don’t think Eileen Donoghue is qualified either, and I’ve repeatedly said that. However, she has way more integrity and also, would have an understanding of what she doesn’t know, and her hires would be all highly professional.

    Do we really think Murphy would hire another Tom Moses (from outside the city!) for his CFO?

  15. Jason Says:

    I think we’re jumping the gun a little here. Call me crazy; but I’ve got a little faith in the CC on this one. I think Murphy’s a good Rep; but his “small business” experience doesn’t mean anything in terms of managing the city. (I’m surprised he would even say that)

    Lynne, you 100% right that he’s not qualified and I don’t see how this CC could claim that he is. Murphy won’t be our next manager.

    Small business experience - what a joke!

  16. Christopher Says:

    Cliff, I don’t know if there is a machine or other grand plan. However, my understanding is that we don’t do special Council elections in Lowell, but rather if a Councilor does vacate a seat to become a Rep (which I don’t even think is required though I do think it should be) the seat would be filled by the next-highest vote-getter in the most recent election.

  17. Lynne Says:

    Jason, you’re crazy. :) I don’t have a lot of faith in this Council. They’re already stating they’re going with him, some of them.

  18. Realistic Joe Says:

    Let’s be honest here. Eileen Donoghue didn’t drop out because she all of a sudden wasn’t interested in the job. She dropped out because Murphy must already have the five votes needed to get the gig.

  19. Jason Says:

    Uh-Oh…looks like we have a lot of crazies runnin round. At least 5 not including me.

    Instead of getting a manager we can learn from; we’re getting a manager that’s “learning how to manage a city” - ( at our expense). It’s all crazy

  20. Gail Says:

    Based upon the way that CM Lynch has been treated by the council over the past couple of years and the fact that this council votes to do things that are not legal, even after being counseled, I’m afraid that anyone who is qualified, wouldn’t want the job.

  21. C R Krieger Says:

    Christopher is correct.  I was wrong.  Special Election for the Sate Rep, but off the list, George Anthes style, for the City Council.

    Regarding Senator D, contra Lynne, I think her time as Mayor may have given her insights others might not have.  Not that I want her changing jobs.  I am not seeing an advantage for my side in a snap election.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  22. Magnolia Says:

    Murphy is the last person we need managing this city. When he was a city attorney he was not well liked.

  23. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    Here is the line that allows for City Manager Kevin Murphy: and/or comparable government or industry experience.

    Elections have consequences and we are about to pay the price!

  24. Lynne Says:

    Actually, I’ll bet dollars to donuts Eileen dropped out because she didn’t want the headache. Working for this Council will be a thankless job, unless it’s their bud who gets it. The PTB hate Eileen. These guys, collectively, have probably the lowest average IQ of any council in recent memory. Look - we can’t all be rocket scientists, I get it. However, when you start with a Mayor who breaks Open Meeting Law constantly…because he seems not to know any better…well. Not off to a good start.

  25. Realistic Joe Says:

    Actually, I’ll bet dollars to donuts Eileen dropped out because she didn’t want the headache.

    Do you really believe that ? This council and it’s mood, IQ and everything else has not changed since their fist meeting. Sen Donoghue knew what this council was and WANTED the job. The last 3 weeks have been spent maneuvering behind the scenes trying to get 5 votes. When last week started she had three votes and Murphy had 4. As soon as Murphy got his fifth commitment she dropped out. To claim that she dropped out because she didn’t want to work with this council is a fantasy

  26. Christopher Says:

    I’m not even sure there will be a special election for Murphy’s seat this close to Election Day. It may be left vacant or maybe just for the rest of this term he would take advantage of there being no requirement to vacate. He was at the Lowell caucuses this morning collecting signatures to run again.

  27. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    After the Willie Lantigua incident where he was elected Mayor of Lawrence and refused to give up his House seat didn’t the legislature change the rules on that?

  28. joe from Lowell Says:

    “Actually, I have a LOT of concerns about how unions conduct themselves, especially on a local level. You see, I’m a progressive. I want the best outcomes for citizens. Sometimes, that includes opposing unions. I am not going to be pro-union when there are issues with something a union wants or gets that is out of whack with fairness.”

    Again, go back and read what you wrote. You didn’t slam Murphy for arguing a certain position in negotiations. You slammed him for representing unions and city workers, period.

    If you want to call yourself a progressive, stop doing that.

    “And remember, it was local union organizing which got us I’m For Cox” and this is what makes you an anti-union faux-gressive: you don’t blame a particular local faction with a particular viewpoint, who belong to unions, for this. You blame union organizing itself.

    “And the CM’s job is to be on the other side FROM the unions, not do what the unions want, and so why is it so hard to understand, when negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers, I’d want someone who ISN’T so knee-jerk pro-union that they’ll really just be doing the union’s job for them instead of the taxpayer’s?”

    That’s not hard to understand at all; what is hard to understand is why you’d assume that someone who, oh my God!, had the temerity to have unions as a client would be eternally incapable of representing the interests of the City when the unions were no longer his client. Shall we eternally ban anyone who was a criminal defense attorney from being a DA? This is basic stuff, Lynne: a lawyer does not become permanently bound to the interests of a certain category of clients just because he takes their case.

    “Do you really think cutting all ties two days before becoming CM will mean he’s totally impartial with regards to negotiations with union members? What about the fact he will *continue* to have conflicts of interest all over the city with regards to his family who are employed by the city?”

    No, I think he will have a tendency to lean in the direction of workers and unions. As a pro-labor progressive, such a lean does not keep me up at night. YMMV.

    “Murphy is the one claiming to want to do the best for the city…what if the best thing is to see another candidate get the job because they are really really perfect for the position?”

    I’m going to ask you again: have you ever stepped aside after applying for a job because you thought another candidate would be better? You didn’t answer last time. I wonder, Lynne, do you hold it against Nikki Tsongas because she didn’t step aside when there was a (to your lights) better candidate for the job?

    “But no, Murphy is *claiming* his “small business” experience means he’s perfect for the job.”

    He’s citing it as one item that makes him qualified. Let’s not distort the facts here.

    “Yes, and those people are wrong.”

    You seem to have missed the part where I agreed with you. Yes, people who disagree with us on this question are wrong. Shall we slam them all as arrogant, too? Or are they just wrong?

  29. joe from Lowell Says:

    If I was a City Councillor, I don’t think I’d like it very much if the Lowell Sun was telling me that the most important decision of my tenure was a done deal before the discussions even began.

  30. Lynne Says:

    joe, I wasn’t slamming him for representing unions. If that’s what you read into it, fine, but I wasn’t. I was pointing out how many city workers/unions he has represented, since as CM he would be across the *table* from said people.

    Conflicts of interest have a real habit around here of blowing up in our faces. So yeah, in a pool of candidates where one candidate looks and feels like Cox with regards to how cozy they are with the unions, I have a real issue.

  31. Lynne Says:

    “If I was a City Councillor, I don’t think I’d like it very much if the Lowell Sun was telling me that the most important decision of my tenure was a done deal before the discussions even began.”

    They are the ones telling the Sun that. I guarantee it.

  32. Mannix Says:

    All this talk of no tax hike is quite frankly overrated. Tax rate may stay the same, they just raise the valuations of properties. Surprised that no one talks about this cat and mouse aka shell game……

  33. Mr. Lynne Says:

    Lynch did talk about this last meeting. Valuations change and rates can change, but the process is one where you figure out how much first and then calculate the rate’s based on the valuation. That is, if they valuated everyone’s property at double, it wouldn’t affect the tax bill because they decide to spend $X and then determine a rate of Y% by dividing $X by valuation $Z to get the rate. $X isn’t determined by valuation $Z but the other way around - rate Y% is determined by $X/$Z.

  34. Mannix Says:

    Not to mention the large increase in personal property tax. No XYZ there just a good old fashion tax increase…

  35. Mannix Says:

    I love the term “progressive” , isn’t that the jackpot at Foxwoods? AKA, liberal, socialist, tax and spend……

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