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After last Tuesday’s debacle at the Safety Subcommittee Meeting, I’ve heard a variety of responses to C.Elliott’s demeanor. Which, in my opinion, was nothing less than blatant contempt for the ‘People’s Work.’ Those that safeguard Elliott, trying to buffer his insolence for his duty to act as a steward for our City, should be scolded, publicly.
I will not be a party to it. Hence, this diary is intended to simply call a spade a spade:
C.Elliott is in favor of changing Lowell’s Charter, the Charter he took an oath to uphold in his tenure, from Plan E (Appointed City Manager) to Plan A (Strong Mayor.) That isn’t a problem, so much. Elliott is entitled to his opinion, which he states freely and candidly when he runs for election. Good on him, on that limited note.
What Elliott is NOT at liberty to do, is subvert our governance, our routine, community business, by acting in a buffoonish, Fred Doyle-esque manner! He is NOT entitled to the opportunity to degrade the public trust in our means of governing.
We do not need what Sun parroting candidates like to term “rubber stamps.” We don’t need ‘pro-Lynch stamps.’ Nor, do we need ‘anti-Lynch stamps.’ C.Elliott is an embarrassing heap of insurrection. Jilted by his peers, by not being elected Mayor. Thus, bitter and poisonous to what happens in the sanctum of democracy that we call the Council Chambers.
On November 5th, fellow Lowellians, let’s “PURGE THE PUNK!”
Update: h/t djglowell Important & pertinent stuff over on WCAP.
This morning we had on both City Manager Bernie Lynch and Council Member Rodney Elliot to discuss the issue of safety.
Gerry Nutter laid it out, by the numbers. (I’ll provide graphs, below the fold.)
Additionally, during those years that City Manager / Administration proposed and the City Council approved the use of about $17.87 million in one time money in Free Cash, nearly $6 million per year to sustain spending levels as opposed to making necessary cuts.All while being supported by the Editor at the SUN.
In October 2006 after removing that City Manager and with the appointment of a new CFO the City discovered that the budget that was now 1/3rd under way, was rife with miscalculations. Free cash to pay for services was estimated to be $3.5 million but in the end it was -$2.2 million, a difference of $5.7 million. Other local receipts were over estimated by about $2 million. The FY06 budget ran out of money for utility bills and they were moved into FY07 for payment making the already inadequate utility account doubly so
That is all fact, it supports and highlights the need for professional management along with a strong balanced council. Combined with the positive numbers I showed last week highlighting the upward direction the city is heading, why is this election being focused on stupid, petty garbage like OLD vs. New Lowell.
This week’s “The Column” opted to be cute by half with this treatment.
MONTHS AGO, outgoing Mayor Patrick Murphy held an event at The Old Court. Those who attended, including one veteran politician, observed that Murphy packed the room with young, exuberant 20-somethings whose apparent desire to get involved in politics signaled a “new Lowell,” an awakening of sorts.
I’ve heard the WCAP ‘infomercial’ try to lay the coining of this meme at the feet of Dick Howe, Jr. Of course, JMac only looks in the mirror, so he really won’t know where the phrasing comes from. Gerry Nutter puts it on an attention seeking local media, which includes us ‘big mouthed bloggers.’ I concur. The ‘new/old’ meme has been floating around for several years now. It spun off the chatter about ‘blow ins & grow ins,’ etc. It’s clear, from the way The Column above sidesteps it, that they didn’t do their homework. But, opted, rather, to parrot JMac’s empty headed contortion. JMac & Campi come up short. Funny, in my mind, was the word choice, ” veteran politician,” by Campi. Who hates Dick, Jr. only a little less than he hates Kendall Wallace, to the point Campi will only admit the existence of Dick’s Blog, if he absolutely has to.
Dick, btw, has given witness to Gerry Nutter’s framing of the corporate; desperate to survive, via, bargain basement fire sale journalistic ethics; local media:
In his Sunday Notes today, Gerry Nutter says that all the negativity about city government coming from the Sun and WCAP is designed to suppress voter turnout on November 5. I agree.
About those City Finance graphs:
I’m not going to lie. Some of the candidates DON’T want more Lowellians to participate. They will lie through their teeth, but they want the outcome they desire. Elections are about winning. Democracy can come out of governing. Or, so they delude themselves to believe.
You and I know, that once they WIN, they govern to WIN AGAIN! Democracy goes out the window, unless we grab it back.
A few years back, we collected and analyzed some data. (h/t Dr. Marcus Luna) Unfortunately, the opportunities to have municipal preliminaries, in this century, were squandered. So, we only have so much data to interpolate from.
Let’s not moan or cheer any turn out numbers from tonight. Unless, we take it with a grain of salt and a heavy dose of context.
Now that we have the questionnaires published, I wanted to talk about who I will be voting for.
I come from a voting family; my mom took me right when I was 18 to register, and I remember her voting, including in local Selectmen races in our rincky dink little New Hampshire town. I suppose she was a very big influence on me that way. Except, she was always very mum on who she voted for. I think, for her, it’s a private matter to keep to one’s self.
I’ve never felt quite that way about it, and especially since getting active in politics myself, I find myself wanting to talk about who I’m voting for and more importantly, why. Maybe no one cares who I’ll be checking off on my ballot on Tuesday. I don’t know. But if I want certain candidates to win, I’ve got to talk about them, don’t I? So skip to the flip and I’ll go over my ballot…I guess call them personal endorsements. (more…)
So here it is folks. The pièce de résistance. Official Left in Lowell candidate questionnaire answers! They are on their own web page, which you can find here.
On a side note, I really REALLY like this format. Comparing lots of apples to lots of other apples, and a few places for candidates to show off their knowledge. This could be the format going forward. Also, lots and lots of props to my wonderful husband who whipped the submitted answers into a format that I could literally copy and paste into the page for the data table. Love you hon!!!
Thanks also to our amazing readers for a very large chunk of the questions. Crowd sourcing works!
I am considering reopening up for submissions after the preliminary, since my timeframe was crushed a bit leading up to next Tuesday’s election. The unfair part is that anyone submitting answers after publication is getting an advantage of seeing what everyone else said; but if I were to notate who passed answers in after the prelim, would you want to see more answers from more candidates? Honest question. I’m good either way.
I think this is a big deal: Lowell Voter Turnout Study
So, does Derek Mitchell:
The data speaks for itself.
We can change this. We should change this.
Please Rock The Vote on this Open Thread.
PS. The General Election ballot order should be a random draw, as well. Incumbent protection practices are sooooo ’shady Lowell.’
Some advanced warning – this might get a little long winded, but that’s pretty much my style for better or for worse. This is probably the reason I don’t post more often than I do - this took about an hour write not counting preceding discussions with various people before putting my thoughts together. The post is long because the issue I want to bring up is involves several related points that intersect – neighborhood groups, the nature of representation, voting, the enfranchisement of constituency groups, and a particular vulnerability in our current system of neighborhood groups. If you’re up for it read on, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Oh boy, the paper blog is all up in arms in yet another rhetorical controversy from a Left in Lowell writer. Sound the alarms! Call up the National Guard! Time for another blogger ethics panel! (Haven’t had the opportunity to pull that one out in quite some time.)
OK, so I’ve been marginally paying attention to the stupidity going on right now. I say marginally, because I don’t read the Sun’s dumb blog (or the Sun in general). It doesn’t offer anything much of value to me. It’s full of innuendo pulled out of its authors’ collective butts, and legions of bad writing (and terrible editing). Meh.
But I have to weigh in on this whole “Taliban” comment from Jack, which apparently is like calling for the head of an oversensitive Superintendent on a platter! (Jack’s commentary, by the way, wasn’t something he wrote in a post, just in a comment, which is also where a certain Superintendent felt “threatened.” Funny that.) Because in both cases, the brahmin of Lowell are focusing on the rhetoric instead of the content of the complaint in question. And they are doing it deliberately…in the Sun’s case, because they like controversy and hate LiL and they have an agenda that often requires serious breaches of journalistic integrity, and in the neighborhood group leader(s)’ case, because they refuse to hold a mirror up to their own behavior, and instead want to take it personally (when it’s more a commentary on overall policy, and some actions and positions that they’ve taken). (more…)
As the head of the LHNG, I try keep my personal feelings out of the discussion, however, a post by a Lowell blogger today just went to far. Suggesting that neighborhood groups in Lowell are the Taliban is offensive. Bringing issues to the forefront in this city is not a power grab, it is my right as a citizen. We are volunteers trying to improve our neighborhoods. If you don’t know that, you don’t know what my neighborhood group really does.
It is very possible I could end up with egg on my face, after this. But. I’ll stick to my guns, if it drives the dialogue.
As Lowellians, we should bond together at the grassroots level. We should exercise all of our Rights, as afforded to us by Lowell’s Charter and by America’s Founders. This cannot be stressed enough.
But, what we should not do is make a handshake with the City Manager to do an end run around the City Council. We should NOT go into meetings in the Mayor’s Reception Room and present ourselves as speaking on behalf of one sixth of Lowell ,over raising taxes to fund putting more cops on the street. Further, we should not shut down debate over proposed ordinances or proposed amendments to ordinances.
There is a difference between being a grassroots lobbyist and a strong arming special interest.
So, as we go forward, and always keeping an eye on November; let’s bear in mind what a proper balance of civic engagement is. It’s good to shout, sometimes. Just don’t prattle.
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