Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
“Be careful,” she said smugly, as she sauntered off.
This is a true story. The names are witheld, because it is a learning moment.
Tonight, a buddy of mine scored some tix to the UML v. UMASS hockey game. Good seats, center ice with access to the Pavilion. When we got to the Tsongas, my crew breezed into the blue collar swank of Martyville. It stank of Old Spice and the ladies had their second generation Acre Doos neatly sprayed in place. I have no sales pitch. I ain’t running for anything, so I broke from my gaggle and beelined out the other side. My seat was in the middle of a row, so I plopped in an open end seat and enjoyed the First Period.
With 3 minutes left, the Riverhawks were floundering on the Power Play, so I headed to the can and back to the Pavilion. I may dub it the Hawk Nest. That may never catch on, but you’d be surprised how some of my blog speak has stuck in the Bubble vernacular. I buy myself and the guy that got me in, each a Winter Lager, then got my chat on. Yada Yada … The Lowell Memorial Auditorium … Board of Trustees … Mike Dinneen .. it’s all good. What’s up for the City election? Yada Yada.
There is a table eye balling me. Whatevs. They looked like Brahmin from The Belvidere.
I see one of the City Councilors, then two. One Councilor has the sweetest lady of a wife. So, I stood nearby to offer a quick peck on the cheek and a friendly, “Hello.” She is the best. The circle sort of closed in and I stuck around to chat about the upgrades to the joint. How I had seen the Talking Heads in the Tully Forum. Yada Yada. Pleasant stuff. No politics, that I could discern. Councilors deserve some down time. My crew had headed to their seats.
It was literally, just at about the moment when I was about to make a break for it, offer a jovial, “I’ll let you enjoy the rest of the game … ,” when some strange woman approached me. I got some odd introductory, Belvidere version of Travis Bickle. I was confused, by this. But, then the City Councilors started to say say,”Hi” to this woman. I figured out what I had on my hands.
Let me say this, I respect that she had enough clan loyalty to approach me and make an effort to put me back on my heels. At this point, the Councilors were peeling away. I don’t blame them. These things are sticky. So, it’s me and her. It was civil. At first, I was very subdued. I took the lashing. Mostly because I don’t know how much she actually knows and how much she has been told by others. However, she opted to over emphasize her point and I was more firm. Public people on the public payroll are fair game. Period.
“You don’t know my family,” was a common utterance for the several minutes we mingled. As I think about it here, in the quite of the lamplight, I know she is correct. All of what I know is third party. Some is gossip, but more is printed in the Blog of Record. My tendency is to print the stuff that is verifiable. But, I’ll admit that the gossip colors my perspective, especially, gossip from several credible sources.
The whole episode took minutes. And, as it occured, I was shrunken a bit by the cockiness of a woman that doesn’t weigh a 140lbs, dripping wet. For some reason, maybe because I am aware of my physical size and bearing, I normally shrink when small people get pissy with me. I was genuinely feeling her disgust for me. I was trying to process it. That anger. That violation. That trespass. This was a woman that I would certainly dowse via Fire Marshall approved methods, should I notice any flames emanating from her proximity. She stood her ground. She squared off. I do respect that.
“Be careful,” she said smugly, as she sauntered off.
That bit was sketchy and I bristled. By now, I was an island. My crew was watching the game, 400 feet away. The Councilors had hightailed the scene of the crash and I knew it would have been imposing to cozy up to them, looking for affirmation. I was an island, floating in a sea of Old Spice & hair spray vapors. I was, in that moment, the proverbial ‘Leper,’ Paul Belley had warned me about. That moment sucked.
“Be careful,” she said smugly, as she sauntered off.
I sauntered off, through the guarded entry, into the crowd of common folks, enthralled by the spirit of sport. Game on!
So, the chatty Councilors are miffed!
… Murphy didn’t stop there. “I think the last council was a lot more productive,” he said, adding that the current council is “more chatty” with longer meetings, but that it “hasn’t been as productive as it can be.”
Ouch! Veteran councilor and former mayor, Rita Mercier, and councilors Rodney Elliott, Marty Lorrey and Ed Kennedy all took offense at Murphy’s remarks.
Tuesday afternoon, The Column Blog picked up some political intelligence indicated those councilors who aren’t so mature might fire back at the mayor, who became the city’s youngest-ever mayor at age 29 in 2012, during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
One councilor even said: “There is going to be a war.”
Issues that are expected to blow up on the City Council floor often fizzle, and get settled in the cloak room. This one, however, sounds like it could have legs.
This reminded me of George Anthes talking at C. Kennedy & C. Leahy on City Life, yesterday. Anthes was fluffing the idea of voting Mayor Murphy off the Chair. Could it be done? Is the sentiment on the Council strong enough? .. Yada Yada
But, if they decide to ratchet it up a notch, and try to vote Murphy out? I can’t help. but think, that would be a big mistake. See, there is no good reason to remove Murphy. He is legitimate in his criticisms of the Council. Just because The Blog of Record can’t manage a fair representation of this Council, does not make Murphy wrong. Diplomatic? Murphy is not. Well founded? I’d say, SPOT ON.
So, should the Council err and unseat Murphy, let me tell you how it will go. First, we will replay the whole “Strangle Him In The Crib” routine. Except this time, the hit will not be on a Republican. It will be old school Dems sniping the young upstart Murphy. Don’t tell me that Dave Nangle isn’t sweating Murphy finding new digs in the 17th Middlesex. Further, don’t tell me that C. Kennedy wouldn’t stoop so low as to move against Murphy in the Chamber. Kennedy would have 2 votes, behind him. Could he beg Lorrey and Leahy over to the “Dark Side?” Ponder that? Could the dominoes fall?
Such a move would clearly be a political move, motivated towards stunting Murphy’s much speculated “ambition.”
And, such a move would backfire.
In the 2012 November election, Lowell had the largest voter turnout in modern history. Making Mayor Patrick Murphy a martyr would create some “fireworks” alright. But, bet this, the ones playing with fire will get burned.
Sheehy will be assistant to the provost for faculty affairs and compliance, a new job. According to a job description provided by the university, Sheehy will provide “advice and counsel” to various provosts, vice provosts and deans on collective bargaining and other personnel matters.
The chattering sage spurred the Bubblenistas to wonder:
The other dynamic to watch in the council race is the potential of two young professionals, one male and one female, running. I had a pretty strong indication that both are poised for a campaign this fall. …
I had some ideas of my own, as to who Wallace was referring to. But, Gerry Nutter sniffed out some leads and offered two names:
It didn’t take long for people to start to speculate who he was talking about. Two names that have floated to the top of the bubble are:
Marie Sheehy who has worked part-time for the City Law dept. for many years
Former Acting City Clerk Brian Leahy who also at one time worked for the City Law dept.
A retort to Gerry’s speculation was quickly blurted out on The Blog of The Blog of Record.
Longtime Assistant City Solicitor Maria Sheehy’s last day working for the city was this past Friday, but The Column Blog has learned she is expected to land on her feet in the near future, possibly at UMass Lowell, in a role that would, of course, enable her to use her legal prowess.
Sheehy, who would not confirm her next destination, said Monday she is moving on after 15 years with the city because she is looking for a job that presents her with the opportunity to learn new things.
“I’m really hungry for new challenges,” said Sheehy, the daughter of former Lowell city manager and state senator Paul Sheehy. Sheehy, 46, is also seeking a full-time job.
It should go without saying, I’m nervous about this School Committee meeting behind closed doors with that Superintendent. If it makes you nervous too, make yourself feel better and give the School Committee members a call. Their contact info is here. While you’re chatting with Ray Boutin, please be sure to give him mad props for the motion above. (When I texted him, he said the Agenda was going to be amended, as it should be a co-motion with Erik Gitschier.)
So, Gerry Nutter is all jerked off because Erik Gitschier did his homework and opted to address the issue in public session, as opposed to doing the preferred Santoro work around, over the phone.
It’s not like the warning signs weren’t glaring:
The title says it all:
Member of connected Dracut family now on Tech payroll
Posted by sunthecolumn on December 11th, 2012
A member of a politically-connected Dracut family is now employed at the Greater Lowell Technical High School.
Andrew Blatus, son of former Dracut Selectman Michael Blatus Sr. and brother of former Dracut School Committee member Michael C. Blatus, was hired as a guidance counselor.
Superintendent-Director Mary Jo Santoro said Blatus’s family connections had nothing to do with his hiring. “I know the history. I’m not really connected to the family in any way. It wasn’t a consideration in my decision,” said Santoro.
Sadly enough, I believe Santoro in this case. The Blog of the Blog of Record, for some reason, opts to frame this story around partisan politics and release it during the Dracut vote on approving the funding for the GLTHS renovations. (Btw, Dracut approved their part of the funding.) Those pesky Democrats, huh?
What’s really interesting is the cynicism that made this story ’shine’ in the first place. Charges of nepotism hang so heavy out there, at GLTHS, it’s hard to believe the Superintendant, anymore.
1a : bile; especially : bile obtained from an animal and used in the arts or medicine
b : something bitter to endure
c : bitterness of spirit : rancor
2: brazen boldness coupled with impudent assurance and insolence
Case in point:
* The School Committee passed Conway’s motion requesting a report from the superintendent on hiring practices in the district for administrators, supervisors and districtwide positions.
He said teachers have approached him with concerns over the consistency and transparency when it comes to hiring. While some positions use a search committee and interviews are held in public, others are not, he said.
“I certainly can understand the frustration that some jobs are out in the open and some are not. I’d like to know why,” he said.
We have ‘rumor,” and we have data:
But, not all data is created equal.
While Gerry Nutter is taking the cautious route, others are more forthright in claiming that Supt. Mary Jo Santoro’s claims of “gender harrassment” are not genuine.
I, by training, am very ‘process oriented.’ Thus, I tend to favor Nutter’s suggested approach. However, I have noted that Santoro’s claim, gives her a legal action timeline that directly overlays on top of the period in which her potential new contract negotiations would play out. However, if I was to just play along with the more blunt voices out there in the bubble, I would point this out.
Santoro ‘tried to walk the tightrope’ on GL Tech probe disclosure
1/21/12 - Evan Lips,
“I tried to walk the tightrope regarding the right to privacy and the people’s need to know,” Santoro said in an interview at the school Wednesday. “I probably would have encouraged individuals on the School Committee to more aggressively speak to the chairman (Mike Lenzi).”
Santoro said she was advised by legal counsel to only disclose the information to Lenzi.
Not once did Santoro refer to the employee by name, citing laws governing personnel records. She acknowledged that the circumstances made it appear to the public that the school was purposely hiding the employee’s identity, but added that she would treat “any other employee in this building with the same respect.”
“The people who spent the last six months getting a name published may very possibly have ruined her life,” Santoro said. “Whoever you got that name from, I hope that person doesn’t have to deal with a liability problem.”
[powered by WordPress.]
57 queries. 1.324 seconds