Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Today’s episode: State: LHA must release Sec. 8 list
LOWELL — The Secretary of State’s Public Records Division has determined the Lowell Housing Authority did not comply with the state’s public-records law when it denied The Sun’s request for a list of property owners with multiple Section 8 voucher tenants.
In an Aug. 8 letter to LHA Assistant Executive Director Mary Ann Maciejewski, the state’s supervisor of records, Shawn Williams, wrote that any responsive record identifying property owners with multiple Section 8 tenants is public record and must be provided to The Sun.
As of early April, there were nearly 1,250 tenants in the city with Section 8 housing vouchers from the LHA.
LHA provides tenant-based and project-based vouchers to those eligible for the Section 8 program.
Those with tenant-based vouchers can choose to live in any private housing unit that meets the requirement of the program. As of early April, the LHA provided 1,116 of those vouchers to participants.
Project-based Section 8 vouchers can only be used at designated properties. The LHA subsidized the rents of 120 project-based participants as of early April.
I’d like to see this list of landlords. How many live outside of Lowell? We spend a ton of energy griping about city officials that live outside of Lowell. Should we get a handle on “absentee landlords?” This list would help with that. Also, how often are the rental units inspected? By whom? Let’s protect those living in these units by ensuring that everything is on the up and up. Transparency will help. Disclose the list now.
So, after a fairly lengthy back and forth, 58 comments at this point, on a mutual friend’s Facebook page, former Commissioner Ray Weicker made a wee hours post that shows us a thing or two:
I took this screen grab at about 7:45 am, just in case you want a point of reference. (more…)
Call it silly, but I got a chuckle out of seeing Gerry Nutter thumb his nose at the Editor of the Blog of Record.
Sadly, I don’t expect the Editor to learn a lesson from this. Sadder still, it’s unlikely that a few on the City Council, those that parrot the Editor’s ignorant grandstanding, will either.
The beat goes on.
Update: “Those who have sought to demonize health reform need to put an end to their scare tactics. This needs to begin a new day, where the test is not what you can oppose but what you can propose.” - John Kerry
Blogger fist bump to Chris Scott:
When reached by The Column Blog Tuesday, Sheehy said: “I support Superintendent Franco and her staff and I support their decision.”
Sheehy’s actions since the hiring was announced, however, appear to run counter to her public comments.
She voiced her displeasure with the hiring in separate meetings with Franco and Lang Monday morning. Additionally, her School Committee advocate, Dave Conway, is busy planting seeds around the city that Sheehy is more qualified and that she’s the victim of a political war between herself and Lang, who some say views Sheehy as a threat.
Just about every rock has been turned over. Here’s hoping that sunlight IS the best disinfectant.
PS. An observer told me earlier today, Dave Conway should go for the GLTHS seat. It’s more his “style,” out there.
If you find me pulling my punches in my blogging, it is because I have hope. Hope that the “intended ” will get the message and shift course. Or, at a minimum, take it under advisement. When I come heavy, I feel like I’m dealing with a lost cause.
Of course, to some, a nudge is as good as a full assault. If you cast a shadow on their political halo, they react like your motive is to undo them. Such hyperbole normally betrays the weak mind of the thin skinned. So, should you hear a Councilor going on about how I have “hate” in my heart, please disregard the lobby. This sort of talk is used as a wedge. It intends to force a descision, are you “with Jack” or not? It is meant to threaten you. That you will be shunned, should you entertain the cruel blogger.
You wanna see cruel?
The Blog of Record rehashes an implausible scenario. Despite direct quotes from Kevin Broderick and Bill Martin, calling shenanigans, the Column still opts to perpetuate a myth. Maybe the coffee at the Owl Diner tastes better with the sickly sweetness of bubble gossip?
CITY MANAGER Bernie Lynch’s contract does not expire until July 2014, but there is already chatter that some of his supporters on the City Council will move to extend it in the coming months.
Councilors Kevin Broderick and Bill Martin, Lynch’s two biggest boosters, are said to be behind the extension push, which could come after the budget is passed.
A five-year extension is being considered, according to several sources.
Both Broderick and Martin told The Column they don’t know about any such discussions and have not been part of them if they exist.
“You are the first person to mention that topic to me,” Broderick told a Sun reporter on Friday. “Bernie has never hinted or mentioned or asked about it.”
Martin also dismissed the extension chatter.
“At some point as his contract winds down, there will be talk about renewing it,” Martin said. “It is premature right now to talk about that.”
Does it strike you as odd, that the Dead Tree Watercooler puts the anonymous comments of sources and observers on an equal footing of “on the record” statements from 2 respected city councilors? I find it odd.
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