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Dan Rourke doesn’t say much, but when he does …
As for the talk about being anti-administration, Rourke said: “Where does that come from anyway?”
He then answered his own question: it’s because he opposes contracts fo city managers.
“Hey, I’ve only met Bernie Lynch one or two times, but I think he is doing a good job on the finances, and that is one of the most important things a city manager does. Just because I am anti-contract doesn’t mean I am anti-manager. I have no preconceived notions. I’m hoping I have a chance to work with him.”
I was wondering where John Leahy got his talking points from.
Whatever brain trust is stuffing Leahy and Rourke (Tipa is that you?!) better start burning the midnight oil. Not only do these folks vote for municipal Union contracts like they are going out of style, they won’t say SHIT when we are talking about giving contracts to School Dept higher ups? Or, the Top Cop? Will they argue to put the Superintendent of Police back in the Civil Service? Meaning, protected under the Union book.
How is it, with a straight face, a guy like Rourke can say he thinks a City Manager should be an ‘at will’ employee, when City Councilors cannot be recalled? Won’t @dannyballgame be given a 2 year contract, via election? How’s that?
We are stuck with a City Councillor for 2 years; no if, ands or buts. However, giving a City Manager a two year contract, that can be revoked on any Tuesday night; is somehow taboo?
Dick Howe is on a tear. This is a must-read (again) from him. Oh hell, just go to his main page and read all his recent posts.
At its first public hearing, the Nutter Commission can take evidence on the following comments made by past elected officials:
When a group making a presentation set up their easel facing away from this elected official, he blurted out “What am I black?”
When asked what he thought of a t-shirt imprinted with an anti-gay slur, another elected official said he found it “very humorous – it’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.”
After these utterances were made, the city of Lowell named a building or a street for each of the three.
Just to give you a taste…seriously, Mr. Howe is starting to scare me! You never, ever want to get on the wrong side of him. Bad move, Rodennedy!
Thou shall not impede The Sun’s meddling in local affairs.
In the role of “activist newspaper,” The Sun is legend.
In the wait-your-turn political culture of Lowell and nearby Lawrence, Kerry was a carpetbagger trying to cherrypick a seat in Congress.
In the general election campaign, Kerry was lashed relentlessly by The Sun, which questioned his patriotism, his loyalty to the district, and his financial backers. He blew a huge lead and lost to the Republican nominee, Paul W. Cronin, a former state representative who had served on Morse’s staff.
Suddenly, the fast track to political glory vanished beneath the feet of the war hero turned war protester. …
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” — Evelyn Beatrice Hall, writing about Voltaire.
A lot of people know Gerry Nutter and I don’t often agree. A lot of people would say we have a lot in common - though I will say, our styles are quite different as is the thought behind that style. Sometimes, I feel that Gerry has tried to make connections that he had no evidence for; I do try to stay within the realm of what I know and connecting dots that actually are connected.
However, in being hated by the likes of a Rita Mercier or a Rodney Elliot, I suppose, we have a great deal in common. (Of course, for Rodney, smacking Gerry around at tonight’s Council meeting really isn’t about Gerry, is it?) I think Mercier voted for Gerry more to shut up his blog than for her obvious personal affection for him. (She can, after all, pick up the phone and talk to him. She never bothers for me! Because she knows it won’t do much good. My opinion is formed by what she says on the floor and how she votes, not by her liking or not liking me…and boy does she not like me!)
Anyway, besides no votes from ranty Elliot and Councilor Ed “Ditto” Kennedy, Gerry’s nomination for Elections Commission passed. So, congrats, Gerry, do a great job and show them that you don’t have to have zero public opinion in order to have the ability to care about an impartial and fair elections process. Lest we forget, the Elections Commission isn’t actually nonpartial - this is why there’s two Dems and two Republicans! *sigh* But, despite Elliot’s silly reading some words of Gerry in his worst rhetoric on the floor of the Council, none of them could shake the fact that Gerry does have integrity and he does care about this city. Good luck!
Dick’s been on a roll lately, his latest is to take on the “email controversy.” The one being literally drummed up out of nothingness by Rodney Elliot.
Go read Dick’s very detailed and thorough post. It’s pretty awesome.
I’m not only writing this blog post to point out this piece you want to read, but also, because I’m going to call Rodney Elliot what he is:
The term is: unhinged.
Get out the vote, people. Seriously.
In a diary, down blog, CM Lynch responds to considerations/perceptions of LiL commenters. I’ve pulled the Manager’s comment, out & up, to give it broader presentation. Of course, in a stand alone fashion, it is a bit out of context. So, if you’d like, please click HERE to get the full scope.
Suffice to say, the CM’s remarks are engaged in the topics currently floating in the Bubble, as the City election approaches, Nov. 5th. #GOTV
Staying out of all of the other back and forth that I shouldn’t be involved with….to Joe’s points which I think are legitimate. First the quick one, I’m not aware of anyone in the professional municipal management world that has moved into the world of finance (e.g. Wall Street) though I am aware of a couple that went to a rating agencies but that was more for their knowledge of municipal finance as they were Treasurers. Career Managers pretty much stay till retirement and/or go into consulting, teaching, interim work, or doing government relations. On the issue of how big should reserves be…the standard is between 5-10%, though some communities go beyond. I’d like Lowell to get a bit higher than our current level but certainly not at the expense of services that are required. A more pressing issue is our OPEB liability, retiree health insurance. We just put $8 million aside for this but we still have an unfunded liability of about $500 million. We really should be on a funding schedule for that or we’re simply passing the burden of payment onto future taxpayers. Unlike capital debt which should be paid overtime as future taxpayers use the facility retiree benefits are paid out now, or in the near future. Its the biggest ticking time bomb for most governmental entities.
I would have hoped that people would see that the administration is willing to spend money and take other steps to make for a better community….which career managers are also judged on. We’ve built reserves back to a good level and held the line on taxes but also invested in infrastructure (I think at this point over $170 million), increased spending on schools, increased spending on maintenance, expanded recreation programs to pre-2000 levels, leveraged resources for social service and cultural programs, become more supportive of community and organizational diversity, and I could go on about the administration’s achievements. Which, by the way, are the results of great work by department heads and employees. AND, we have invested in public safety, both fire and police. We’ve added resources to both. We never laid off uniformed personnel and in fact after the crunch of the recession started adding positions back into departments. We’re currently reviewing all of the information on this and hope to have a full report out within the next week which explains this. Some civilian grant funded positions have gone away but even there we are working to reinstate with other grants or city funds. These positions allow our police department to be more effective and keep patrol officers on the street. Finally, on the much debated use of OT, the philosophy we have used is to use added overtime resources to target officers into certain areas at specified times for maximum effectiveness. This notion of “smart policing” is being adopted in numerous communities that have recognized that a single officer only provides limited coverage during high activity times while that same level of funds buys coverage many times over meaning more officers on the street. That said, there is a place for added staff in a a carefully planned and managed manner to insure we get the best people not just more people. For instance, we have 11 new patrolmen coming on within the next month.
In the end, we need to recognize the perceptions of the community regarding safety but we shouldn’t fan it. We do need to look at the numbers to see how we’re doing and how we should be using our resources and developing our strategies. On the numbers we have made great progress in knocking back crime over the past several years. But, lower isn’t as good as none, which is what we need to strive for. Plus, we see trends that need our attention now rather than waiting for the problems to become less manageable…and, the police are working at that with their use of resources and strategies, and with their requests to me for added resources and supportive policies.
Thanks for letting me weigh in…..
Do you know where we are going, if we follow Councilor “Punk” Elliott’s path (keep taxes artificially low, blow through the reserves) to fiscal sanity?
Been there! Done that!
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:
LTC has the video from the CNAG City Council candidate’s forum at the Dom Polski Club. The Mr has his notes too which I hope he’ll have the time to add, and sometimes I know it’s easier to read through the Cliff Notes version than watch the entire 94 minutes of it.
The one thing you must NOT miss on this video is near the end, though…you have to watch Rita Mercier’s closing statement. Classic.
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