The upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday the 16th is fairly light but several motions by the Councilors are focused on the City Finances.
C. Caulfield-Req. Mgr. report on plan to address possible 5% reduction in Local Aid
C. Elliott-Req. Finance S/C meet w/School Finance S/C re:FY 2011 Budget Cuts.
C. Elliott-Req. Auditor provide Council w/YTD report on Overtime Expenses.
C. Martin-Req. Mgr. report on progress of recommendation from DOR re: city financial practices
Councilor Murphy has a motion to support an Updated Bottle Bill
C. Murphy-Req. Council join other cities/towns in support updated Bottle Bill #HB3515-SB1480.
The Updated Bill would expand the additional .05 deposit to now include
bottled water, Gatorade, flavored teas, energy drinks and just about anything in a plastic bottle.
While I know we are all for recycling charging people more money in this economy where we know state and city employees are going to be laid off and companies such as UPS are downsizing (the Chelmsford UPS Facility is losing people by the end of May) is now the right time to hit their pocketbooks again?
The Lowell Memorial Auditorium is City owned but Tom McKay and his partners Leo Creegan and Terry McCarthy at Mill City Management book the shows and run the Auditorium for which the City pays them $320,000 each year. They do a tremendous job and if the City had given them the Tsongas Arena when it was built, the City would have made money and maybe still owned it if you ask me.
Mill City does a great job, is friendly and helpful to all sorts of non-profit groups and the Auditorium is a great place to see a show.
However I’m not sure I agree with his assessment that a Casino in Mass would kill the place. If a Casino was in New Bedford or even out past Worcester then I don’t think that the people of greater Lowell and New Hampshire would stop attending. I don’t even think that the acts Tom refers to would avoid playing at the Lowell Auditorium.
But McKay argues that casinos would bring a new kind of buying power to the state, the kind with the financial heft to outbid venues like the Auditorium, enforce “exclusivity” rules that forbid acts they book from playing venues within a certain radius, and draw patrons into a world that is self-contained. And casinos have begun booking traveling Broadway shows, too, which have become a mainstay of the Auditorium’s schedule
If a casino is built in the Greater Boston or Worcester Area then I agree that it may cause issue with the Auditorium but not one in western Mass. or Fall River. Many people now drive to Conn. Or Rhode Island to gamble and see a show but still go out for a night in Lowell and a show.
While I appreciate Tom’s “concern” for area restaurants and local businesses this seems to be more of a self preservation plea from Mill City Management. They have a legitimate concern that they may not be needed and may be out of business.
I think Tom should look at this as a new kind of opportunity. Here’s a good gamble for them to take. With their outstanding history and the great work Pete Lally does as GM. Mill City should cozy up to a Casino developer and offer their service to book shows at BOTH locations. As Tom says “They would bring a new kind of buying power”. They have the connections and track record and could make both a success. So Tom instead of fighting against join in and use your years of experience to continue to grow the shows and events.
They may have their candidate already chosen but at least the public who is interested in doing so will be able to attend the interviews for the finalist for the Supt. position at Greater Lowell MAYBE!
The board’s general counsel, Rosann DiPietro, recommended at last night’s superintendent search subcommittee meeting that the board tell candidates that if they pass a preliminary screening, “they will be interviewed in open session.”
All applicants will be asked if they would withdraw from the process if their applications are reviewed and initial interviews are held in open session. If any applicants answer yes, the committee would then have the option to decide to hold preliminary reviews in executive session, as this could be considered detrimental to the hiring process.
So if the next Supt. or Supt. candidate doesn’t want the public to know his/her qualifications all they have to do is say NO and it’s back behind the screen and a secret interview.
If I’m a school committee person I’m less interested in a candidate who doesn’t have the courage to face the public.
I’ll give the Committee props for at least publicly stating they want to have the finalist in an open to the public session.