The Front Page of Today’s Sun focuses on the family affair at the Greater Lowell Tech. According to the article School Committee members David Tully and George O’Hare both say they were questioned on the employment of relatives but Tully states he has not heard anything and O’Hare states he’s NOT Under Investigation at this time. It also talks about former School committee members Mike Hayden and Dracut’s Brian Martin and their family members who work at the school. The Sun then goes on to identify administration members at the school who have family working at the school.
In my opinion there is a major difference between an employee having a relative working at the school than an elected committee person having family hired while they are in office. I have no issue with family working together and I’m sure I will be accused of sticking up for people I worked with and am friendly with like Bobby Lussier, Val Murphy, Mary Jo, Pat McGuirk and Tim Fallon. Fine I have no problem defending them because they are NOT elected officials and in the Fallon case Tim, Cathy and Jimmy have been there for about the same amount of time. Even in the private sector it is not uncommon for family members to work together.
In the Political Column the main story is that the Owl Diner has been anointed by the Sun as the place to go to find out about the City Manager’s raise. So while you order your breakfast you can find out what’s going on and they play out a whole scenario involving the Independent commissions findings, suggesting it will call for a $200,000 salary and the Council granting the Manager a $45,000 Raise bringing his salary to $190,000. I could hear the theme from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood’s Land of Make Believe playing in my head has I read this.
While this Council supports the Manager and many do believe he deserves a raise, I cannot see them granting him a $45,000 pay raise when they have just raised the meal tax and are coming off a year where they have asked Unions to make concessions. I could see them offering a $15,000 – $25,000 raise considering he hasn’t had a raise since 2006 and the Supt. of Dracut and Lowell both make more than the Manager. They could also include performance based raises for the years involved in the contract if the Manager can show cost savings.
Other than that the column is pretty boring and talks about the acting Manager closing City Hall due to Tuesday afternoons blackout and how Corey Belanger a candidate for Gov. Council heeded an ethic commission advisory to avoid any conflict charges by holding his fundraiser in an establishment other than the one he owns. Shows Corey has smarts and integrity.
This weeks Council agenda is full of special permits for Outside dining around the city. With the heat if I go out to eat PLEASE put me inside with the A/C on HIGH!
The big question this week is will the Council take the vote and Approve Home Rule Petition MGL Ch. 32B.that request the ability to change the way the city offers Insurance and can make changes without having to negotiate with the Unions??…Best guess is that it gets kicked back to the sub-committee and gets voted on after more discussions with the State Delegation.
Resolution-Council support Nat’l Park opposition to Crestgate System at Pawt. Dam, I am told by a person very well versed in this that no matter how much opposition the neighbors have for preserving history, chances are 90%+ that the Bladder dam goes through no matter what the Council does. It should also be noted that if things get testy Enel can stop progress in the JAM Plan since they have to grant easement rights and while court cases take place stop their TAX payments to the City until all is resolved.
If Pawt. Citizens and Council are smart, they will request the Manager to get a face to face with Enel and talk about a granite facing on the bladder dam or something along that line that would present a historical look using the new technology. Easier to work now with Enel than to go Hat in Hand AFTER they win looking for favors.
Councilor Elliot has motions dealing with locked boxes at nursing homes that cost a Lowell women her life (hopefully he extends that to all elderly appts) along with a request to help out my Centraville neighbors at the Grand Manor Condo’s by getting a status update.
Councilors Mercier/Caulfield have a Req. to the Mgr. that he report on proposed Water Tower on Christian Hill. We have the Reservoir on the top of Beacon St. and for many years had a large water tower on the top of 10th St at Mt. Pleasant that has been removed and hopefully this will deal when this area gets the new water tower and the area gets cleaned up.
Councilor Murphy has a req that deals with the LHA and recycling. I sent him an email on his website (listed on left) to get some more information. he also has an interesting item concerning the Historic District and energy efficiency retrofits.
I was glad that School Committee member Jackie Doherty responded to my post and while we may disagree on things anytime an elected official takes the time to publicly respond to items they should be applauded. It shows that they care about what they do and what people think. I strongly believe that the more elected officials and public figures respond to the citizens/voters the more we know and understand what’s going on.
Jackie, Jim Leary, Rodney Elliot, Patrick Murphy, Mike Hayden, Franky Descoteaux , Joe Mendonca , Eileen Donoghue and City Manager Lynch respond to questions by average citizens like myself even when they may disagree with something we have written or said. Many have a BLOG or Website of their own where citizens can reach them and get answer’s and isn’t that exactly what we want from our Elected officials?
If I am incorrect or flat-out wrong with something I have written then I want to know that. Chances are if I am viewing a situation in one manner than many others are also and unless someone tells us that we are incorrect and shows us why, then we never know what the actual facts are.