I’m on vacation this week and doing day trips with my family so I missed the City Council meeting last night. Did I miss a lively show or is the Sun article blown out of proportion to make the Manager and Councilors who support him look bad?
Here’s what I do know….
According to today’s Sun, apparently along with again raising fees on a number of City Businesses the citizens of the city who watched the meeting got a side-show involving a disgruntled city worker and a pair of councilors who were against the increase but gaveled down by the Mayor. I can’t wait to watch the replay (not up yet) and see it for myself.
First I have to agree with Councilors Elliot and Caulfield in voting NO to raising these fees.
The City keeps saying Economic Development is important and that Lowell is business friendly. It seems to me Lowell is always taxing businesses here in the city. Businesses pay a higher Property Tax, pay for their own garbage pick-up (and now pays for trash pick up if they want a barrel in front of their store to keep OUR neighborhoods clean) and permits and other fees were raised in the past year.
Now in the middle of a he said/the City issue regarding inspections conducted by the sealer of weights and measures the Council tacks on Extra fees for Inspections because we are now paying others to do it and want to bring in more funds. Sorry but there is NO reason to raise fees for these Inspections, especially considering that the city is trying to promote itself has being business friendly and the city didn’t lose has much local aid has first thought.
Shame on Bill Martin for making this statement “These are relatively minor increases for the most part,”
All these “minor” increases the city continues to make adds cost to businesses that are struggling in this economy. I work in a private small business and have seen first hand that these small added fees add up and take a toll on a small company.
The side show appears to be a combination of the Mayor trying to keep the meeting and speakers on point and a couple of people / Councilors feeling that he was trying to ram the approval through.
According to the Sun “Councilors Edward “Bud” Caulfield and Rodney Elliott voted in opposition, but were both gaveled down by Milinazzo while questioning Lynch about the decision to outsource the sealer’s functions after reducing Hynes from a full-time employee to an 8-hour-a-week employee in December.”
“Kenneth Harkins, of Bigelow Street, rose to speak in opposition to the fee hikes and started to say he was against outsourcing when Milinazzo gaveled him down.”
“Milinazzo said after the meeting he believed the councilors, Harkins and Hynes were speaking off topic”
So if you saw the meeting, what did you think? Is the Sun over-playing the angle? Were the speakers off topic or was the Mayor quick with the Gavel? Do you agree that raising the fees is incorrect?