The fallout from yesterday’s Sun story regarding the School Committee member who allegedly told the Sun that the Teacher’s Union rejected a 3% raise might have had more impact if the President of the Teacher’s Union didn’t already violated the Executive Session rules himself this past Thursday.
On Jenn Myer’s SUN Facebook page, Jack Mitchell shared the following:
h/t to Paul Georges. He is slamming the SC for leaks, yet he is doing his part, as well. When we appeared on City Life together, Paul produced a document that purported to be the SC’s latest offer. He did not share the whole thing. He read one “condition” out loud. The term had something to do with dropping all grievances and disputes predating the contract acceptance.
Georges shared the “condition” to demonstrate how ridiculous the SC position was. And, I agree. That specific term seems ridiculous to me.
However, for Georges to put on his poker face and cry alligator tears for the Sun’s readers, to this parent/taxpayer seems, … ridiculous. h/t for his prowess at spin control.
So it’s a little hard to feel bad or criticize either side if neither side has enough respect to keep these matters between themselves and stop putting out their PR Spin.
Jackie Doherty I am told is away which is why she hasn’t responded yet. I expect all committee members to deny being the source..doesn’t change my mind on who I think it is.
Kristin Ross Sitcawich was walking the hills of Centralville yesterday morning and I met up with her and her hard working campaign aide (one of her daughters). I asked her what she thought of the story and she said:
“While I disagree with anyone breaching the agreed upon rules of Executive session, it did allow ALL the teachers, parents and taxpayers to know what was offered and 3% in this economy is a fair offer. Some teacher’s I talked to still thought the offer was 0 /0/ -1.”
I missed yesterday’s Candidate Forum at Shedd Park but a couple of items mentioned in today’s SUN story caught my eye:
Challenger Corey Belanger, who owns a bar downtown, called for a moratorium on liquor licenses. He said the area needs a large retail anchor like the Gap or Macy’s, not more restaurants or bars.
“We need to make them an offer they can’t refuse,” Belanger said. “We do not have the resources to offer tax breaks to everyone, but one big anchor tenant will cause a ripple effect that benefits all the businesses.”
Okay maybe that is a valid point but when you are one of those that hold a downtown liquor licence, maybe you’d be better off letting someone else make that statement. This just looks like you want to stop the competition.
Fred Doyle is often though of as nothing but a bomb tosser who doesn’t offer positive suggestions but I applaud him for this idea at yesterday’s forum.
Asked by Lowell High School Student Body President Bourin You, how students can be encouraged to spend their disposable income at downtown retailers, challenger Fred Doyle suggested the student council set up monthly meetings with the business community to discuss problems and come up with incentives such as coupons to draw students
That is almost the first thing ever that is positive and / or creative that I have heard Mr. Doyle say.
The Sun sort of buried this on page 2 today but Congratulations to the Lowell Police and the following Officer’s who were recognized and will be honored for their work:
Sgt. Stephen Morrill will receive a George L. Hanna Award for Bravery in a ceremony at the Statehouse on Nov. 18
Capt. Jonathan “Jack” Webb and Detective Linda Coughlin, part of the Criminal Investigations Division, have been selected by the Massachusetts Police Association to receive “Distinguished Service” medals.
Award winning Dracut reporter Erin Smith has a front page story today about the tension on the Dracut School Committee. Erin’s going to need a clone to cover tomorrow night in Dracut. The Board of Selectman’s meeting and the possibility of extending the current Town Manager is on the Agenda and the Dracut Housing Authority is also have interviews for a new Executive Director.
Regardless of what my friend Warren say’s about the majority of Dracut residents who want the Manager back at $140,00, I spoke to several Dracut residents yesterday who like the idea of the Town Manager staying but don’t think it requires a $16,000 raise to keep him. Like it or not and you can play any semantic game you want, if he stays at $140,00 IT IS a $16,000 RAISE !
Like many they don’t understand why the current Board of Selectman would offer a new guy $140,000 regardless of what a consultant states. I agree, why does it always seems we pay a new guy more than the guy he replaces?
As I always suggest, pick up or subscribe to the daily newspaper that covers Lowell and the Greater Lowell area the best..The SUN!
This week’s Political Column…
Starts off with the possible “POLITICAL FIREWORKS” in Dracut tomorrow night. There could be some tension and loud exchanges of idea’s if Dracut Selectman Zimini ask whether the move to keep Piendak was already settled in a back-room deal. (GN Note: There is nothing to be gained by going down that road and Mr. Zimini would be better off taking a different tact. Suggesting that since the process has already begun, keep it moving and pointing out that the Town Manager has not once since December 2010 when he announced his resignation has he told the Board of Selectman, any Blogger or the SUN he has reconsidered and wants to stay or that he wants $16,000 more a year to stay).
Meanwhile over at Dracut Housing they name a new executive director, interviews with the finalist are tomorrow and they could select a new E.D. tomorrow night. (GN: The whole process has been mired in political intrigue and allegations of deals, new rumors involving the Lt. Gov. , Mike McLaughlin and Jerry Flynn are still circulating.)
The column reports that Sen. Eileen Donoghue was the only local Senator (choosing to ignore Steve Baddour of Methuen) to support the casino bill.
They inform us of the tension between Headmaster Ed Rozmiarek and school committee member / Lyceum parent Alison Laraba at Thursday night’s presentation of the Latin Lyceum Evaluation Committee’s 50-plus page review.
Even worse was this exchange between Lyceum parent Steve Conant whose daughter graduated from the Lyceum in June, and Supt. Jean Franco. He quizzed the Supt. during the meeting asking her to name the high-school football coach, math department chair and band director. She did. He asked her to name the head of the Lyceum. Silence.
“Until the School Committee resolves who is in charge and finds the money they pay to a football coach or the head of a department, all of this talk is wasted,” Conant said
The couldn’t resist pointing out the irony that Lowell Building Inspector Mark Robidoux recently achieved state certification as a building commissioner. While his boss Building Commissioner Robert Marsilia is certified only to be a building inspector.
Onto other things…
I like the idea of the Column and Phelp’s Blog’s on the Sun’s website but they will only work if they are constantly (daily) updated. Chris Scott can’t be expected to do that along.
Ran into City Council candidate John MacDonald at a fundraiser at Long Meadow Friday Night. The benefit was for a lovely lady battling cancer and is was organized and run by her children to help ease the financial hardships. Great turnout for an outstanding family.
Last night my godson Jack n Jill was at the East End Club and Council Candidate Paul Belley and his band were performing upstairs. Had the chance to duck up there with my lovely wife who is now a huge fan of Paul and his band. Guess we will become followers when they play locally.
Party Time: Kristin Ross-Sitcawich for Lowell School Committee Wednesday, October 19 · 5:00pm – 7:00pm East End Social Club of Lowell Inc.
Thursday Oct. 20th Re-Election Campaign Party for City Councilor Kevin Broderick at Longmeadow 5:30 -7:30 Donations $25
Thursday Oct. 20th Campaign Rally for William “Bill” Sheehan candidate for the Greater Lowell Regional School Committee East End Social Club of Lowell Inc. 7:00 -10:00 Donations $10.00 Seniors FREE
I found it very funny that City Councilor Rodney “Fiscal Watchdog” Elliot who gave up blogging in July of 2010 and started up semi-regularly during this years campaign were he faces losing his seat, would call out bloggers. I for one mentioned the cash reconciliation on 2 occasion but more importantly isn’t he showcasing his own failure as a councilor and the supposed fiscal watchdog by not knowing what is going on with the balancing of the books? Combined with the entire councils lack of oversight in the City Clerk’s Office the Headline of a future blog post could be ” Fiscal Watchdog Sleeps, while City Finance and Overview left Unguarded”.