“If the council is going to let the city manager drive the car, they should at least be sitting in the front seat and reading the map” Councilor-elect Ed Kennedy
I think the City Manager should take that message to heart and realize it is time to switch seats.
If the candidates and blog posters are correct and the anger of the voters is aimed at the City Manager than it is time he sits in the passenger seat and suggest the direction to go. Let the councilors drive and if they run us into a ditch ignoring solid fiscal direction or instead take short cut that breaks an axle than they have no one to blame but themselves.
The voters and councilors need a reminder that when you’re in the drivers seat, you put up with the rudeness of other drivers, the paper, radio and bloggers questioning your driving skills and having to steer around the pot holes in the rush hour traffic that is this economy and political life here in Lowell.
He needs to take himself our of the spotlight and take the Dennis Piendak approach, manage the day-to-day and big picture and let the Selectman and political insiders and movers fight among themselves and in the press and on the blogs. Dennis has survived twenty plus years in the political minefield that is Dracut by letting the bosses take all the heat and the bows. Manager Lynch needs to start doing that.
He needs to start by stopping the supposed feud with the SUN. Respond to legit questions after a Council meeting (make them submit them in writing to give yourself a paper trail) and don’t respond to what he feels is their unfairness. If he answers their questions they can’t (or shouldn’t) complain.
Stop the weekly WCAP appearance. Let the Mayor, Vice-Chair of the School Committee and City Councilors respond to Teddy and the callers. The people elect them and need to hear from them. Go on once a quarter only. Same goes for City Life, once a quarter only.
Stop posting on this BLOG (It pains me to suggest this) but you need to step out of the limelight and need to appear less defensive. Stop responding on the Manager’s Blog to the Sun or negative stories. IGNORE them. IF a negative story is out there with mis-information release a Press Release to EVERYONE (SUN, RADIO, BLOGGERS) stating the facts and only the facts that clear up any mis-information.
Post only positive city information on the Manager’s Blog and keep your personal viewpoint about slanted reporting to yourself.
Forget attending neighborhood group meetings and responding directly to the neighborhood groups. Let the Neighborhood Services dept. coordinator work with them along with the councilors. Let the councilors respond to the neighborhood groups while you concentrate on the big picture items. Don’t go out to sell them your budget. Present it to the councilors first then after they approve or reject, go ahead and explain it.
People forgot or don’t give you credit for taking the majority of the heat given for tax increases. They forget you can only suggest and the majority of the council have to approve. You let yourself be the punching bag and now for the good of the entire city, you need to step out and make them be the face of Lowell.
Set up weekly one on one or two on 1 private meetings with ALL the Councilors to keep communication open. They are all your bosses and the 9 people you need to keep informed of everything. That means even the once who criticize or disagree.
Meet once a quarter with the State delegation. Sen. Donoghue is a supporter, State Rep. Golden has indicated a willingness to work with the administration, take them up on it and improve the relationship.
You have the experience that Lowell needs, have surrounded yourself with a professional staff, go forward and manage the city but step out of the spotlight and let the councilors take the wheel while you supply the direction. If they steer us into a pothole or off the cliff, then it can’t be blamed on you and your administration. Let the 9 drivers steer and you provide the suggestions on the route to take. They either agree or get us lost.
Sun Political Column…Not much, a review of the Mayor fight and the “bad blood” between Elliot and Murphy and tossing out the idea that the Manager is pushing Murphy, a rehash of their column blog post dealing with the state delegation and the manager’s relationship with them. There is also a rehash of some friction between Councilor’s Mercier and Elliot towards CFO Tom Moses at a recent Finance sub-committee meeting.
A few final items….
The whole Mayor fight and the play that WCAP and the SUN is giving it is a lot of nothing. Longtime Lowellians know that this has occurred on many occasions and at times has gone to a hundred ballots. I pointed out already that Dick Howe went 16 years of serving before he was elected mayor (for a 2nd time) and that Brendan Fleming and Armand Lemay served 18 years and were Mayor only for 1 term. Even Councilor Rita Mercier who has been topping the ticket since her first election has only been Mayor once.
It seems Fred Doyle was very disappointed and irate in the Sun story last week involving the Lowell Housing Authority and the issue of permits with the City. He thought it wasn’t played up enough by the paper. I was surprised that WCAP allowed him on the radio after the Manager spoke to Ryan Johnston about it on Monday afternoon. Apparently in an effort for listeners, equal time doesn’t figure into the decision anymore.
It appears that his build up and personal attacks for 6 weeks was a complete waste of time. The people who financed him wasted money and he finished last in voting which again calls out to the Bernie Bashers that his pointless attacks did no good and if he truly is a man of his word, will never run again.
Apparently it hasn’t stopped him from spreading more rumors and word is that the SUN maybe looking into the “LHA and illegal asbestos disposal.” I heard the rumors last week and contacted LHA Executive Director Gary Wallace who responded ” I am unaware of a story. Sounds ludicrous.”
Paul Belley seemed very disappointed and frustrated with his finish, after many years of hard work, talking about having a bon fire with his signs. Hopefully he, John Leahy, John MacDonald, Van Pech and Corey Belanger all stay involve and contribute their time to the city and run again in the next election. Each showed a desire to serve and each offered his own ideas.
Want to THANK State Rep. Tom Golden, Sen. Eileen Donoghue, Congresswoman Tsongas, The Lowell Memorial auditorium, Ted Panos and Athenian Corner, the Lowell Spinners and the Cyr and Farmer families along with the students who brought in baked goods for the Robinson School PTO bake sale/Raffle that was held on Election Day and to the many voters who helped raise over $500 for the School Students.
Finally, I hear I ticked off Councilor Mercier who wasn’t happy that while I was pointing out that Councilor Elliot is a supporter of “local banking” but has his campaign account in a large corporate bank, so does Councilor Rita. Rumor had it she was incorrectly blaming the Manager’s Office for the story when in fact it came from a candidate asking me if he had read about Elliot’s campaign account on my Blog while I was at Top Donut with WCAP last Saturday. When I stated he hadn’t he suggested I take a look and I posted on Saturday exactly what I found. The Sun in a strange coincidence, reported the same story the next day in the column. Sorry Rita but the truth is the truth.