Neither former Sen. Panagiotakos or State Rep. Kevin Murphy will be Next City Manager and Councilor Bill Martin isn’t a sell-out
Since last Wednesday and increasing after the announced fight for Mayor, the Bernie Bashers, Boo Birds and even some Bernie Supporters have been chirping loudly in the political under currents that swirl around this city and they suggest that the long-term prognosis for Bernie Lynch lasting another 2 full years as the City Manager rest with Councilor Bill Martin and his mayoral vote.
Those in the circle of Lowell insider-political gossip are suggesting that former State Sen. Panagiotakos is one of the main people behind the scene, pushing to get rid of the Manager and the issue is always who they get to replace him. Rumors say he will persuade Martin to vote for Elliot and make it worth his while.
We do know Pangy has enjoyed a friendship with Fred Doyle over the years and the Panagiotakos families have been donators to Doyle. We also know Doyle has been in attack mode against the Manager for close to a year.
However the speculation that the former Senator he has some type of grudge or axe to grind and wants to be the power broker in the city who got Lynch makes little sense to me and the rumors floating around are in my mind senseless.
The scenario’s flying around have Pangy playing King Maker and orchestrating so many moves that it makes little sense to me that he would or even could do all this.
A number of scenarios are floating around but the most interesting (and in my opinion far-fetched) include Martin going for Elliot along with Mendonça, Mercier, Kennedy giving him the 5 votes he needs.
Then in a very convoluted and frankly hard to believe scenario, Kevin Murphy would announce in February that he was NOT running for Re-election opening the door for Rithy Uong. Then the Martin,Elliot, Mendonca, Mercier, Kennedy group would vote to fire the Manager by next July and Kevin Murphy becomes the new City Manager.
The funny thing is both the supporters of the Manager and the Bernie Bashers seem to believe this scenario could actually take place. Those that support him are worried about the low turnout and think people don’t care what happens to the Manager and those that bash him think they smell blood in the water and the time is now to get him out.
They tend to ignore the fact that Kevin Murphy is a very smart man and his income has a State Rep. with a thriving successful Law Practice is more than the Manager makes. I also believe Rep. Murphy recognizes the fact that the City Manager gets all the heat in Lowell and the fiscal situation isn’t getting any better in the next year or two. In what situation would he want to take on that headache?
Former Sen. Steve is also doing well in private practice and knows the headache that comes with being the Manager so he would not take the job and he cannot force out the Manager (and still I’m not convinced he wants to do that) without having a replacement in place and that would need to be a Lowell guy.
Unlike years past when Jim Milinazzo, Bob Hatem and Ed Kennedy went for the job, there doesn’t seem to be many outstanding potential replacements with either a legislative background or a municipal experience hanging around Lowell.
The rumors of TJ McCarthy making a return as City Manger seem as far fetched to me as the Kevin Murphy rumors.
The theory is out there regardless of the many scenarios,is that if Bill Martin supports Elliot for Mayor, than the Manager’s days are numbered because Martin will have sold out for something down the road. Rumors say it shows he would be a party loyalist and follow the will of Pangy with the understanding he would get his later. Supposedly that would be support for a State Senate run in a couple years when Congresswoman Tsongas retires and Sen. Donoghue again goes for the Congressional seat.
Sorry I don’t buy that either, Bill Martin is a smart man and has always finished in the middle of the pack because he stand on his own principals and doesn’t play the game and isn’t the type to sell out. He understands the fiscal situation the city was in 2006 and knows this administration is what brought the city back to solid footing.
If anything I see him working WITH the Manager in getting the Manger to communicate with Council members and the state delegation better than being the key vote to replace him.
Regardless of all the whispering and speculating, until the Mayor fight is over all eyes are on Martin, Pangy and Murphy!