UPDATE: The Sun now has a note on the on-line edition that reads:
Editor’s note: The editorial as first posted earlier this morning has been corrected. It took three days to lower the flag after City Councilor Armand Mercier’s death, not eight has previously written in the editorial. The Sun regrets the error.
I’m sure you may be SHOCKED to find inaccurate information in a Lowell Sun Editorial but the following item caught my eye in today’s Sun Editorial.
It states: Armand Mercier died on Friday, Jan. 13, but the directive to lower the flag wasn’t issued until eight days went by. Mercier’s funeral and burial were already completed
However the above picture that ran in the SUN on Thursday Jan 19th shows his funeral procession passing City Hall on Wednesday Jan.18th and if you blow it up you can see the Flags appear to be at half staff. Look at the flag that appears at the rear of the 1st car. I may not be a math wizard but Jan 13 to Jan. 17 seems to be 4 days. I’m sure that the Editor will blame a “new” editorial writer. Could it be the person who wrote this Editorial doesn’t read Lyle’s stuff or look at the pictures in the Sun?
I also recall both Councilor Mercier and the Manager at the last city council meeting talking about how they were lowered at her request late Monday or Tuesday of the week he passed.
In addition, I was informed by a city employee NOT located on Arcand Drive that there was an email blast that went out to all depts. throughout the city on the morning of Tuesday Jan. 17th informing everyone that:
In honor of former City Councilor and Mayor, Armand P. Mercier, the City Manager has requested that city flags be flown at half staff until Wednesday, January 18th
BTW: The editorial deals with Councilor Rita Mercier’s request to have a permanent policy regarding lowering flags when a dignitary passes. My favorite line during the debate came from Councilor Kennedy who basically said “do it until someone tells you – you can’t.” ( or Sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission). ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
From the Council Packet I share the following information and observation:
The city ended last fiscal year with a $2.1 million surplus (“Free” Cash) and after the Manager transfers $1.7 into stabilization fund, it will bring city’s reserves to $8 million. Compare that to the Negative $2.2 Million Dollars in “Free” cash in 2006 and $4.2 Million in the stabilization fund then and Lowell seems to be in pretty good fiscal shape.
On January 23rd , Deputy Director Kendra Amaral and Adam Baacke met with the Massachusetts Inspector General, along with officials from his office (OlG) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety Division of Inspections. They reviewed the City’s report on the matter and its plan. The plan was deemed appropriate and the correct path to achieve both compliance and protection of public safety.
On January 24th, staff from the OIG and the Division of Inspections conducted a walk-through of the two sample units. They confirmed that the selective demolition conducted was appropriate to assess code compliance. The City has offered to forward the weekly updates to both the OlG and the Division of Inspections. Both offices have also been provided with all reports and updates issued to date.
On January 19th, the Fire Department conducted a walk-through of the two sample units in which walls were opened, to get a better sense of the scope of the renovation work in advance of receiving plans for review.
Fire reported that the viewing was helpful.
Development Services and Fire Department met with the Lowell Housing Authority (LHA) and their architect on January 23rd to review the requirements for the plan submission and code analysis. The meeting was productive in addressing questions and providing clear direction on the level of detail required in the plans and code analysis .
LHA has begun submitting the permit applications for building and are preparing the plumbing and gas. Processing of the applications will begin next week. Building permit issuance will not occur until the required plans and code analysis are submitted which are expected in early February.