There is a front – page Sun story about changes proposed by Gov. Patrick for State /Local Housing Agencies in light of the recent Chelsea Housing scandal involving Dracut resident and longtime political player Mike McLaughlin.
The Boston Globe has an article of their own today dealing with McLaughlin’s fundraising activities for Lt. Gov. Tim Murray while at work and the clout/influence McLaughlin had with Murray and other Democratic officials and operatives because of his fundraising ability. It highlights a SUN column by columnist Michael Goldman.
From the Globe article:(BOLD MINE)
“McLaughlin reveled in his proximity to power, say his former employees, and the help he could get from the lieutenant governor. Murray once angrily called former labor secretary Suzanne Bump when she fired one of McLaughlin’s old friends, John Zimini, according to someone who was briefed about the call. Murray later helped Zimini find a new job at a quasi-public state agency.
In addition, Murray recommended people to housing authority boards on McLaughlin’s word, giving McLaughlin added clout.
McLaughlin kept in close touch with Murray, calling him frequently whether he was working or on vacation. A week before the Globe story that disclosed McLaughlin’s salary, McLaughlin told Murray that the Globe was preparing an article and outlined his plan to counter the bad news by getting a political consultant to write a favorable article about McLaughlin’s career.
A few days after the Globe story, consultant Michael Goldman wrote a column in The Sun of Lowell that glowingly described McLaughlin as “a warrior from the old school.’’ Goldman acknowledges that McLaughlin asked him to write the column.</em>
In addition the story talks about the Dracut Housing Authority Issue:
Murray’s consultant Ferson said most of Murray’s conversations with McLaughlin in October centered on the Dracut Housing Authority, to which Murray had recommended a board member at McLaughlin’s behest. Murray was upset that the new appointee had immediately attempted to oust the executive director in a move widely seen as orchestrated by McLaughlin to create a vacancy for a friend.
As a result, Ferson said, Murray was miffed with McLaughlin even before he discovered McLaughlin’s salary and the lieutenant governor hasn’t spoken to him since.
Do you have one of those RESERVED PARKING signs in front of your house that the city started issuing about 13 years ago for a lifetime fee of $10? Lyle Moran has a front-page story about proposed changes to the ordinance and some residents who oppose the entire idea. Sarah Favot has a story about people keeping their cars longer in the wake of the economic climate and how auto repair shops are busy because of this.
Middlesex Community College Executive Director of Public Affairs Patrick Cook is a guest columnist today and has a very clever and well done version of THE RAVEN in honor of today’s Patriots/Raven Game.
Pick up or subscribe to home delivery, get an Appt. for your smartphone or order the e-doc version of the regional paper that covers Lowell. The Sun
The Political Column
Starts off with the Resume saga over the LHA appointment and how this one was “self inflicted” by the Manager. It speculates the board wanted ALL the Resumes but the Manager is forwarding only Tim Greens’ who is his choice. Councilor Joe Mendonca is quoted as saying one reason he voted for the delay was that he wanted to allow Lynch the time to process whether he still wanted to bring Greens name forward.
The next item is a who is close to Wallace question and who really works at the LHA and is related to who if that is okay.
They mention the Dracut State Rep. Race and whether State Rep. Colleen Garry will suffer from the Dracut Housing Authority / Chelsea Housing Authority issues.
The column point out the why in the Why is Councilor Rita Mercier offering the opening prayer at City council meetings instead of the Mayor? (Mayor Murphy’s nod to her status as dean of the Council)
It takes the Manager to task for apparently saying he didn’t call in the IG in regards to the Sewer Tie in situation involving former Councilor Kazanjian. They point out a report from the IG dated Oct 2009, which states “The City of Lowell and the Lowell police Dept. contacted the IG’s office and requested their assistance.”
A few other thoughts…
Where is Fred Doyle on the LHA Appointment? Seems to me Mr. D (who was bankrolled by Jim Hall, Steve P and former Mayor Howe) to attack Councilor Rita Mercier for allegedly
“interfering in the Plan E Charter” for commenting on the
appropriateness of the David Hall appointment hasn’t said a word about this council interfering or stalling the appointment of Tim Green to the LHA Board. Maybe those long standing rumors about Fred are indeed true. He only attacks when he is getting paid for it or being told by others to attack.
The never ending battle over resume is a joke and hopefully one of the newly elected members will bring in a motion that REQUIRES the City Manager to submit the resume for any person he selects for a board then AFTER the selection is approved, submit the resume of all the individual who applied to the COUNCIL for review.
If the Manager is worried about people’s privacy and the fact that these records MAY NOT BE Public documents, then the Council should also make a motion to get a ruling from the STATE Public records Division and stop wasting time on this issue. It isn’t productive and should be addressed once and for all so the public can stop reading about this absurd issue that has caused unnecessary fighting on the council floor.
If this council for any reason blocks the appointment of Tim Green or pressures the Manager to “reconsider” and submits O’Keefe, then the message is that the current Manager is caving into political pressure and his days are dwindling.
I’m hearing rumors of a story in tomorrow’s or Tuesday’s Sun involving this appointment so make sure you pick up a copy to see what’s up before Tuesday Nights meeting.
Maybe Kendal Wallace is incorrect or maybe the New Era politicians are harkening back to the “old Lowell” ways. If the LHA appointment has now grown to the political battle it appears to be ,combined with the appointment of a former City Councilor who has NO experience being chosen as the City Clerk,then those who miss the old days of Lowell Politics and getting appointments based on who you know over experience and knowledge will be happy to see the swing shifting back to the “old Lowell” days. I’d even have hope of getting something!..well maybe not!
Go back and look at past LHA appointments and find me one resume! and find me someone who didn’t know Buddy Flynn and doesn’t know or have family connected to the LHA. Lowell is a small BIG city!
Thanks to School Committee member Kim Scott for bringing forth a motion to get the School Committee Agenda and Packet on Line for those of us who are interested.
Hopefully it will be posted at a set time on a Bi-weekly basis. This week the City council Agenda IS NOT posted on line and either is the packet (which usually goes up on Monday’s).
I emailed City Clerk Michael Geary on Friday at 4:00 to find out why the Agenda wasn’t posted and when it would be. In what appears to be HIS policy, he doesn’t respond to bloggers.(2nd attempt at getting him to respond to an email) Former City Clerk Richard Johnson and former Acting City Clerk Eric Slagle responded to emails from citizens including lowly bloggers. Apparently current Clerk Geary feels he isn’t obligated to do that.
Patriots 28 Ravens 17 !