One thing that became clear to me watching the City Council meeting last night was we have been only told half the story / truth /facts when the City announces COST Savings”. Because according to the City Manager, what he says we saved in this project be it Ameresco or Health Insurance moving to GCI is only partially 100 factual. What he hasn’t mentioned it these reported savings are required / needed to offset cost in other areas and so the City actually receives no overall savings. The Administration is just shuffling around bills and saving in one area to pay the bills in another.
Last night the Lowell City Council meeting was pretty civil until the talk turned to taxes.
Councilor Elliot had a motion that stated:– Req. City Council vote to instruct City Mgr. to develop the FY13 Budget without property tax increase.
The Councilor in his statement pointed out that this Administration has informed the citizens over and over how much they have saved by transferring Health Care to the GIC, how much the Ameresco deal is saving us on Utilities and how purchasing our own street lights is going to save the city.
He also pointed out the expected gain the city should receive following Councilor Ed Kennedy’s motion to sell outstanding “liens” owed to the City in a bundle.
Councilor’s Broderick and Mercier both spoke saying that in theory they agreed with the concept but that they were not ready to do that because there were still many unknowns. While Councilor Kennedy seemed to support the motion and stated the Manager could always come back and inform the Council it wasn’t possible.
It is when Councilor Elliot spoke again that things began to turn ugly. He wanted a simple yes or no and stated it was a “Political’ vote. He heard the message from the people who voted him in and wanted to make this a political issue.
Councilor Broderick stated he still would not support the motion and thought it wasn’t an issue that should be made political.
It is when the Mayor stepped down to talk that it got real UGLY!
Mayor Murphy was and is supposed to be a smart politician. The Mayor is also supposed to be the ‘guiding” presence on the Council. Instead in his response he attacked Councilor Elliot.
I don’t care IF the Mayor was correct in his comments he was WRONG to make them. Councilor Elliot might have been making it political but Mayor Murphy made it PERSONAL and that is 100% WRONG!
Over and over in his young Mayorship we have seen Councilor Murphy make this type of dumb political move that only serves to showcase his youthfulness and inexperience as a politician.
Stick to the facts and don’t take it personal Mayor. You are supposed to be above this and supposed to show the majority of Lowell voters / citizens that the right guy was elected mayor.
So far he has shown willingness and almost joyousness in name calling and making incorrect and outright bad political decisions. You are making the case for the people who didn’t want you as Mayor instead of showing those (including me) who supported you that you are mature and experienced enough to handle the job.
Keep it factual without the personal attack. Watching last night my wife was asking why you were the only one who seemed to be attacking the guy who made the motion and she doesn’t know any of you because she doesn’t follow it like I do. How many other people felt like her and I did?
Mayor Murphy was wrong to make it personal and if he continues in this fashion he may end up like former Mayor Milinazzo and finish outside the top 9 in the next election because people who watch on Tuesday want a Mayor who is fair not one who attacks his political enemies every Tuesday.
Councilor Elliot may have been wrong trying to make it political. However after watching him try to cut the budget last year with ZERO support and listening over and over to this Administration crow about the cost savings without once mentioning that the savings is in these areas but we are in trouble in others so there isn’t a big savings going on, I can understand his frustration.
The Manager stated last night that in fact the supposed cost savings are really just to offset cost in other areas. In the past he has led the average citizen to believe that things like moving to the GIC and Ameresco is SAVING the city while in fact he is now saying that it saves the city in these areas but doesn’t in others whose cost are climbing.
It makes any further talks about savings questionable and doubtful because the question needs to be asked what other area is going up that this money that is being saved has to be used for?
This Administration and Council should STOP omitting ALL the FACTS (something the administration accuses the SUN of doing) and if you tell us that the “Projected” savings is X then tell us that it will be used to fund y which is going up and the City has to fund it.
In other words stop telling us you are saving the city money when in fact you are now telling us NO we are only shuffling around money to pay for this instead of that.