THANKS to the City Council Lowell taxpayers will have the smallest tax increase since 2001 and in all likelihood will have no increase at all. Even City Councilor Kevin Broderick one of the Manager’s strongest supporters said “by the fall when the tax rate is set, the increase will likely be zero when new revenues such as the planned tax-lien auction are factored in.”
While clearly the City Manager and Mayor seemed dismayed with City Councilor Lorrey for bringing back the $100,000 cut in Police O.T the citizens of Lowell should make sure to Thank him.
Councilors Rodney Elliot, Ed Kennedy, Rita Mercier, Joe Mendonca and Marty Lorrey led the way for the citizens to get a zero or near zero tax increase, offering or supporting the most cuts.
The cuts will NOT or should not ‘send a message” to departments heads to spend it or lose it has the Manager has stated. The Dept. heads should continue to spend only what they need and he should insure that this practise continues.
The Manager is using hyperbole. Just as when he said earlier this year that he could bring in a zero tax increase budget but that recreation, police, fire and education would suffer. It is all in the eye of those who are trying to make their case and has a “Professional Manager” he wants his budget passed which is understandable. You could tell from his radio appearance Friday and Saturday that he felt his budget should not be cut at all but these cuts will not be devastating to any department and the city still has $300,000 in State/Federal reimbursement coming from last Oct’s storm.
I think the Manager is showing a little arrogance by saying I and some councilors who advocate for a zero tax increase are in favor of doing things ‘the wrong way” or are “irresponsible” and his comments “We can’t just kick the can down the road and transfer money to do things,” “It indicates to me the idea of fixing things on the fly rather that putting together a well-prepared budget that is reasonable and prudent.” is as much a political stand has he has accused some particular councilors of having.
I believe it is always good to look at everything and stand up for what you believe in even if it you know it upsets people. Councilor Lorrey, Mercier and Mendonca certainly did. I don’t always agree with the Manager, Councilor, School Committee people and say so on the blog, WCAP or City Life when given the chance. Probably why one over sensitive elected school committee member de-friended me on Facebook. LOL I think I’ll survive
Speaking of surviving it will be interesting to see if Parking Director Chuck Carney, who was NOT appointed by this City Manager survives.
It appears Mr. Carney put the best interest of the vendor -Central Parking ahead of the city. Of course rumors circulate that one possible reason is the employee was a friend of a Carney family member but to me there is no excuse for any city department head to not report to the City Manager anytime funds are missing.
The former Council led by Mayor Milinazzo certainly went after Rick Johnson and to a degree the Asst. Clerk and the Manager certainly has gone after several rank and file employee’s for items like allegedly stealing gas (one especially who was connected to a councilor who was not seen as a supporter of the Manager) while Mr. Carney was not a Manager appointee, he is close to a councilor who is a strong supporter of the Manager so people will be watching closely to see how he handles the situation with Mr. Carney.
Another thing to watch is how the City Council gets along has a result of the budget hearings. The Mayor is certainly unhappy over the way his Asst. was treated and if you saw his face when Councilor Lorrey brought back the motion to cut the $100,000 you could clearly see he was furious. WIll this lead to a permanent 4-4 split with Councilor Lorrey the middle man who chooses based on what he feels is best for the citizens? He sure has set himself up as a key vote on behalf of the citizens and not just blind loyalty to the Manager..exactly what he campaigned on.
Supt. Mary Jo Santoro certainly showed up School Committee member Erik Gitschier at this weeks meeting. Usually Superintendents go out of the way to NOT upset one of the people they work for but she seems to have reached a point that she will not allow unfair and unjust attacks by this member without responding.
Chairman Mr. Olson seems to be sending the same message, he contacted Mike Gilbert who works for MASC (Mass Association of School Committees) and whose primary duty is working with school systems to update policy manuals. Mr. Gilbert just finished updating the Tech’s manual and Mr. Olson contacted him and he clarified Erik’s misinterpretation of the policy about the Supt. ability to reorganize without getting School Committee approval and Mr. Olson certainly but Mr. Gitschier in his place for trying to misinform the public and make the Supt. look bad.
Did Brian Bond actually call WCAP and state he was a big believer in Conspiracy’s and Conspiracy theories? Really Brian..you want to open that can when it appears things are calming down in Dracut? WHY?
Congratulations to my friend Jimmy Rourke who just retired from teaching at LHS. I’ve known Jim since he was a lifeguard at McPherson Park when I was a freshman in high school. I ran into Jim and his beautiful wife Kathy yesterday along with three of their children Katie, Meghan and Ryan (who is opening ALL MIXED UP a Frozen Yogurt shop in Dracut) out celebrating Jim’s retirement.
Speaking of the Rourke’s a big shout out to their other son Sean owner /operator of the Fay-McCabe Funeral Home on Moore St. Sean is one of the nicest and hard working guys around. If you are in need of pre-planning or other service give Sean a call.
Happy Father’s Day to all!