“Parking Gate” isn’t going away anytime soon.
Once the “criminal” investigation is over and more comes out about Mr. Carney and his hiding of information we may all have a better understanding of how and maybe why he did what he did. The Manager can’t or shouldn’t be blamed for a Dept. head cover-up.
The bigger political issue isn’t going to be Bill Martin and his support of the Manager or Mr. Carney. Bill stands by his friend the same way Rita stood by Rick Johnson. He and Mr. Carney go back a lot further than he and the Manager so people should not be surprised he is giving Mr. Carney the benefit of the doubt and questioning the Manager for firing him. Bill supports professional management so he will continue to support Manager Lynch once this episode passes.
I would want Bill Martin to be my friend because like Rita, Pangy and Kevin Murphy, Bill puts politics aside and he stands beside his friends even in tough times. (Unlike Dave Conway and Bud who bailed on a longtime friend when the FBI was around).
The bigger issue will be the Auditor and her relationship with the Council. When the theft in the City Clerk department was exposed and the council was searching for a new Clerk the Sun in an Aug. 2011 Column noted:
The clerk and auditor both work for the council, not the Manager and the some Councilors want to insure that whoever is hired for the full time post isn’t someone close to the Manager. Some feel that the council hired a FOB when they hired Auditor Sheryl Wright who used to work for Lynch in Chelmsford and is known to report back to Lynch any questions councilors ask her or reports they request.
It appears this episode with the Parking Supervisor highlights that exact fact and several councilors are justifiably very upset with that. The Auditor under Plan E works directly for the Council and she should inform them EVERY time before she informs the Manager ANYTIME!
It does appear that this auditor reports more often to the Manager then she does to the Council and I’ve noticed when a councilor ask for a report from the Auditor the Manager usually gets involved somehow. Look at the Manager’s response to the Sun’s article, he is defending the Auditor more so than the Treasurer and the Auditor doesn’t (or isn’t supposed to) work for him. Even Cliff points out in response to the Manager’s Press release “Since this includes the Auditor, shouldn’t this be a joint press release with the Mayor/Vice Mayor?”
The City Council took a beating by myself and the Sun last year for not properly supervising the Clerks Dept and have put quarterly reviews of each of the 3 depts. they oversee onto their agenda. The Auditor had such a session at the end of April on the 24th after she had met with the Treasurer and Mr. Carney, she chose NOT to mention any irregularities or changes that she had suggested and in fact with the treasurer implemented in that dept. to her bosses. This may be enough to if not fire her now, then not to give her a new contract when hers expires.
I’m told by those in the know that Kim Saltmarch leaving WCAP just came up this week and that it is nothing but pure coincidence that Chris Scott in a past Sun Blog hit it correctly and I shouldn’t “Give the Sun or Chris Scott any credit for this.” Sorry but he was correct either by luck or knowledge and deserves the kudos.
Remember sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
The City Manager needs to stop playing politics. He often says he doesn’t but time and time again we hear from Councilor’s who are seen as being in “opposition” complaining about not being informed 100% on issues. This surfaced again this week with Councilor Kennedy noting he wasn’t informed that the Asst. Parking Clerk was placed on Administrative leave while other more friendly Councilors were notified on Monday.
Councilor Kevin Broderick isn’t doing himself any favors by constantly being the Manager’s biggest defender (next to my friend Jack Mitchell) and was made to look stupid by the SUN when apparently told of Councilor’s Kennedy’s frustration with the Manager’s communication was quoted as saying:
“The difficulty in his position is that he has nine bosses and we are all different, and some of us find certain information of interest and others don’t,”
Really Councilor? You don’t think Councilor Kennedy would have found the fact that the 2nd in command of Parking was placed on leave interesting? Please, it’s great to be supportive but not informing Councilor Kennedy was wrong and inexcusable and you look foolish trying to protect him for not telling his other bosses what he tells you and others.
Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Harrigan who passed away after a long and hard fought battle with leukemia. Dave was a postal carrier for many years and had one of the biggest hearts and smiles. Also to the family of Walter Bennett who was a school custodian for many years.
This Tuesday the Law Offices of Gallagher and Cavanaugh are hosting a fundraiser for Congresswoman Tsongas on their newly remodeled deck at their offices located in the Gaslight Building 22 Shattuck St. here in Lowell. If you haven’t had the chance to see the tremendous renovations and investment they made in restoring this building, you need to stop by and also donate to the Congresswoman’s re-election.
I am 100% convinced that in this day and age being Mayor of Lowell is a detriment not an advantage for anyone having political ambitions or interest in serving another term. Jim Milinazzo lost the last election because of how he appeared on television during the Council and School Committee meetings. You could see his anger, frustration and short temperament many times.
The same is holding true for Mayor Murphy. Often the camera is fixed on him and you can see his facial expressions when dealing with specific councilors/ just look at the budget hearings and notice his expressions. He like Mayor Milinazzo wears his emotions on his face and being on camera more than anyone it shows. The look he gave Councilor Lorrey when he brought back the Police Overtime budget was one of pure anger and disgust. It showed to a point that even my wife who was just walking into the room asked what he looked so angry about.
I hope Mike Lenzi decides to keep the Dracut house, sell the Lowell one and resigns from the Technical School Committee. Mike’s recent health issue should be a warning that he needs to slow down and start spending time with his lovely wife Sandy and family. The Tech. board is nothing but tension with at least 2 members having an agenda to replace the Supt. regardless of the fact the schools testing grades have improved tremendously since she has been in charge and regardless of what she does that improves the school. No Pay, No Insurance, No appreciation for the time and energy spent in service to the students and most of all No Respect from these members who think they are the all knowing ones who are more interested in telling you and other committee members what you are doing wrong instead of working WITH you to make certain everything gets done right.
Life is to short my friend, you and Sandy and your Dad have contributed much time, energy, dollars and service to the community and the aggravation on the Tech. board isn’t worth your health. Thank You for your service but it is time to step away and enjoy your family and grandkids. All you can do is hope that whoever the Lowell School Committee / City Council appoints to fill out the 1 year before the 2013 elections is someone who looks at the real facts and is really about the kids not a predetermined agenda.