This past week there has been a couple of different issues that make me think we are about to witness a battle that has been brewing for 6+ years.
Old Lowell vs. New Lowell or Natives vs. Blowellians or Common Folk vs. Political Correctness or Boo Birds Vs. Lynch Pins call it whatever you want but the fight sure seems to be on.
This episode with Mr. Bayliss reminds me of the Supt. Scott vs. Regina battle of a few years ago. Regina is 100% Lowell girl versus the Politically Correct, proper, well educated, professional Supt. Chris A. Scott.
Regina talked trash as we native Lowellian are known to do (didn’t you see The Fighter?) and the “professional” Educator/Supt. took offense and took her to court. That School Committee turtled and didn’t at least publicly support Regina. This Council doesn’t have that luxury.
They are being forced to choose between a long time active, involved private citizen who over the years has contributed a great deal of his time, talent and financial resources to many city wide endeavors over “professional” behavior as deemed by the Manager.
To some degree, isn’t that what the City Manager is doing here to Mr. Bayliss? Mr. Bayliss speaks like the stereotype Archie Bunker Lowellian (one blogger referred to him as the new Fred Doyle) and the Manager has taken offense and deems him unprofessional and seeks to remove him.
Now cynics (or Boo Birds as my pal Jack calls us/them) might say that the Manager is doing so now to take away the spotlight from the Parking dept issue and the apparent lack of oversight of that dept. as long as the money was coming in or to be able to say to the Council should they support Mr. Bayliss that the downtown issue’s are on their head after he tried to make a change.
The same “Boo Birds” along with Mr. Bayliss’s Atty. will point out that the Manager didn’t fire the Head of the Water dept. who used city equipment and personal at his home or the Asst. Treasurer who was out on leave due to sexual harassment charges and who just happen not to be from Lowell but are “professionals”.
I believe the Manager truly feels that Mr. Bayliss has been less than “professional” but if no one has complained (I have asked and am waiting the answer if there has ever been a formal complaint filed against Mr. Bayliss) and the Manager never called Mr. Bayliss to express any concerns about his behavior is his lack of “professionalism” or sense of humor based on the Manager’s judgment a justifiable reason to remove someone?
Are we now so PC correct that there is no place for Walter Bayliss or John McDonough (who allegedly made a joke that riled the Left in Lowell PC crowd) to say something because they might offend someone? If no one complains are you still offensive? Is humor only allowed for those who are on the proper side of the PC crowd?
It seems to me that the Lynch supporters will claim that this is the BOO Birds going after the Manager even if the Manager is the one who took the first swing asking for a resignation that just about everyone who has ever met Walter Bayliss knew would not be coming.
The Manager has shown to be a very smart politician and usually knows he has the votes before he starts anything. I’m not sure this is his smartest political move and even if he “wins” what message does that send to all boards and commissions? Stay PC or else you’re fired? What happens when someone makes a joke? Can the Manager say that is okay but Baylis’s humor isn’t?
If we “wins” 4-5 is that still a win or will the Boo Birds say he is through? Is George Anthes correct when he says some Councilors may lose an election because of this vote? Will they remember who started the fight and does it matter?
I’m in no way saying that everything Mr. Bayliss has said or done is proper or correct or should be tolerated but here in the private sector I know 1st hand that you have to document, document, document your case and if no file of complaints and no communication to Mr. Bayliss is on record, how did he know the way he has spoken for 5-8 years without any warnings all of a sudden is not tolerated? The Manager re-appointed him. Was he not watching the meetings before then?
I haven’t been in Mr. Bayliss’s company for close to 23 years but to me he doesn’t seem to have changed any. He speaks his mind and says what he thinks and doesn’t care who gets upset or offended. Many of us do the same thing and now we are being told we have to be Politically correct or there is no room for us in service to the City.
That isn’t the Lowell I or many others grew up in. We welcome all, fight amongst ourselves, are very UN PC but can still sit in a room together and talk or have a beer.
Old Lowell vs. New? Professionalism versus Unprofessional? The Fight is on and the results will be fascinating!