“This image that you want to portray that the administration is not communicating with the council is false and misleading and in my opinion, totally inappropriate,” City Manager Bernie Lynch on Tuesday Night at the Council Meeting.
While the Manager doesn’t like to be reminded that he did NOT communicate to the Council about the LHA Inspectional Issues or the IG’s letter about the Fireboxes and the illegal/improper procurement practises the city engaged in. The fact is the Manager and the Administration does communicate and inform the Council and depending on the motion and the amount of information involved, the Manager seems to respond to motions usually within 2 weeks.
In fact a preliminary look at the CITY MANAGER’S COMMUNICATIONS SUMMARY that is presented at each City Council meeting shows he tends to respond to Councilor Elliot’s motions before Councilor Murphy’s (again the amount or the specific issue seems to be what drives the length of time it takes to respond).
I looked at the first Month of each quarter since this City Council started in January and the Manager shows the date of the motion he is responding to. It appears to average about 2 weeks but can be months depending upon the issue and the amount of information. Clearly there are cases he holds back until he can present the most advantageous response.(EX: Response to Progress of Strategic Goals and Objectives) but usually on the ‘routine” issue he communicates.
I’ve also noticed the the volume of information provided in the packets each week to the council can vary from a low of 20 pages to a high of 514. The 13 meetings I looked at averaged 129 pages of information. It appears at times he gets frustrated and overwhelms the Council with information but I’ve never heard any councilor complain he gave them to much information.
The Manager communicates, the question may better be asked, does he FULLY communicate and does the city follow the proper procurement procedures or do we have a pattern of taking shortcuts for what the administration feels is in the city’s best interest?
The easiest way to stop this notion about non-responsivness or communication is for City Councilors to specifically state when making a motion “Manager report in 2 weeks” or Manager respond by “end of Month” . If they continue to not direct their employee when he needs to respond to them in what they consider a timely fashion than they have only themselves to blame.
Councilor Elliot needs to continue to ask questions but also needs to stop making accusations and ask for details. Did the city get approval/advise from the state to sign the contract for the solar panels and can we get copies of any emails/correspondence to show us that this was done? The never ending fighting with the Manager is not productive for anyone.
The Shadow’s Brother is a Water dept.employee accused of cashing in copper. If you remember Tony Whitman AKA The Shadow of Lowell police Fame in the mid 1980′s like me you are not surprised.
Has the City Manager shown a city policy that deals with the procedure to dispose of not only copper but any excess or out dated equipment and how long has the city had that policy in place and trained their workers on it? As absurd has many think that question is, in court (if it ever reached that level) it would be a very important question.
In this day and age of electronic equipment, instant messages, tweets, blogs, social media, ect. does the City have a written policy on using these venues for city businesses versus what is allowed and isn’t allowed for personal use during city time and using city logo’s, titles, etc?
I have asked and have also asked various other cities throughout the state to see what if anything they have regarding policies dealing with these issues. That request was made to the City this past Friday and has not been yet responded to.
Fred Bahou and George O’Hare seem to think that the accusation of harassment and gender bias lodged by Greater Lowell Superintendent Santoro will just go away. If the committee takes that approach then they face the very real possibility of a lawsuit should her contract not get renewed. Like it or not this needs to be addressed and for the sake of all involved Fred Bahou needs to stop talking. He twice as said things that could be considered gender bias by referring to not needing to know if she’s putting on her make up and stating she was just emotional when she made the accusations.
The Dog and Pony show the Mayor wants to put on to select the next GLRT Committee person is an exercise in futility and nothing more than a showcase to show his progressive and fair approach. Let’s be honest, several councilors and school committee have ALREADY made commitments to certain candidates and there is NO QUALIFICATIONS to serve. You can be a recent HS graduate, a CTI employee, Insurance Salesman, Salesperson/Mother, Lawyer, a Sheriff dept or US Government worker or a painter or bricklayer and be on the Council, School Committee or tech Board and a public showcase is accomplishing nothing!….It’s a political / Social / Popularity contest period!
Elkin Montoya has taken himself out of consideration for the Tech seat because of his committment to work and other activities he is already involved in. I just met Mr. Montoya last week and he is certainly a great speaker and a strong personality who is an excellent listener and salesman. He convinced my Mother in-Law that the CBA plan for the Varnum School is in the best interest of the neighborhood and since she abuts that property that was some salesmanship on his part.
Went to Witches Woods last night in Westford, I’ll take Canobie Lake’s Screamfest over that anytime. For value and entertainment you can’t beat Canobie, were Witches Woods seems to be more about them making money than you getting value for your entertainment dollar.
Condolences to former Tech Supt. Jim Cassin on the passing of his sister and to Jim, Chris, Susan and the entire Koumpouras Family on the passing of their mom.