The SUN has a story on Mayor Murphy’s comment yesterday on Saturday Morning Live on WCAP this he is leaning toward not running for another term. You have to love the Hutzpah of Councilor Elliot who is quoted as saying “but can say he hasn’t done much to unify City Council.” This from a Councilor who spent all of the previous Election Season distancing himself from his fellow councilors by saying he was the ONLY Councilor not to vote to raise taxes and who hasn’t been able to unite 4 Councilors to get himself elected Mayor in the many years he has served on the Council.
You have to love the bubble/undercurrent here in the city. I am told text messages and emails were flying yesterday after the Mayor was on the show. People have already started speculating the why and if’s and what might be just hours after the Mayor mentioned it. Already the whisperers are out that he will A) Run for State Rep. against Dave Nangle or B) Succeed Brian Martin working for Congresswoman Tsongas, if Martin becomes HeadMaster.
Before anyone writes the Mayor off, I tend to believe Jack Michell that the Mayor is always 2 steps ahead of most in the political game and just because today he is leaning one way, it doesn’t mean he can’t lean the other has the deadline to pull papers nears.
The kerfuffle surrounding the Report Card Issue and the High School that was first brought to light on City Life (where George does a 1st rate job of keeping the fire lit) was the fact that the School Committee voted to eliminate Class Rank and replace instead with GPA while the High School Administration chose to basically put in the GPA but added a formula that showed a class rank. So they followed half the wishes but chose to add their own item. Now that Dr. Jacks is retiring and Headmaster Ed is not being renewed that policy may be gone along with them. Supt. Franco still has some explaining to do to the Committee on why/how this was allowed to happen.
Her name is Kristin Ross Sitcawich,the first female Chairman of the Lowell Housing Authority in their 75 year history. She is the individual that Councilor Elliot and Kennedy were not naming when questioning the appropriateness of selecting the new LHA member Bopha Peou who like Kristen works for CTI. Kristen is the Governor’s Appointment to the Lowell Housing Authority. While Bopha Peou is NOT a direct report to Kristen the councilor’s were concerned that it appeared to be conflict of interest or that a conflict could occur. Marty Lorrey, Rita Mercier and the Mayor all noted that they served on the CTI board.
Someone emailed me to point out how Ironic that one of these 2 Councilors had no conflict with voting to approve both Election Commissioner appointments while NOT publicly stating that one of them is his former brother in-law (I didn’t know that but another person also told me that).Since that Commissioner is also an LHA employee this person speculated that maybe he is the Councilor’s source for some of the LHA information and the Councilor didn’t see that as appearing to be a conflict of interest.
BTW no disrespect to the Election Commissioner who is a good guy and someone I have known for many many years. Just pointing out how one Councilor likes to point out when others may be in conflict but doesn’t admit when he may also be.
Information is scarce at the moment but I’m hearing Friday was very emotional for many Freshman students at LHS along with the staff from the unexpected news of the death of a well liked freshman teacher. Rumors were flying on Friday and confirmed before school was over of his passing. I am told the School Dept. will have grief councilors available on Monday for the students and staff at the Freshman Academy.
The Water Dept. has sub-contracted a firm to visit city businesses to verify meters and check on improper cross connections per DEP requirements. The men don’t have CITY of Lowell badges but do carry a letter showing that they are working for the City along with information and a phone number of a contact person at the Water dept. should you have questions. I know this because while picking my Mom up at a beauty parlor here in Lowell one of the gentleman came in and was very social and friendly, had no issue providing me with his ID and explaining his work. I think he is what you would want any employee dealing with customer’s to be like, friendly, courteous and not minding one bit when you ask him for ID and an explanation. Thanks also to Erik Ryder, Dan Lahiff and the City Manager for all responding to my emails, phone calls and providing me and more importantly the shop’s owner with this information. Hopefully the word will spread that this process is going on city wide.
Dracut will be interesting to watch in the upcoming months. Between the Town election which so far has 4 confirmed candidates for Selectman, I’m hearing Victor Olson will be challenged for his Technical School Seat and yesterday Matt Sheehan unveiled the School Committee’s desire to look into abolishing the CPA Tax and replace it with an overide for funding for the School. The proposal is in its early stages and many issues have to be worked out but if the Committee is serious in trying to get this done for June Town meeting followed by a vote in June to tie in with the Special Senate Election, Dracut will be a hot bed of activity in the coming months.