Comments on live mics and half assed apologies aside…The REAL ISSUE is a 2 Million Dollar Loan Order that had so little information supplied when first presented and even more misinformation provided this week that it appears the administration is either inept in preparation or are trying to keep information under wraps until it is to late for people to respond.
During the Feb. 12th meeting when the Loan Order was first brought forward there was NO information supplied on how many units were being purchased the cost of each unit, how many existing units were being replaced etc. Please don’t tell me “we’ve always done it this way”. If the Tech can’t get away with that excuse either can this administration.
If they did not know this very basic information, how did they come up with a 2 million dollar figure? That is BASIC information not requiring a huge presentation but justifying the dollar amount being floated.
How about the fact that the proposal while stating that it is adding Kiosk to Fr. Morissette Blvd.. Never mentions that it would require the street to be narrowed to 1 lane in and out of the city except Intersections which will still be two lanes, with a left-only turn lane instead of parking spaces.
This is a huge change to a major road leading in and out of this city and the public should have been informed weeks ahead not the NIGHT of a public hearing…where the hell is the Transparency there? This looks like an attempt to suppress opposition.
Lynn has a pretty clever POP-UP Video teasing Rodney but it shows that the Manager is either unprepared to discuss this Loan Order because he doesn’t have accurate information supplied to him or he was deliberately misleading the Council.
Watch the Video, the Manager states we are buying 140 Kiosk and he appears to be “reading that” – In actuality the proposal is for buying 172.
172 Total Kiosks purchased
• 68 will replace mechanical meters
• 57 will monitor new parking areas created
• 39 will replace antiquated Phase I kiosks
• 8 will be added to current areas for improved customer satisfaction
Some will say what’s the big deal? For one thing it makes the Manager look like he’s misinformed or misspeaking but more than that at $11,500 each the difference in 32 of them is $368,000. I’d say over a quarter of a million dollars is in fact a big deal.
My point is if you are asking for 2 million dollars you have to know some of this basic information. Why doesn’t the Manager know this or Why is it being withheld from him or Why is he withholding this from the Council?
Does the City really have any SOLID/ACCURATE information on how long it would take to get the 2 Million dollars back in revenue? So far they have stated this:
City Council Meeting Minutes Feb. 12th – City Council Meeting – Manager noted the loan would enable better management of the parking enterprise and that the payback on the matter is 2 to 3 years
City Council Meeting Feb 12th -Loan Order – Letter dated Feb, 7th that accompanies order states payback 2-5 years
Presentation in this Council Packet (attached) Feb. 2/26 – Estimated yearly revenue at roughly $525,000 per year
• Project payback time is ~ 4 years but on a different page also states – We should pay the loan back in 5 years.
Since this is only going to a Public Hearing on February 26th, how and why does the Presentation State that Bidding will open on Feb. 28th Is the Administration that confident that this Loan Order will just be rubber stamped and approved? It would seem they have this bid all written at the 2 million dollar price and that it is already to go.
Is the Administration trying to sell the Council and public on the fact that they gathered all this information on how many new, how many old, unit cost, total price, maps, etc. wrote the RFP and put the presentation that is in the packet together between the end of the Council Meeting Tuesday Night and 3:00 last Friday? That the Manager didn’t have the basic information at last Tuesday’s meeting or What information his staff gave him was inaccurate?
Some of this is jut basic information and it had to be available to come up with a projected cost of 2 million dollars. Why wasn’t this basic information available to the Council and Public? Why is is slated to go out for bid 2 days after a public hearing?
To say nothing of the fact that the City Manager has over 3 Million dollars in a ‘contingency” account with only 4 months left in the fiscal year. Why do we need a Loan will total $2,000,000 over 5 years at a 3% interest rate?
I’m sorry but just with the terrible effect it will have on traffic traveling on Fr. Morissette Blvd, the fact that there is very little FREE Parking in the downtown area which makes the average citizen not want to have to go into the downtown now this loan order is not in the best interest of the citizens.
This administration wants to create 493 new parking spaces for the City, which will in their words create and tap a new revenue stream from the creation of new spaces. By doing so will be replacing the free 2 hour zones.
The Administration touts the great fiscal shape this city is in, why is it looking for another way to get more tax dollars from it’s citizens, take away the little free parking available and create a traffic issue on one of the few 2 lane roads in or out of the city? Hopefully this Loan Order gets voted down Tuesday Night.
A few other things…
The exchange between the Manager and Councilor Elliot was very tame compared to the days of Dick Howe and John Cox were both sides YELLED at each other. Many of the past City Managers screamed at councilors and said things a lot worse than the comment by Manager Lynch and many Councilors were far worse in their treatment of Manager’s than Rodney Elliot. To Councilor Elliot’s credit he stated on WCAP yesterday he would just let this comment and lack of apology go.
The biggest difference between this Manager and others, is that it is Manager Lynch and his supporters that are the ones that always talk about Professional Management and slam Rodney, Ed Kennedy and Rita for being unprofessional.
So When your guy makes a mistake can’t you just admit it instead of trying to find ways to justify him losing his temper or professionalism? The “apology” or statement as I chose to call it was a poorly worded justification by the Manager for letting his frustration get the better of him. Including saying if it wasn’t for the mic being live, no one would have heard it. He lost his composure…it happens even to professionals.
Councilor Elliot was great on WCAP yesterday. He answered my question on his TONE of asking questions (Some people won’t like me no matter what and those that support the Manager see any questioning as confrontational) and stated he did vote to hire and extend the Manager’s first contract but since then feels that the Manager is seemingly trying to run the city as a strong Mayor not a Manager which is what Plan E calls for. The Manager works for the entire Council the Council not just 5 and they all should be treated the same.
Like him or not disagree with him or not (and I sure have many times) on this Kiosk Issue Councilor Elliot wasn’t and isn’t wrong on the lack of information presented. Give the guy his do when it is deserved.
The ideas of Manager Lynch trying to entice candidates to run for his own protection is as stupid this year as it was in 2011 and 2009. The Manager like it or not is the smartest politician and he knows better than to upset the 9 who are now serving. There is NO guarantee if he “recruited” any candidate that they would not knock off one of those who already support him. He’s smarter than that and that old rumors come around every election. The Sun prints it anyway just to stir it up….almost as bad has us bloggers who like to stir it up!
The least they could have done was float the other rumors that was hot this week and also very untrue involving a marriage that didn’t take place..That way people would at least have a reason to congratulate him. After the week he had even if it didn’t happen maybe he would have appreciated some kind words from people.
Many may have missed this item but the Greater Lowell Tech School Committee voted to advertise for a new Superintendent at a rate $10,000 lower than the current Superintendent receives. I think that is a great idea and very fair. The current Supt. had over 30 years of experience at that school and a new Supt. should start lower and prove their worth.
Brian Martin would be the best choice for Lowell High Headmaster and hopefully Jean Franco embraces that and works with Brian. Great things could be in store with Brian at the helm.
Going to be a very busy spring for the SUN and bloggers with so much going on. New Supt. at the Tech, New headmaster and Asst. Supt. in Lowell, Dracut, Chelmsford and Billerica elections, City Council, School Committee and Tech races in Lowell, Special US Senate Election and a Dracut Town Manager search.
This City Council has been in Office for over a year and John Leahy has been on the Council for a few months. Yet if you go on the City’s website the profiles for Councilor Kennedy, Lorrey and Leahy still say (coming soon). How long is soon? Interesting that Councilor Nuon who is also a new Councilor and happens to agree with the administration more than often than the other three is the only one of the “new” councilor’s who has a complete profile.
John MacDonald and his JMAC and the BEAR show on WCAP this past Friday was very funny radio playing on the old Spartacus theme. So many people called in saying “I broke the Window”. It was very entertaining radio showing exactly how stupid the broken window discussion really was.