This is business not personal.” – Going after Bayliss is the appearance of old Fashion Politics !
I wrote that last Friday based on what I read in the Lowell Sun and based on the appearance that the Manager and his Administration were going after a guy who stood up and fought for what he believed in and in the view of many he did what very few in Lowell have done and in a way beat the Manager.
But appearance’s can be misleading and when the facts, the real facts, the full facts, are made apparent later today we may find out that what appears to be one thing is in fact very misleading and that this issue is all about fairness.
Fairness to all retiree’s, fairness to those that worked and earned that benefit and fairness to the system.
There is no doubt that Walter Bayliss has done a lot of great things for the City, volunteering many hours on the Auditorium Commission, Veterans Charities and many civic events. He served on the License Commission for many years.
So many non-profits and charitable organizations owe a great deal of Thanks to Walter Bayliss along with the countless numbers of people he has helped
There is also no denying that sometimes good people make mistakes.
We may find out for certain today that in fact, Mr. Bayliss did just that when filing for his city “retirement” benefits.
We may find out that no matter how good a guy Walter Bayliss is, the Retirement board has a fiduciary responsibility to all members who truly,fairly, qualify for benefits.
We may find out several mistakes were made, some by the city, others by Mr. Bayliss.
We may in may in fact find out that none of this would have been found out if not for the ugly battle between the Manager and Mr. Bayliss. However the fact is that once the issue was found, those that serve on the retirement board have a legal responsibility to follow through on what they found.
Mr. Bayliss is 100 % correct when he states: “It is a terrible way to end my time serving the city.”
Appearances are sometimes deceiving and are flat out wrong. We can only react to what we see, hear or read. Some might end up saying what I did, that it appears that this was just revenge or the facts might lead others to say that this was just another example of old boy fraud.
To be fair it’s about the retirement board following their fiduciary responsibility and being fair to those who contributed and qualify according to the law.
Two wrongs don’t make a right and while the city may have contributed to the confusion, it is still the responsibility of the individual to make sure all information that is turned in is 100% correct and factual. If an honest mistake was made, it still has to be corrected.
The bottom line is appearances aren’t always what they seem and sometimes mistakes and confusion by two sides lead to a good person making a big mistake.
If we find out it was a mistake on his own part that leads Mr. Bayliss to lose his retirement it will be a terrible way to end the many years of service to the City.
However, it does nothing to diminish that service, nor the volume of good work done by Walter Bayliss.