Telephone, Telegraph, Tell a Woman A City Councilor


I’m old enough to remember this saying “Telephone, Telegraph, Tell a Woman”. It was usually used to show that a women was a gossip or big mouth.

Since January and the start of this City Council, we have seen that at least 1 or 2 of these city councilors have a big mouth and take information received from the Manager and run to the local radio or newspaper with it, regardless if it is a personal issue or if the Manager has had the opportunity to review/discuss with the entire council at a public meeting.

They are not giving the respect to those they serve with, to review and discuss with their fellow councilors at a meeting. They are not being fair to the individuals involved and instead of serving the public who elected them, are more interested in serving their own political profiles by leaking the information to the SUN and WCAP.

The history of leaks so far:

1) Councilor Ed Kennedy admitted leaking the name of the City Manager Finalist and the Council feigned outrage.

You are kind of taken aback when you realize that someone compromised the integrity of the city by probably and almost creating a lawsuit that could have happened,” Mercier said.

Yet they did and have done nothing to stop or discourage these leaks. Instead turning a blind eye and remaining silent.

2) When I informed the City Manager by phone the day before the Election Commission meeting, that I would be resigning my position on the Election Commission the following day, he informed the Councilors. Before I had told my fellow members or emailed former councilors or the former Manager to Thank them and inform them, I received this email from the SUN.

From: Lyle Moran []
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:31 AM
To: Gerry Nutter
Subject: Election Commission

Hi Gerry,

I hope all is well.

Are you resigning from the Election Commission?


3) When the City Manager asked the head of the Water Dept. to resign (clearly a personal issue) citizens of Lowell were informed first by Ted Panos on WCAP who tweeted:

980 WCAP @980wcap · Jun 5
Breaking News: @CityofLowellMA Water Dept. Executive Director Dan Lahiff has been told to hand in resignation by Friday or face termination

followed by the SUN who added: Murphy emailed city councilors Thursday morning stating Lahiff is no longer at the department and that his employment with the city will end no later than Friday.

Murphy declined to comment on a personnel matter

4) Thursday Night the Sun had the story about the Water Dept. Investigation that included this information:

It is my opinion that the billing administrator was not malicious in his attempt to change numbers in accounts to deceive the citizens of Lowell but did it so that it would not come to the attention of his supervisor as he was afraid of confrontation with the director,” Young wrote in his report to Murphy, a copy of which was obtained by The Sun late Thursday.

A source said Keefe was told to resign or be terminated, much like the ultimatum given to Lahiff, but Keefe denied that was the case.

Murphy declined comment Thursday evening saying he wanted to give city councilors time to review the results of the investigation first.

This is a clear pattern showing that while Manager Murphy wants to keep all 9 councilors informed, a few have diarrhea of the mouth and can’t wait to review and discuss at a public meeting with their fellow councilors, instead choosing to kiss up and leak the information the SUN or WCAP. It shows a lack of respect to their fellow councilors, to the City Manager to to the voters of Lowell they are supposed to serve.

Councilor Mercier is correct when she says You are kind of taken aback when you realize that someone compromised the integrity of the city,”.

Especially when you see it done time and time again for political gain. Kiss up to the paper or Ted Panos and receive kind treatment.

If the leaks to the media continue, there is little doubt that a very costly lawsuit, potentially a lawsuit filed by a group of people who have been victimized by the unprofessional behavior of some of these Councilors will occur.

Then phone and email records will show a pattern by these Councilors of taking information sent to them by the City Manager and running to the media with it to gain favor or be considered one of their “SUN” flowers and costing the city thousands of dollars for unfair labor practices in the process.

Will it take a lawsuit to make them act in a professional manner or are they able to learn from these mistakes?

The former Manager was criticized for not communicating. This Manager seems to be damned, knowing that every time he informs this Council, the information will be shared with the press / public before he can meet with the body at a public meeting, regardless if it is confidential,personal matter or one that should be addressed at a City Council meeting.

This Council by a vast majority elected this Manager. It is time to show him and the people who elected them some professionalism and respect and to stop leaking to the media to boost their political profile and egos.

1 thought on “Telephone, Telegraph, Tell a Woman A City Councilor

  1. But it is politics and part of what makes politics work is the leak and the trial balloon. But, you knew that.
    Regards — Cliff

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