Sunday Notes August 3rd 2014

Donnelan nangle golden68

The Murphy Administration is beginning to take shape with the August 1st start of Assistant City Manager Mike McGovern and Kevin Coughlin, Deputy Director/Planning & Community Development.

What is interesting is the Manager seems to be building a “team” that also is close to some City Councilors and State Representatives. If you follow the politics and connections you know that

McGovern is close to State Rep. Tom Golden and Councilor Bill Martin
Coughlin is close with both Reps and Mayor Elliot and supported City Councilor Corey Belanger

The rumors swirling in the bubble and published in the Sun’s Column feature today, is that well respected Special Events Coordinator Chris Samaras (son of City Councilor Bill Samaras) is in-line for the economic-development director.

Rumors continue that Greater Lowell Tech School Committee member Erik Gitschier (close friend of City Councilor Rita Mercier) may become Water Utility Director.

Never hurts a Manager to surround himself with good people who also have close connections to the State Reps and City Councilors to help with job security and accomplishing agendas.

Speaking of McGovern and Greater Lowell Tech, it appears there is little chance that I or Henri Marchand recently axed by the Murphy Administration will be selected to fill McGovern’s former post at the school. I’m hearing that his duties will be divided up and that some members would like to see a return of a fully funded Director of Curriculum position.

Manager Murphy is also showing his political savvy by limiting his and his staff’s availability to the media (including radio, public access and bloggers) and letting the City Council be the ones who appear or respond. Unlike Manager Lynch, Manager Murphy isn’t doing a weekly radio appearance, just doing a once a month schedule and encouraging the station to have Councilors on instead. Same with appearing on City Life or allowing his dept. heads to appear or respond without his approval. Lynch and his administration ticked off some Councilors by his weekly appearance and constant responding to blogs along with some Dept. heads responding or posting on public forums.

The bubble and downtown mob are buzzing with speculation about the Sun and what is going on. The Political Column Blog hasn’t been updated since July 16th and even the coverage of the Manager, Police chaos with the promotions and the halt of the police cell block hearing because of a vacation or the re-opening of Brian’s Ivy Hall haven’t gotten a lot of play. Is one or more of the present staff busy trying to become owners and be part of the supposed local group trying to buy the paper? or Is the Sun just giving this Council and Manager a pass on negative reporting? Compare and contrast the coverage in the first six months of this year and this administration to last year at this time!

Speaking of comparing, give credit where it is due, this Council was elected on a strong public safety platform and since they have been in office “Quality of Life” crimes are down 23% according to the Lowell Police Dept.

The School Dept. seems to be quieting down but probably only the calm before several upcoming storms. The United Teachers of Lowell still do not have a contract nor is any bargaining scheduled. There is little doubt that when December comes, Supt. Franco will inform the committee of her intention to retire. The administrative offices are in the process of being moved downtown and the parent information center needs to be open and functioning sooner rather than later. There are several committee members upset over motions not being responded to including a better budget process/presentation and the ridiculous “anti-nepotism” ordinance that will surely result in lawsuits if they attempt one. If you can’t have a requirement to live in a state that employs you (See Police case ongoing over promotions) how can you discriminate based on family relationship?

In case you missed it, WCVB had a story yesterday about the Real Estate boom in Dracut in Q2 of this year.

I spoke with workers at Hannaford in Dracut today. Most have been working 10-12 hour days and the store is having trouble keeping the shelves stocked due to the demand created by the absence of Market Basket. At 8:00 this morning the store was packed and customers were complaining about the aisles being congested with pallets and carts filled with products to put on the shelves. Business is booming yet they haven’t added more than 1 worker to the night crew to stock shelf’s.

and he said I made outrageous comments about 1 women..yet this shirt isn’t Offensive/Disrespectful to ALL WOMEN??

and HE called for my resignation?

and HE called for my resignation?

1 thought on “Sunday Notes August 3rd 2014

  1. It may be a good team, but there should be some concern that nearly all of the additions are PR or Marketing people rather than specific talents for Public Administration or Urban Development. Lowell may need good PR, but we also have to have some beef for the PR to brag about.

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