When I first saw the story that included the phrase William Taupier Way I thought I’d be reading a story about how to enter politics at a young age and succeed against an incumbent, leave while you are still electable and take over Managing a City known for hiring local politicians not outsiders has Managers, walking away from that to live and work in Saudi Arabia, then move back to Lowell, run for office and win, be appointed to a City Board and become the Godfather of Lowell Politics so that anyone who thinks about running stops by to talk you.
It would have been some pretty interesting reading. Instead it’s a story about Holyoke MA. where Bill served as Mayor from 1968 -1975. Tomorrow night, the City Council of Holyoke will consider naming a portion of a street where the old Holyoke Catholic High School is undergoing a $19 million renovation into apartments and renaming it “William Taupier Way” in honor of the former mayor under a proposal from Mayor Alex B. Morse.
I’ve been around Lowell forever and have seen the many faces of Bill Taupier. I was in High School when he became the most unlikely guy to get appointed Manager. Paul Sheehy who won the job over Bob Healy had to resign and Healy and Armand Mercier were considered the favorites to get the job. Lowell had a big political split and neither could get the votes. So Bill Taupier, former Holyoke Mayor who really had no strong Lowell connections, gets the job on the 16th ballot.
I remember when he left Lowell to go to Saudi Arabia and the SUN’s stories about what a big pay increase he was receiving to go there. I recall his coming back and his relationship with DR. WANG and Bill had a company called Omni Industries that I believe did work for Wang. I also know he and his current business partner Fran have been in business together for a while now. How she has put up with him all these years, he really never understood.
Being around politics since the days of Bob Hatem for Congress, I learned it was well known that if you were going to run for office in this city, you stopped by to see Bill Taupier for advise and direction. Even in the past few years he has supported candidates.
Bill went to Boston College and always spoke about the importance of education and educating all kids.He is also a religious man with deep faith. Bill knew first hand about children with some type of learning challenge and worked to make sure all students from the brightest to the most challenged had an opportunity to get a good education here in Lowell.
Bill also has an amazing wife who my mom knew thru nursing. Bill would always tell me and probably anyone he had the time to talk with how she was the best thing that happened to him and how good she raised the kids because he was always busy working.
Since I started blogging I got to meet and talk with Bill. What I also found out about Bill Taupier by having breakfast with him on 3 occasions is, when you visit Bill, plan on being tied up for a few hours. Bill has a memory and a story telling ability second to none. The last time we had breakfast it cost me more for the parking ticket than it did for breakfast.
I loved the fact he would take shots at me on City Life (Who the hell is Gerry Nutter) and knowing he didn’t give a rat’s ass if I took a shot at him over the Auditorium or his service on the board. I found out over breakfast he loved to go back and forth.
Bill is a character of the highest and nicest kind. Funny, Smart and as good a politician that has ever been around Lowell. The 3 Amigo’s at the Auditorium got their start because of Bill. He loved those guys and the Auditorium.
I’ve heard recently that Bill has some health issues. That is to bad, he is a diamond in the rough and boy can he be rough but he is one of a kind and for a guy from Holyoke, a Lowell original. He is more Lowell than some of us who were born and have never left here
I hope Holyoke passes the motion tomorrow night and that Lowell does the same sooner rather than later. You can disagree and not like Bill for his bravado or his manner about calling it like he see’s it but you can’t deny the fact that Bill loves Lowell and did a lot for this city and for many people.
The road that runs between the Auditorium and the Immaculate Conception just across the street from Taupier and Associates would be a great ‘William Taupier Way’!