As long as the criminal can identify a neighborhood in which buildings are in poor condition there will be crime there. There have been 5 public safety subcommittee meetings which is commendable but I’m dismayed that there has only been one neighborhood subcommittee meeting since January. You fight crime by going into the neighborhoods and finding out their concerns. Former Mayor Caulfield addressing Lowell City Council Sept. 23rd 2014
BTW: Did anyone else note that no Councilor asked for a suspension of the rules to take the former Mayor early and out-of-order? Something that has been done as a courtesy for many others!
I’ve stated for a while that in my opinion, this Council and Manager seem to be too focused on the Downtown and not on the neighborhoods and apparently others including former Mayor Caulfield have noticed that also.
One thing that was brought to my attention that showcases the lack of respect for the neighborhoods, is that Manager Murphy and some of his staff walked through the Centralville area yesterday (Asst. City Manager McGovern was not there) along with State Rep. Tom Golden but I’ve been told that the CNAG (Centralville Action Neighborhood Group) was not contacted about the walk-through.
If that is true, it shows a lack of respect to the neighborhood groups.
What good is it to walk a neighborhood without people from that neighborhood who care and are giving of their time to try to make it better? Did the city send out notices to the area business people to let them know they were coming? Did the Manager walk into any business (as he did downtown) and talk to the owners/employees? Nothing on the city website, Facebook page or in the SUN to let anyone know this.
If the neighborhood group was invited, maybe they would have put some pictures and information on their site.
I realize that Manager Murphy has little actual Managing experience but he and his staff should understand that Neighborhood groups go back a long way in this City and have made many positive contributions.
Sure some may have lost interest and folded, some may have become more interested in politics and personal power over the benefit for the entire section they are supposed to represent but going back to the days of Tarsey Poulis, they have played a key role in helping the administration to understand the need and issues of their section of Lowell.
They have also been an aid to the police and inspectional services in getting troubled homes and people identified and addressed.
Maybe after hearing the former Mayor both the Administration and Council will give the neighborhoods some of the attention that they have focused on the downtown.
Stats seem to indicate that last summer under a different Administration and Council, crimes in the neighborhoods / city was less than it has been under this combination. The past Council and Administration seemed to focus equally on ALL of Lowell rather than just the downtown and reach out to all the neighborhoods.
When neighborhood leaders/ groups are engaged and made to feel included, it seems more information gets passed along to the departments that need it to address issues.
It was interesting to note that some mention was made about troubled properties last night and it was noted to me that the problem property task force has all but been abandoned under this Council / Administration.
In what is surely pure coincidence knowing that former Mayor Caulfield was coming to address the Council, this Manager decided that yesterday seemed to be a good time to get Pro-active.
According to today’s SUN: Lowell cracking down on problem properties and Asst. City Manager Mike McGovern who skipped the Centralville tour to go with this group (along with an embedded Sun photographer and reporter) noted:
“It’s kind of a multi-pronged approach, not only on police and public safety, but here with Department Services taking a look at some of the problem properties.
Hmmm sounds a lot like former City Councilor Marty Lorrey’s Problem Property Task Force.
Let’s hope yesterday was only day 1 of re-activating that group and that we will see a lot more of these type of inspections. Let’s also hope that yesterday was not just a politically staged event to battle back against the former Mayor’s observations and it was purely coincidental that it was done the same day as the former Mayor addressing the Council.
Council Mercier and the former Mayor are correct when they state:We need the public to be our ears and eyes.
Engaging the Neighborhood groups is one sure way to begin getting the public involved and responding.