Wanted to share my view regarding the retirement news concerning the current City Manager. Manager Murphy and I have had our disagreements but I always found him and his administration willing to answer questions and did admire his support for the School system.
When he took over Lowell, the City had not met its Net School spending requirements for at least 3 years, usually being under by 2.2 %-2.3%
Under City Manager Kevin Murphy Lowell met and exceeded their requirements every year. In addition, unlike the past two Managers, Manager Murphy spent money on fixing and maintaining the schools the best he could, which was far and wide more than what Manager’s John Cox or Bernie Lynch (who I was a huge supporter of) did.
If you look at the Net School Spending report under Operation and Maintenance of School Facilities.The city from 2011- 2014 spent more than a little over $100,000 only twice and $0 in 2013 and only $23,461 was reported in 2014.
City of Lowell NSS (FY11 – FY15)
Since Manager Murphy took over from 2015 – 2017 the City spent – over $300,000 in 2015- over $400,000 in 2016 and just under $530,000 in 2017.
2015-2017 Mainten of Effort
The Murphy Administration has been a huge supporter of Lowell Public Schools and have shown a willingness to address the maintenance needs. When a group of concerned parents and citizens tried to restart the Citywide Parent Council and the Manager heard our concern about facilities, he had the Building Commissioner work with EVERY Inspectional Service dept. (Electric, Fire, Plumbing, Building etc.) and inspect every school. They made a list and one by one knocked out the most serious code issues and then began work on the remaining items.
Is he perfect and our buildings great? NO but under Manager Murphy they received more attention than under the last two Managers and for many that still wasn’t enough but it was more attention than these building had received in 12+ years.
His leaving leaves a huge hole in support for education and building maintenance and we can only hope the next Manager will be as committed to the public schools as Kevin Murphy has been.
We now live in a what have you just this very second done for me society but the Murphy contributions to the Education System in Lowell since he took over has Manager won’t be forgotten, at least by this current School Committee member!