The 2nd Annual Celebrity Scoop Fest 2015

Joey

Please join us, on Wednesday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm for The 2nd Annual Celebrity Scoop Fest in honor of Joey Middlemiss, there will be many wonderful celebrities donating their time to come scoop for you!

Just in – with only 1 days left until Scoop Fest……..Expected to attend the 2nd Annual Joseph Middlemiss “Celebrity” Scoop Fest is Ken Casey from the Dropkick Murphy’s along with Micky Ward (Legendary Fighter), Mickey O’Keefe (Retired Lowell Police Officer and Actor from the movie “The Fighter”) Jack Lally (Actor from the movie “The Fighter), Wicked Tuna Capt. Mauro Dibacco from the Kelly Ann will be coming also Steve Chamberland founder of 50 Legs. Ch 7 WHDH Meteorologist Jeremy Reiner and Chris Lambert will be there along with many Dracut Selectman, School Committee members, the Town Manager and the WCAP Saturday Morning live team.

There will be a Beatles Cover Band, lots of children’s activities, Chugger the Train, Cows, friendship and lots of smiling faces! Its sure to be a great night! We hope you will come by and support the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation, and a truly amazing loving family.

50legs

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Sunday Notes May 24th 2015

When the Manager states their is no money for raises and no raises in the budget, does he not count Step Increases and COLA “adjustments” has raises? Some may see it as semantics but the general public see’s any increase in salary regardless the name as a raise. Something many of us in the private sector haven’t seen ourselves in many years.

Much has been written about City Clerk Michael Geary and his $7,620 raise approved on a 5-4 vote. Yet the public has heard very little about the 5.7% raise listed in the 2016 proposed budget for City Manager Murphy taking his salary up by $10,000 to $185,000 !

Is 5.7% what a Step and COLA increase works out to be? Are all city Dept. Heads getting that increase? If you recall when the City Manager was hired and reached his “employment agreement” with the Mayor and City Solicitor,

The council voted 8-0, with Councilor Edward Kennedy absent, to appoint Murphy as city manager effective Monday, with an annual salary of $175,000 to be accrued hourly and paid on a weekly basis.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, a copy of which was provided to The Sun, Murphy’s employment is governed by the personnel ordinance as it sets forth certain benefits including vacation time, sick leave, holidays, personal days, family leave, bereavement leave and personal leave. Murphy is also subject to the city’s grade and step schedule, but he will not be entitled to compensation for unused accumulated sick leave. Murphy will have full use of a city automobile and agrees to comply with the city’s vehicle-use policy.

While the $10,000 for the Manager seems to be high, many in his administration are also getting higher salaries (I’m assuming these are the Step/Cola raises) including :

Asst. City Manager (pos created last year) + $2,899
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) +$3,420
Asst City Manager /DPD Director – + $2,209
Deputy Director- Planning and Community Development + $1,681
Data Management Analyst – $2,989

The CFO’s letter in the Budget book states that these types of Step increases are adding $2 Million dollars to the City Budget.

What’s the difference between FY16 Request and FY16 Manager? I ask because the following line items are all listed HIGHER under FY16 Manager – Property Taxes, Local Receipts and Available Funds which needs to be explained.(Page | II-76 in the current Budget book)

A) What are “Available Funds” (I know they make up the General Fund but what type specifically?)
B) Why is the FY16 Request $70,000 and the FY16 Manager listed at $1,807,000

I’m no Municipal Fiance expert, nor do I play one on this blog however just being a GM of a small printing company and dealing with health insurance for the past year, I’ve got to hope the City Manager and CFO can offer a more fact filled explanation of how you add 11 staff (Number is straight from their budget) members to your organization and with more requirements kicking in from the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can you project that the cost of Health Insurance can go down?

This is posted on the State’s GIC Website, so Lowell should be able to explain clearly if the cost has gone up or not based on the rates listed:

Fiscal Year 2016 Full Cost Rates Effective July 1, 2015

fy2016cityoflowell

Other Municipalities that are part of the GIC are experiencing higher cost for health care, including Quincy, Dracut and Springfield MA which was one of the first city’s in the state to join the GIC. They are seeing their cost go up by almost 4%:

Springfield’s FY16 budget includes $23.6M for health insurance for City department employees representing a 3.99% increase from the FY15 projection. This amount pays for active and retired City employees.

Prior to 2007, the City’s health insurance costs were approximately 10% of the budget and increasing at a rate of 13% annually. This trend would have proven unsustainable because the City’s largest revenue source, real property taxes, can only increase by 2.5 % annually. The most significant measure to controlling costs was becoming the first Massachusetts municipality to join the GIC. The GIC purchases health insurance for 265,000 state employees and retirees. The City also requires employees to contribute 25% of premium costs and eligible subscribers to join Medicare Part A and B. By joining Medicare through Chapter 32B of the Massachusetts General Laws, the City shifts a portion its retiree health care costs to the federal government. Retirees are eligible if they paid into the Medicare system for 10 years or if a spouse contributed to Medicare

However Cambridge MA where Bob Healy has some experience (Our current budget format now matches theirs and PS: They won an award for their Budget book) also has a zero increase in Health Care cost but they are NOT part of the GIC. At least their City Manager / CFO explains a little more clearly as to why there is no increase in the budget book:

The 0% increase in health insurance is due to fewer high-cost, chronic claims and employees taking advantage of preventative programs.

While numbers have been added to the Police, Fire Dept. staffing remains the same with their Salary and Wages permanent going down by $165,151 and the OT account will be funded at $800,000 Hopefully a Councilor will ask if ALL stations will stay open or if the Administration plans to close 1 or 2 at a time.

Lowell reacted to increase in shootings by adding more police, yet after the worst fire in decades on Branch St. Lowell continues to treat Firefighters like 2nd class 1st respondents!

Interesting (at least to me) is that in the Worcester MA. Budget they have a couple of notes listed that I would like to see broken out and shown here in the Lowell City Budget:

State Owned Land
The Commonwealth provides a reimbursement to cities and towns for tax revenues lost due to state owned land. The reimbursement is based on state calculated values and is based solely on the value of the land itself, not the structures on the property. This receipt is estimated at $212,335 for Fiscal 2016, level funded from Fiscal 2015.

I’ve not seen that item specifically listed in the Lowell Budget but given the vast amount of land that is State Owned, I think the citizens and Councilors would like to see what that figure is and where in the budget does the Administration list it.

Veterans, Elderly and Disabled Tax Exemption aid
Under Chapter 59, Section 5, clause 41C of Massachusetts General Laws, as amended by Section 5 of Chapter 653 of the Acts of 1982, persons who meet statutory criteria including age, status, and income thresholds will receive a state-funded flat tax exemption of $500-$1,000. The Fiscal 2016 budget includes a Cherry Sheet allocation of $561,527 for these exemptions

How much does Lowell receive for this?

In Non-Budget related matters, the City Council will be asked to enter into what I think may be the Largest and Longest (20 years) TIF in the City’s history. Vote-Approve TIF Agreement Markley Group LLC

The deal gives Markley an 80% reduction in taxes on Real Estate and Personal Property for the 1st TEN (10) years, a 75% reduction in the next 5 years and a 70% reduction in the last 5 years for the old Prince Spag Factory.

While this looks excessive, if you take a step back and look at the “BIG Picture” Markley is promising to invest $100 Million in improvements during the first 10 years and another $100 million in the next 10 years. They also will hire 100 people of which 25% will be Lowell residents OR UMASS Lowell graduates.

Given the length of time this property has been vacant, the neighborhood it is in, the size and usability of the building and the prestige of having this company in Lowell, this is actually a good deal for the city (IMHO).

More important to me is that the Murphy Administration wants the okay to Vote-Auth CM Transfer Approp. per MGL c.44 s.33B. Basically they want to take all the unused money in all city depts. and put it towards the snow and ice deficit without having to show the amount from each dept. That way is lessens the questions asked during budget debate. (In my opinion). Time the Councilors are told is of the essence.

I’d like the Council to okay it with the stipulation that the Administration supply a breakdown of where the funds came from so that the public is aware.

The Administration needs to better explain the reason for the “Global Settlement” it reached with Enel that allows them to purchase some bridges and results in switching Enel from a top ten taxpayer to a member of the PILOT program.

TOP 10

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Random 2016 Budget Observations

FY2015 Proposed Budget

2015 forecasted

I took a quick look at the colorful new budget and came across some items that I was looking at last year compared to what the city actually received.

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax – in the “proposed 2015 budget” it forecasted REVENUES be $7,067,294 – The City in the 2016 budget is projecting that number to be $7,767,294 which is approx. $700,000.00 more than forecasted and they are using that number has the “forecasted 2016″ budget. While that looks good in actuality it seems to be $588,000 Less than what the actual was for 2014.

Meals Excise Tax – Last year they projected $1,000,000 which was $90,000 more than the 2014 projection. In 2014 they collected $997,395. They are projecting $1,125,000 in 2016 which is approx. $1,125,000 more than this year, Guess they expect Bishop’s and the new Sandwich shop to be busy.

Last year for the PILOT (payment in Lieu of taxes) the 2015 City budget forecasted $971,000, they are now projecting that to be $930,000 which is less than they received in 2014, which was $936,859.

in the 2015 “forecasted budget” there was a line item that read Treasurer’s Misc. – it projected an increase of $103,000 over the projected 2014 number of $197,000. In the 2016 Projected budget, we are informed that in 2014 the “Actual” number was $120,020 and that this year they will meet the $300,000 they projected. What is this line item and how / why did we bring in $179,980.00 more in 2015 than we did in 2016?

Trash Fee – In 2014 according to this budget it cost $3,161,904 this year (2015) they are projecting a cost of $3,093,000
a savings of $68,904.00. Maybe the single stream recycling is the reason for the decrease?

2016 PROJECT

Do you agree with this statement? DPW Average Time (Days) to Respond to Streetlight Outage Requests 5

I thought Mike McGovern was a 3rd Asst City Manager? In this budget the position is listed still as Assistant to the City Manager

According to a Sun article about the budget it stated “no new hiring or employee raises are included in the budget”..however we already know that this budget includes 4 New Police Officers and the budget itself shows an additional 11 positions.

11 new hires

If no money is in the budget for raises, how do you enter into “Good Faith” collective bargaining? I know Union 1705’s contract is up. Not sure about the Fire Dept. The School Committee allegedly has set aside money for a 1.5% raise for the teacher’s union, if that turns out to be the case, how will the other Unions react?

I’m confused about the cost of Health Care , because in my humble opinion, the last few years budget book was easier to read and understand than this years.

In last year’s budget “Projection” it showed the following:
2015 Projhealth

In this current 2016 projection, it shows this:
2016 projected health

Which looks like 2016 will cost less than 2015? I thought 2016 was projected to be much higher?
The other confusing thing is there is a page that shows a 3 year level and that page shows a BIG increase in the 2016 Health Cost.

3 year fund

Hopefully someone at City Hall will read this and help me figure it out. Might just be the new format throwing me off.

FY2016 proposedBudget

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ArtUp to Host Launch Party May 27th 2015

ArtUp_logo_notag

GN: I get many request to promote different events and this one caught my eye because it is unique and an interesting approach to reach out and help two different sections of the community. It is called ArtUP!

What is ArtUP? According to one of it’s biggest boosters it’s a chance for the Merrimack Valley to come together and help both the art community and Lowell Community Health Center.

Here’s how it was explained to me:

” It’s one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever been involved with. IMHO, it’s a partnership initiative that benefits multiple constituencies, a program that impacts both the healing and the creative arts, and an effort that is both good for people and good for the economy.

On a macro level, we believe, it could lead to a new way to support the arts and make them more accessible to folks of all backgrounds. On a more micro level, it will help to keep artists in Lowell and environs, support the LCHC, and transform the new LCHC Center into an art gallery for the 50,000 Lowellians who get their health care there (not to mention the several hundred staff members and numerous visitors).

Here’s how the program works. ArtUp has a website: www.artuplowell.com. On it are a couple hundred pieces of art, all made by Lowell-area artists, which have been selected by our curatorial team from several hundred submissions. A potential buyer can access the website, review what’s offered, and make some purchases with the artist getting half the price and the LCHC getting the other half. The art purchased then goes up on the walls of the LCHC as part of its permanent display while a plaque is mounted near the piece of art identifying the donor, the artist, the name of the work, and the medium.

For the artists, they get to sell their work at a reasonable, though less than market, price (this was their concession to the program). They are so often asked to simply show their work (in restaurants, etc.) that they are thrilled about the opportunity to actually get paid. A decade or so ago Lowell made a concentrated effort to entice artists to come to live/work in its restored mills. We now have 400+ artists in the city but they’re finding it very tough to make a living. ArtUp, we believe, has the potential of fulfilling the promise made back then.

For the LCHC, it gets to fill its “mile of walls” (six floors, 100k sq. ft.) with locally-made art suitable for a healing environment (we gave the artists tours of the facility so that they could get a feel for what would be appropriate for patients who, as you know, often come from disadvantaged and even violently abusive backgrounds, including many who are recent immigrants fleeing war-torn homelands). It also gets the financial benefit of half the purchase price to support its critical “Wrap Around” needs.

For the donor, it/he/she gets the tax benefit and the donor recognition at each piece of art but also the psychic benefit of giving to an effort which can so favorably impact so many (and for many years to come).

I’m pleased to note that over 100 artists responded to our recent Call with about 450 pieces of art. Now comes the toughest part — selling the art. As part of that effort, we are having a “Launch Party” on May 27th from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Lowell Community Health Center.

Contact Clare Gunther, Director of Development & Communications, at 978.746.7891 or claregu@lchealth.org

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Sunday Notes May 17th 2015

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This Editorial appeared in the Lowell Sun on Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Lavallee deserves a three-year deal

This one appeared this pass Tuesday May 12 2015
Superintendent deserves contract

It seems sometimes the Sun Likes contracts, depending on whose getting them.

Supt. Dust storm will continue

The dust hasn’t settled over the selection of the School Supt. and it’s in all likelihood going to get dustier over whether or not the new Supt. will get a contract. We know the Mayor will not support one. Jim Leary and Kim Scott seems willing to consider not giving one.

What are the ramifications for the Deputy and Asst. Superintendents future if their boss doesn’t get or want a contract. Jay Lang , Jeannine Durkin and M. Claire Abrams all have contracts that run through July 1 2016. Do they want or will demand new contracts?

It has also been noted that at least two of Dr Salah Khelfaoui Supporters (Mayor Elliott and Dave Conway) will be off the board after December and that the other two are perceived to be in danger of not getting re-elected. Not a whole lot of support to build a career path with! Why wouldn’t Khelfaoui want some security?

2016 Budget Questions..

Since the proposed 2016 City Budget isn’t included in the on-line Council Packet nor posted yet on-line there are a lot of questions that need to be addressed. In a letter to the City Council in March of this year CFO Connor Baldwin stated that a “level service” budget is looking at appox. a $10 Million dollar shortfall for 2016. So what changed in the last eight weeks? A week later in a Sun story we were told Among other challenges, the school district has forecasted a fiscal 2016 budget deficit of potentially $3 million. That would be over and above the money the City contributed this year including the $2,000,000.00 of Chapt. 17 funds the city gave the schools.

Does the budget include funds set aside for a salary increase for Union 1705 contract which expires in June? Is there money included for a raise for teachers? is 1.5% enough or will the State mandate a higher increase in December AFTER the City Elections are over?

Right to Bear arms not right to harass.

On Tuesday night City Councilors will face a full house of Law abiding citizens who are frustrated with the slow process of the Police Supt. reviewing the permit to carry a concealed weapon process. They appeared before the Council many weeks ago and received some Councilors support to have this process looked at. City Councilor Rita Mercier has a motion on the Agenda asking the Manager to get an update from the police Supt. and will he a large crowd present to support her.

Hopefully these citizens realize that they can have a majority of Council support but the Police Supt. ha the final say and calling the City Clerk’s – Mayor’s or Managers office might be bothersome and irritating the people who answer the phone have no ability to speed up the process. You are making all responsible gun owners look bad if you needlessly harass people.

Irresponsible Suggestion or Drastic Times call for Drastic Measures?

If I were a Dracut resident with children in the Dracut schools I would rally parents to attend the June 1st Town Meeting and get up and offer an amendment to reduce the line item for Greater Lowell Tech by $150,000 and the Town side budget by $150,000 and transfer to the Dracut School budget. It may not stop all the cuts proposed but will help stave off some until the current Selectman and Town Manager figure out how to help the schools since they don’t want to institute a trash fee and haven’t proposed any assistance to the schools for Fiscal 2016.

I’d also call out the Selectman wannabe’s like Teddy K and Phil T. along with the current Selectman to either offer usable alternatives to raise funds for the school this year or support this motion. The schools can’t take he hit again this year. Besides cuts in the Schools over the past few years what has been cut on the town side?

It is time for the current and wannabe Selectman to either step up for the schools or step aside to let others take action.

In the meantime it is time for Dracut parents to try to find candidates who care about the schools and the town not just their own pocket or political career.

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Sunday Notes May 10th 2015

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The Lowell School committee selected a new Supt. and to the surprise, anger and disappointment of many it wasn’t Deputy Supt. Jay Lang nor was it Dr. Cash who some thought (myself among them) was the leader among the “outsiders”. Instead Winchendon Supt Khelfaoui was the 4-3 choice. So who were the politician winners and losers ?

The entire Committee again were all partial losers for being so dysfunctional they drove out the current Supt. then couldn’t get behind the same candidate. They showed it was always about the politics and NOT the kids!

Winner: Mayor Rodney Elliott, he could easily have gone with the political favorite Lang and made points with the Manager, at least 1 State Rep, 3 school committee members, some school administrators and a few fellow councillors. Instead he went his own route and forced the 3 anti- Lang trio to either follow or risk him switching to Lang after 5 or 6 rounds. He showed he NEVER goes along just to get along . According to one of the downtown bubble brigade ” Rodney has alienated almost everyone. He will have a long summer.” my view is that it never bothered him before and won’t bother him now. Those who bring up his bashing of the Lynch Admin for not hiring more Lowellians are quick to forget he initially voted for both Lynch and Wright two non-Lowellians for key positions and it wasn’t until the relationship soured he started complaining about the lack of Lowell candidates. Rodney does what he thinks is right for him and his view of Lowell. No one has bashed him more for his antics / theatrics than me but in this case, like the Manager it’s HIS Superintendent!

The Lang Gang of 3 – Just as people knew Manager Murphy had Elliott, Rourke and Belanger, Lang had Gendron, Leary and Martin. so they remained loyal and made points with some political people to help on their re-election efforts.

Losers: The Anti-Lang Gang: Most observers knew Scott, Ross-Sitcawich and Conway would NEVER vote for Lang regardless of any claim otherwise. They ticked off lots of people and the last time A committee did that, a few lost their seats. Conway can forget a council seat, like Leahy who tried to make the jump the year Chris Scott got the boot, Conway will also fall short. Lang has many friends and admirers for his work and work efforts and this gang of 3 will pay politically.

Some will claim that the anti-Lang gang won but my view is wait till November and judge it strictly from a political viewpoint.

Look at all the candidates for School Committee….people smell the political blood in the water.

Budget Battle

Last year former Manager Lynch paved the way for a tax increase and Former Cambridge Manager Healy supported that and Manager Murphy was able to get his budget passed without any debate. Don’t bet on it for this year.

Mayor Elliott may have gone for that last year but in an election season after such a large increase, my guess is this year “Big Brother” Kevin will have some explaining to do. The Mayor has never been a supporter of union increases and believes less personal is more manageable for city spending so watch for some proposed cuts from the Mayor. The big question is can he get other councillors to agree and still keep their (if any have any left) Union support?

Will he / Won’t he…who cares?

Is Bill Martin running again or isn’t he? If he is say so, if he isn’t, is he Not saying so to either hand-pick and tutor a successor or just trying to make sure those he doesn’t like not have an opportunity to line up “their guy” or “girl”?…I say Who Cares? Martin hasn’t been the leader I (and others) had hoped for so if he doesn’t run, it isn’t a huge loss and if he does, it doesn’t make a big difference.

However an open seat usually attracts people and with so few viable candidates announced for the Council race, Martin announcing his intentions would provide a JOLT (if he isn’t running) to a very boring race to date.

Damn Stupid Idea that needs the Boot!

Will the people who just received a 6% tax increase in the past year, saw their health care and electric rates soar and are already fighting to try and save for their kids college or their own retirement please call Bob Gagnon of Pawt. and tell hm how idiotic an idea it is to even think about buying the Boot Hydro. I understand he has a fixation with wooden planks and will miss their ” beauty” on the Pawt. Dam, but to even think Enel would sell let alone the Federal Govt would allow the City of Lowell to take over the Boot Hydro Plant is just totally a far fetched, fairy tale of an idea. Ask him where the city would get the Million or so tax dollars it receives now from Enel to support an already strained budget or logically get the approval to borrow HUNDREDS of MILLIONS that it would cost.

Here are 2 Main points that I have stated before:

A) The “City” would have to pay the value of the rest of the power sales agreement that currently exists with Commonwealth Electric (I think they run until 2025), PLUS pay any potential future power sales contract value, PLUS pay for the cost of the equipment and real estate. The sale would also require FERC approval since the plant is licensed via FERC.

No way can the City, State or even a private party (Let’s get BAIN to buy it- hello Deval, can you help us out?) ever afford the multi-millions of dollars that would entail, and no way FERC will allow transfer of the license to unqualified parties.

B) Since Boott Hydropower operates under a Federal FERC license, they (Boott)hold FEDERAL Eminent Domain rights. Neither the City nor State has any control over this. As a matter of fact, the eminent domain powers have been used in the past by Federal licensees to take surrounding lands at licensed dams using federal eminent domain powers.

So write all the letters you want and get some people riled up and believing that this could happen but just as I stated that the Bladder Dam was inevitable so to is the fact that ENEL is here to stay.

Happy Mothers Day to my Mom, wife, daughter Sarah and sisters Kathie, Moe and Colleen.

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Dracut Pride hangs on and beats Chelsea Politics

Selectman Joseph DiRocco  Courtesy of Lowell SUN

Selectman Joseph DiRocco
Courtesy of Lowell SUN

Someday the majority of DRACUT will wake up and make meaningful change! The Dracut Connection 5/5/2015

Really! that is all you need to know about the disregard and disrespect the Dracut Connection (John Zimini, Brian Bond, Phil Thibault and Bill Morin) group has for the citizens/ voters of Dracut.

Selectman Joseph DiRocco was re-elected to a fifth term Monday night, receiving 1,443 votes to Dracut Connection’s Co-Host Phil Thibault’s 1,300.

The Dracut Connection lost! It wasn’t only Phil Thibault, it was that group.

How do they feel about the loss? Look at what they posted on their FB page: We here at DC are obviously NOT happy with the results and because of that unhappiness, insult the majority of voters by stating Someday the majority of DRACUT will wake up and make meaningful change!

So THE DRACUT CONNECTION 4 CO-HOST feel that the Majority of Dracut residents who didn’t vote for THEIR candidate are asleep , out of touch and need to wake up!

Bill Morin and Phil Thibault never struck me as individuals who would be that disrespectful to voters but the site is that of the Dracut Connection and they are all listed as members and co-host.

Do they really feel that Dracut Voters are asleep and need to wake up? Is that a way to get elected by insulting voters? No wonder people don’t want to vote or run for office in Dracut.

There is a theory that most voters / homeowners in Dracut (and Lowell) don’t turn out for local elections because they think it doesn’t matter.

Just looking at the voting trends over the past 3 years, it seems to support that. Most people believe that Property Taxes will go up no matter who is involved, that candidates will say let’s Build a Better(insert town/city here) without providing any solid, true, usable idea’s and that one “group” is really no difference than the other.

It’s always an active group of citizens who care about their city and town who will turn out to vote in every election.

On Monday it was the group that has Dracut Pride, that believe a guy like Joe Dirocco who served the town in the fire Dept. before becoming a Selectman has the best interest of the town and its citizens at heart over a guy who had a former Chelsea Aid to a corrupt Mayor and a friendship with Federal Prisoner Mike McLaughlin spearheading his campaign attacking people and being nothing but negative.

Hopefully now all the people of Dracut will realize that there is no place in town for Chelsea Politics. A fact that has been shown with Mr. Z and the Dracut Connections support of Teddy K and Phil T and the election results showing defeat of both candidates.

A Majority of voters in Dracut have shown they will not support or respond to those tactics and now the majority of the concerned people of Dracut will begin to move on to real discussion and debate about REAL ISSUES of concern in the town.

The Dracut Connection are led by former Chelsea resident -Mayoral Aide / former Selectman John Zimini who since Lt. Gov. Tim Murray and Mike McLaughlin lost their political clout and has turned into a negative, sour, revenged minded person who has tried time and time again to reinvent a form of Chelsea Politics unsuccessfully in Dracut.

When you hear Mr. Zimini attacking Joe Dirocco and Warren Shaw and others remember he worked with them 2 years ago to stop the override. He was a regular with us on Saturday Morning Live during the Dracut Election Season when he was supporting Teddy K and Tammi D. but he’s become bitter and does nothing but attack and try to get the minority of people who think it’s an old boy network and that people who now serve in office just want to take care of their friends and family, or that candidates he and the DC support will stand up for the little guy / disenfranchised voter. ALL BS!

group

Look at the facts, who has been on a State or City payroll his entire adult life? Who has been associated with more convicted people who got him jobs? Who has family on the Town payroll? Who used his family to make donations to a politician to get a job? Mr. Zimini’s the Poster Boy of The Old Boy Network (if you believe in such things).

ZIM

Interestingly, I was recently reading about Chelsea, as they looked back at their past, one in which saw the DC leader MR. Z moving out of Chelsea after being an aid to a Mayor who admitted to taking bribes and one who got Mr. Z a city then a state job. Here’s the beginning of that article which talks about the social and moral bankruptcy of that town because of the Chelsea politics.

On September 12, 1991, the city of Chelsea collapsed under the weight of social, moral, and economic bankruptcy. After decades of falling into the ground, its population fleeing to the suburbs, its housing stock tired and old, its politics hopelessly out of control, the city went broke. When it was over, four former Chelsea mayors who held office from 1977 through 1991 either went to jail or were held under house arrest. A Chelsea police captain was sent to jail and several officers were indicted or forced to resign.

That aid/ former Dracut Selectman was fired from his job with the Executive Office of Workforce Development as an investigator by Suzanne Bump and during that time of unemployment he not only collect his selectman salary but also used the town’s health insurance because his wife is employed by the Dracut School Dept.

Four of the five selectmen accept health insurance: Joe DiRocco, a retired Dracut fire chief; John Zimini, who is enrolled through his wife, Kristen, a paraprofessional with the School Department; board Chairman Robert Cox, a Dracut businessman; and attorney George Malliaros. James O’Loughlin, a state Lottery Commission employee, does not accept town health insurance.

Remember that when Zimini talks about people who shouldn’t receive stipends or health insurance…he never admits or offers the above information. When he discusses it now, he does so strictly for pure political purposes.

Remember that Mr. Z “retired” from his job at Mass Housing and chose “not to run for re-election” after Lieutenant Governor Murray drove his car into a ditch and was forced to resign after his association with Mike McLaughlin was exposed. McLaughlin was in trouble for hiding his real salary, falsifying records, illegal fundraising and arrested then sentenced to a federal Jail.

Knowing his past and his closeness to these men and their type of activities Mr. Z stepped aside, knowing if he did run again he would be exposed by the press. It was already noted in the Sun about his closeness with McLaughlin:

In a controversial move, Brian Bond showed up at his first official Housing Authority meeting as the governor-appointed commissioner and voted with fellow commissioners Ken Martin and Ken Cunha not to renew Karabatsos’ contract. The board later reversed that decision and rehired Karabatsos over two other finalists.

McLaughlin, who at the time was executive director of the Chelsea Housing Authority, denied having a hand in the surprise vote. But McLaughlin was in constant contact with Martin and Dracut Selectman John Zimini throughout 2011, according to cellphone records obtained by The Sun.

McLaughlin phoned Martin 394 times and Zimini 217 times from January to October. McLaughlin was also in contact with Bond during key dates of the Karabatsos saga. On April 6, Bond changed his party affiliation to Democrat, paving the way for his appointment to the Housing Authority seat.

McLaughlin called Bond at 2:04 p.m. that day. The call lasted six minutes. Just 20 minutes earlier, Zimini called McLaughlin. That call lasted four minutes.

So Dracut Pride won on Monday and hopefully more people will support those interested in moving the town forward in a positive fashion rather than in the fashion of a train wreck or in the style of Chelsea Politics!

DRACUT PRIDE beat Chelsea Politics Again!

Guess you could say “I GOT YOU” babe…

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