Sunday Notes November 22 2015

Has anyone ever seen Lamont Cranston, Donkey Socks , Sokha Chum and Sam Meas in the same room at the same time?

Interesting times ahead in Lowell Politics and for this supposedly “Kumbaya” Council. Cracks are beginning to develop and Council meetings could take it a more nasty tone if this turns into a full 6-3 fracture.

Ed Kennedy has the votes for Mayor and now has a commitment from Jim Milinazzo to be a sixth vote. No word yet if Councilor Mercier will also support Councilor Kennedy while Councilor Belanger is more or less obligated to stay loyal. Elliott says in today’s paper the race is over yet Rodney’s Roosters are pecking away trying to create some fictitious need to keep him in office. A fact Elliot claims to be aware of but not one he requested or so he says and it was reported in Chris Scott’s Column Blog on Friday:

Elliott said is aware of a petition circulated by Sam Meas to keep him in the mayor’s office. Meas is known in these parts for having run unsuccessfully as a Republican against Rep. Niki Tsongas in 2010. Then, in 2012, he ran unsuccessfully for a Methuen-Haverhill state Senate seat. “The Southeast Asians are very concerned and they’re very involved in he community,” Elliott said. “But I haven’t asked anyone to do anything. I absolutely, unequivocally didn’t ask anyone. They took it upon themselves.” Meas did not return a message left on his cell phone –

There is no denying Rodney is and has been for the past two years, a great ambassador for the City but there is no need or upcoming event that requires he stay in office.

In fact it could be just the opposite! He has made his and the school committee’s inability to settle the Teachers Union contract personal towards the Teachers Union President and that has caused more unnecessary tension. Removing him from the talks may help.

If he admits it is over, why hasn’t he in the spirit of unity come me out and stated that he will also support Kennedy?

If it’s over why are the JMAC- Meas-Daley group pushing hard for him to stay? Are the rumors of this group supposedly targeting Dan Rourke and Bill Samaras with some sort of political payback just bubble fodder or actual?

This is the group that supposedly targeted Lorrey, Nuon and Mendonca in 2013 and were successful? Will they succeed in 2017? Bubble fodder has Elliott especially outraged at Rourke and has a result State Rep. Golden and people perceived to be in that camp.

Last year we heard Mayor Elliott sing “and I never will be the wild councilor no more”

In the next two years we will get to see if that song along with the Mayoral character we have seen from Rodney are real or just for show? Is the petty political disrespectful Elliott we saw in the final two years of the Lynch Administration the real Rodney?

Loyalty to office not to Employer doesn’t help job prospects!

Nice to see Corey Belanger staying loyal to Elliot. To bad he didn’t show that loyalty to the Wamesit Lanes. Unlike Elliot they gave him a paycheck. I don’t see the Elliot Group hiring! Showing more concern to a part-time low paying political office over a real job to support yourself doesn’t help any future job prospects.

Superintendent in Spotlight

Lots of eyes will stay focused on the school Superintendent until he releases the “findings” from his task force gathered to review the processes at the High School and how they were or were not followed. If you recall he addressed some rumors in late October about this task force.

Good Morning Mr. Supt.

Can you address a few rumors so we can clear them up:

1) Did Headmaster Martin have any input into members selected for the task force you put together to review the handling of the texting issue?

SUPT: Good Morning Gerry,
The headmaster did not have any input at all. I alone selected the members after I consulted several community leaders unaffiliated with the schools.

2) The task force hadn’t met yet

Supt: Four members of the task force met twice already. The fifth member will joined them at their third meeting. In the meantime he is being given all the material handed to the first four. I also believe one of the first four members has offered to meet with him to brief him on their first two meetings.

3) Nothing will be announced or decided until after the Election
Supt: I have asked the task force to try to warp up their work within a couple of weeks. There was never nor there will be any consideration of the elections.

It is almost December, people are watching and wondering when the results will be released?

Cost for Module or Portable Classrooms

The school department is going to need some additional classroom space. A quick Google search found these two items which makes me concerned about where the money for these items will come from and which programs may have to be eliminated to fund them?

Portable Classroom Average Costs
Portable classroom trailers are far less expensive than modular buildings. They can be leased for anywhere from $100 to $500 per month and purchased from $15,000 to $45,000. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay several thousand upfront for delivery and setup. With a lease, plan on spending $10,000 or more the first year and $1,500 to $6,000 every year thereafter.

Washington State 2015 Project Estimate
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Other Districts have Delayed Openings, Why NOT Lowell?


After hearing from many parents School committee member Kim Scott filed this motion

by Kimberly Scott]: Request the Superintendent develop a plan to implement a delayed start in lieu of a school cancellation when appropriate.

The new Supt. did exactly that but two of the members (Gendron / Martin ) who did not support him, argued against his plan and asked him to review. Martin seemed more concerned with CTI her employer than she did about the delay or the fact parents are the ones who want a delay.

Those of us who work in the private sector know it is easier to tell the boss or owner that we will be late than having to take the whole day off. Martin seems to forget that not every parent can or uses CTI and the School System should worry about all students not just those that use CTI services.

If Boston, Worcester, Brockton and Lawrence can do delayed openings, are Martin and Gendron saying the citizens of Lowell aren’t smart enough to understand how a delay works?

Many districts have policies in place on their websites for delays, why can’t Lowell? Here are A few policies direct from their school websites or handbooks.

SNOW DAYS – Boston
All “no school snow days” and/or delayed openings are announced and made public by the Superintendent.

Delayed School Opening/Early Dismissal/School Cancellation Policy

The School Administration will exercise one of the following options when weather conditions dictate a change in the normal opening of the school day:
a. Cancellation of school
b. Delay of one hour in the opening of school
c. Delay of two hours in the opening of school
d. If a delay is in effect, a.m. preschool will be cancelled, p.m. preschool will be

Delayed AM School Opening
If there is a one-hour delay in the opening of school, all procedures now in place will be delayed by one hour. A two-hour delay requires that all procedures in place be delayed by two hours. These procedures include:
a. reporting time of pupils
b. pick up time of all bus routes (i.e.: If a bus normally picks up a child at
7:15 a.m. in a one-hour delay it would be 8:15 a.m. If a bus normally picks up a child at 7:15 a.m., in a two-hour delay it would be 9:15 a.m.)

Brockton has a delayed opening –

Weather Delays and Early Dismissals Policies
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:32 | Print

Please be aware, Lawrence Public Schools is preparing for weather emergencies. In an effort to safeguard our students and staff, LPS will be implementing two new weather-related policies:
2-Hour Delayed Opening for Students
Early Dismissal for Students
If the Superintendent implements either of these policies, staff and students will be notified by: local media outlets(TV and radio), Connect Ed message to your home, and the LPS website.

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2 Hour Delays – Leaving Start Time at LHS and Other Items in this week’s SC Packet

Salah  Khelfaoui Sun Photo Bob Whitaker

Salah Khelfaoui
Sun Photo Bob Whitaker

The Lowell School Committee meets tonight and there are MANY important issues addressed and answered by the Supt.and his staff. I found all this information in the on-line School Committee Packet. Many of these will be of interest to many Parents!!

1) Delayed Openings – [by Kimberly Scott]: Request the Superintendent develop a plan to implement a delayed start in lieu of a school cancellation when appropriate.

Effective this year, the Lowell Public Schools will use a school-wide two-hour delayed opening, weather permitting, instead of cancelling school for the entire school day. The main concern to be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to delay the opening of schools will be the safety of all students and staff members. All staff, with the exception of building custodians, will report to work two hours later than their normal starting time. Likewise, all students should be at school two hours later than usual. All buses have been scheduled to arrive at all bus stops two hours later than the usual time.

Mr. John Descoteaux met with the administration at the Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA) to discuss the possibility of a two-hour delayed school opening.

The LRTA will be able to accommodate the transportation needs of the Lowell High School students. The trips that the LRTA will be providing during a late start will be the same trips and routes normally providing service during a regular morning school start.

2) Start Time at LHS – Brian Martin in response to the Supt. based on a motion from Dave Conway

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3) Two Motions dealing with who attends Lowell Schools

[by Connie Martin]: Requesting that the Administration provide a report on the number of Lowell Public Schools Teachers who live outside the district but have enrolled their children in the Lowell Public Schools.

[by Kristin Ross-Sitcawich & Kimberly Scott]: Request the Superintendent furnish the committee a report on the number of out of district students placed in Lowell Public Schools, namely those whose parents work in district and are non-residents and if found out of compliance with the policies of the district, facilitate a plan for compliance.

4) Lowell Public Schools Website [by Kristin Ross-Sitcawich]: Request the Superintendent work with MIS personnel to integrate Lowell Public Schools website with the City of Lowell’s website.

Lowell Public Schools debuted new district websites for the central administration and each school in 2012. Prior to that the district had no true web presence except some free blogs and a small space on the city website. Right now the district integrates with the city to the extent that we are cross linked in multiple locations, so pertinent information is easy to access. For instance the LPSD website links directly to the city homepage, and there are links from within the city site that bring visitors to the LPSD content they are looking for. The Director of ICTS will also work with city MIS to add additional links to the contact area of the city website, and the main department listing dropdown menu.

GN: On that note I hope they update all the schools web pages with email contact information. MANY schools don’t show a way to email the Principal or staff just a phone contact.

5) LHS Maintenance Issues [by Steve Gendron]: Request that the Superintendent work with city officials to develop a short term plan for mitigating issues at high school relative to the leaking roof and faulty heating systems.

The city Department of Public Works, Lands and Buildings Department has been working on coating the Lowell High School Field House roof to ensure that it is waterproof. With the rain of 11/13/15, it appears that the short-term repairs are successful. The DPW has funded the replacement of all rooftop boiler units that are currently not operating on the Lowell High School 1980 building. This work has been contracted to Honeywell and they are scheduled to begin the work on Monday, November 16, 2015.

6) Open Work Orders [by Kimberly Scott]: Request the Superintendent provide a report of open work orders and their age.

On October 13, 2015, Mr. Curley gave Mr. Antonelli a printout of all of the open work orders. Subsequently, Mr. Antonelli asked the school principals to review the work orders for accuracy and to update them (see the attached memo to the school
principals). Based on the principals’ input, the status of some of the work orders has changed. At this point, a meeting will be scheduled with key personnel of the Department of Public Works for the purpose of reviewing the work orders and to
discuss a plan for completing the outstanding work orders. A complete report will be forwarded to the School Committee following the meeting with the appropriate officials at the DPW.

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Party with State Rep. Rady Mom and the Statehouse Delegation

Who doesn’t like Rady or the Old Court? Here’s an excuse to support both and get golf tips from Rep Tom “duffer” Golden , Fantasy Football advise from State Senator Eileen M. Donoghue​ and Rep.Dave Nangle will be on hand to provide expert advise on cooking a Turkey!


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Republican State Committee NOT Really Helpful in Gys Council Campaign


The Republican State Committee certainly did not give any great aid to Jordan Gys when it came to the Mailings they “did for him”. In fact it probably cost him more if not close to the same price if he did it himself.

In Fact he “donated” $4,000 of his Campaign Money to the State Committee to I suppose cover “the cost” of the mailing according to the latest OCPF filing.. Since the postage was done under an insignia of a non-profit he did save a lot in postage but the printing cost seems high. My guess is the Republican Party takes a cut.

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and according to their own filings used his donation with others to do a series of Mailings for 11 different statewide candidates.

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Being a printer and local political observer, I’d strongly suggest to Jordan that if there is a next time, invest locally at Thurman Printing in Lowell , better to stay local and give a local company your business , than be part of a larger crew that really doesn’t help!

Also Judging from his filing , getting more financial supporter would be better than spending not only all your own time but a lot of your own money.

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City Councilor Bill Samaras Facebook statement on selecting Mayor


This comes from City Councilor Bill Samaras’s Facebook Page!

The success of this council over the past two years has in many ways been defined by teamwork. Nine individuals putting the best interests of the city above all. That is why I believe that the eight incumbents who ran for reelection were all asked to return. A true indicator of great teamwork is one in which leadership is shared and fresh voices are heard. There’s an old saying that the only constant in life is change and one of the strengths of our Plan E form of government is that it allows for the continual renewal of leadership in the mayor’s office. I have long been a supporter of professional city government and I feel that this revolving chairmanship is a key characteristic of that professionalism.

I was proud to vote to give Rodney Elliott an opportunity to lead the council as mayor over the past two years. He has served our city well. But in the spirit of tradition and professional governance, I am now equally proud to cast my vote to give Edward Kennedy that same opportunity to serve as mayor of this great city. In closing, I believe that shared responsibility and leadership is important for the city to continue to grow.

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A Return of the SOCK Puppet?


sock pup·pet
a simple hand puppet made from a sock.
a false online identity, typically created by a person or group in order to promote their own opinions or views.

If you recall a few years back a Lowell Council Candidate was accused of using sock puppets to promote their candidacy. Now comes rumors that the sock puppet and perhaps the same puppet master may have made a comeback this election season including writing a letter on Facebook pitching Rodney Elliot for Mayor yesterday.

Over the past few days multiple people have contacted me about this stupid and pretty transparent stunt.

This puppet is so obvious and disrespectful that the very respected and popular leader of the KhmerPost who has been a victim of this old political trick asked her friends for help in outing this person and getting them off Facebook.

She and others have figured it out and if they can and will present positive proof, I will publish the name of that person!

I don’t believe nor find it believable that Mayor Elliot would know or support this type of Political dirty trick especially if it involved attacking a women so respected as Soben Pin.

Rodney has always been a very respectful person and would never in my opinion stoop this low. However some of his more obsessed perverted supporters might.

I will unfriendly this phony and hope any of you do the same.


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