Okay maybe it’s just me but when you state over and over and over again that you are “committed” to public safety yet close 2 fire companies per shift and that Economic Development is a main cornerstone of your administration but the Auditor reports that the main division tasked with assisting to create that economic will have a large surplus in its budget, shouldn’t at least 1 Councilor ask what’s going on? I’m guessing we hear NOTHING from this Council concerning this report.
FY15 Budget: The DPD Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 (Figure 2) shows potential for a surplus in many accounts. As shown in Figure 3, Salaries & Wages Permanent is on track to run a substantial surplus for Fiscal Year 2015. Based on current projections, the Salaries & Wages Permanent account is on pace for a surplus of approximately $108,000….All together the YTD percentage for the DPD budget currently stands at 66% expended as opposed to a projected 76% at this point in FY15. .
WHY such a surplus? Over budgeting or under performing? We may never know..
Veterans still fighting
Did anyone else notice the surprise look on the Mayor’s face at the City Council meeting when the Ethically fined City Councilor Ed Kennedy tried to delay the public hearing on the Mayor’s proposed Veterans Commission? He looked stunned to hear that some Veterans group had contacted easy Eddie to express some “concerns” and indicated they wanted to meet with the Manager.
Hmmm perhaps one reason is that the Manager after publicly touting a joint Veterans meeting at City Hall in the Mayor’s reception room..blew them off..instead sending his ‘fixer” Asst. Manager Mike McGovern to represent him.
It may also have something to do with the wording of the Ordinance establishing the Veterans’ Commission. One of the items listed states – Assist in the coordination of Special Events held by the City that honors Veterans or involve the participation of veterans such as parades, ceremonies, memorial services and tributes
For many years the existing Veterans Council coordinates these activities and word around the city is they want to continue to do that and not subjugate it to give Political events (such as City sponsored events) preference. Had Manager Murphy bothered to meet with the Veterans group that would have been clear.
Another point of concern is in the wording of the Ordinance to establish a LOWELL Commission that allows the Manager to select non-Lowell Veterans for the board. In a City the size of Lowell why the need to appoint outside members? Political?
Reportedly former Lowell Vet Agent Joe Dussault is telling folks he had one of these appointments “sewn up” and that he and the Managerarethisclose. Dussault who does NOT live in Lowell is, from what I understand a major cause of friction among the various groups and isn’t willing to let bygones be bygones.
What also appears clear is that their is a divide / some anger/ resentment/ ill-will among the different Veterans groups with a main fraction centered with the VFW.
There is some speculation that the VFW which owns land that the City needs as part of the Tanner St. redevelopment is using that leverage to get the Commission stacked with their members and supporters which is contributing to some of the infighting among the various Veterans groups.
The Manager stiffing the Veterans meeting at City Hall and “reportedly” lining up a replacement for the outgoing Veterans Representative on the Lowell Memorial Auditorium Commission has also got the various Veterans group upset. The former Manager may have turned down their previous suggestions and asked for others the last time but this time Manager Murphy is allegedly directing the Veterans on who he wants appointed.
The Mayor and Administration have two weeks to smooth things over before the public hearing is scheduled. From what I have gathered the majority of Veterans Groups would like to see this commission formed and are willing to work WITH THE MANAGER but not be dictated or forced to accept things without being heard and concerns addressed in a private meeting.
Imagine the embarrassment this Administration and City Council would face if Veterans started speaking against some of the wording in the Ordinance and asked the Council to send it back during the public hearing….stayed tuned!
The “blue ribbon” panel should be presenting their list of finalist to the Lowell School Committee sometime this week. Things could get interesting after that. There are two steady streams of (MIS)-Information chugging through this city about the next Superintendent.
A) It’s a local candidate who will get the post over the strong objection of 1 school Committee member while two others will cave to political pressure and support that person.
B) NO local candidate will be among the finalist angering the Committee who will go through the interviews then decide to reopen the process only this time the Committee will do it all.
That will occur with the SUN hammering the Committee non-stop (The Sun leaves the Manager/Administration alone so they need another dept besides the cops and firemen to beat up).
I don’t expect either scenario to play out. I’m of the mind that at least one of the finalist will be a local person and that once we are able to see all of the candidates and their qualifications the majority of the Committee will in fact select one based on their interview, not on politics.
A pile of Horse Manure
The entire issue of Dracut Select-women Cathy Richardson and her horses is both sad and disturbing. Her own quotes in the newspaper are weak and in no way justify the ill-treatment these animals received. You can’t blame the winter for 5 years of no Vet treatment nor for not getting out to the barn to feed them.
You can also NOT blame a Dracut Cable TV Show for reporting (and commentating) on the situation (I think they handled it well) or try to blame politics.
Some of the comments and actions that are now being made are no doubt politic, you reap what you sow and get back in spades more than you gave when you or Billy attacked people for political reasons but the cause for these people attacking you this time is 100% YOUR OWN NON-ACTIONS IN TAKING CARE OF THESE ANIMALS,
SHAME on Select-women Tami Dristiliaris for trying to EXPLOIT this event into a political power play. By calling for a vote and trying to get Cathy’s resignation as Chair she is trying to create an issue for the current Selectman’s race.
Not unexpected seeing her main political supporters are the Dracut Connection folks (her husband is/was their sports guy) and the boys over there have a horse in this political race Co-host Phil T is running for Selectman and if Joe DiRocco doesn’t support Tami then they will try to horse collar him with this issue.
Tami if you recall didn’t support the Selectman / DHA in trying to get Brian Bond off the Board after texting the word DIE to a man battling cancer. In Tami’s eye that apparently is okay. If you ever had to watch someone battling cancer and the toll it takes on them and their family then you know first hand what that type of pain and anguish is.
Only Cathy and/or the voters of Dracut should decide if she needs to step down. Let the recall process attempt play out. If the people of Dracut want her gone, let them be the voices NOT another politician looking to say HEY Look how good I am!!
Who knows, if today the voters think neglecting animals is a reason to be recalled, tomorrow it could be people who have extramarital affairs that get recalled or get asked to resign or people who text nasty emails or text messages or people who don’t like businesses being developed in town, where will it end?
Let he without sin cast the first VOTE! (so to speak)
In this instance I agree with the calm, rational voice of Tony Arshenski..
.Cathy Richardson is the only person who should decide if she can still be an effective leader in this town, therefore, I will not second, nor will I vote to remove her as Chairperson of our board.