Sunday Notes August 2nd 2015

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City Auditor Hannah York said Wednesday she is resigning effective Aug. 28, “a personal decision that my family and I made.”

That is all that was needed to start the whispering, snickering , Good Ole Boy bashing buzz to begin in the political bubble that is Lowell Politics. At the known risk of being called a Murphy suck up and defender , I will do exactly that.

Bob Healy was / is one of the most respected City Manager’s in the Country. In the 30 years he was in Cambridge MA. I never once heard any allegation of him “cooking the books”. Why would he come to Lowell and all of a sudden decided that it is fine to “cook the books?”

Kevin Murphy was a State Rep. for 16 years and has been a practicing attorney up until taking the City Manager position. While I’ve pointed out on several occasions that he had taken cases / clients that appeared to me to put him in conflict of interest, I’ve never read where he was under investigation for any criminal wrongdoing. He has been an officer of the court in good standing for many years. Why would he screw that up now?

Many have stated he took this job to “pad” his retirement, so if that was the case, why would he want to jeopardize that retirement by forcing an employee with no Lowell connections to “Cook the Books”?.

Connor Baldwin is a young man who is very bright, has learned from both Tom Moses and Bob Healy , is just starting his professional career and again to my knowledge has never been accused of “cooking the books”.

So I find it to be such a far-fetched, unjustified notion that in this day and age where the State closely watches everything, where the City hires outside accounting firms to audit the books and where you have a man with the reputation and talent of Bob Healy being a major player in the finances of the City, that Kevin Murphy being a longtime honorable officer of the court or anyone in this current Administration would knowingly advocate for anyone to “Cook the Books”.

I find it hard to believe that anyone with common sense would think this women is leaving because she was asked to “cook the books”. It’s Political garbage!

Is it possible that this job was more stressful than she thought? That Healy is a known grumpy, demanding guy or that Murphy is short and arrogant with people at times? SURE..is it also possible that the job is so time consuming and she has a young family that it is putting strain on her and her family? SURE…A lot of things are possible but one I don’t think is possible Is that she is resigning because she was asked or somehow “FORCED” to “cook the books”.

Not the best answer!

Maybe it’s just me but if I’m running for City Council and a radio host, local cable host or Sun reporter ask me if I’m in favor of lowering the commercial tax rate at the expense of raising personal property tax the year after a 3.5% tax increase and increase valuation that gave the average homeowner a 6.5% increased tax bill in the past year..I’d just say NO!

No one would call it off!

Even if Lowell had 19 candidates for City Council (which I’m not sure will happen) I would bet that no member of the current council would bring in a motion to cancel the preliminary election. I believe this Council would want to see in Sept. where they stand and be able to work on getting more votes until November.

Will she or won’t she?

Jackie Doherty pulled papers to run for School Committee but has of 4:00pm Friday had not returned them. She has until Tuesday Aug 4th. Fred Bahou and Patrick Farmer two other candidates that have also pulled papers were I am told busy Saturday collecting signatures but no one I spoke with had heard either way (yay or nay) from Jackie.

Jay Lang isn’t walking through that door

I’m hoping School Committee Candidates will not try to make this election about former Deputy Supt. Jay Lang not getting the Superintendent job. Jay has left Lowell, signed a contract with Chelmsford and isn’t walking through the door.

Jay was one of 3 Asst Supt. in a school district with 14,000 students. Supt. Khelfaoui was one of 8 Asst. Supt. in a School District with over 20,000 students and has experience has a Supt. in a smaller district.

Salah Khelfaoui is the current Superintendent and needs the support of those elected. It is time to move on and look ahead.

What are the issues?

I may not agree with a candidate saying we would be in favor of lowering the Commercial Tax rate at the expense of increasing personal property tax (WCAP interview) Listen to Mr. Gys own words beginning at the 6:18 mark in the interview and that he doesn’t support the shot spotter software purchase but I’ll give him credit for at least speaking of specific issues.

On the School Committee side there are plenty of issues (including why Lowell doesn’t have an understanding of the Community Eligibility Provision program) but what are the issues for a Council candidate to address?

Thanks but We’ll pass..

A big THANK YOU to Jerry Flynn for offering to cover for Saturday Morning Live and this blog this upcoming event at Hampton Beach but We’ll pass. Given the way the SUN has made me look in the past…I want to keep far far away from events like this!

It’s a small world (or city) after all

Lowell even at over 100,000 residents is still a small city where we co-mingle business / personal / political business on a regular basis and it’s not always in a nefarious way. People actually hire and pay people they know to do work for them. I do always appreciate receiving a good political story / whisper to look into but I really don’t see smoke or fire when a contractor who is politically active gets a job for a private citizen who does have (much to the chagrin of many) a strong influence on the political scene, especially if the contractor is getting paid. Things like this occur Daley no matter what Campy you’re in. #LowellbeingLowell

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