Sunday Notes August 16th 2015


According to today’s SUN the School Committee and UTL are heading toward fact finding, a non-binding process that lays out to the public the stances of both sides along with a recommendation to resolve the dispute.

If I am School Committee candidate, I use the fact of the inability to successfully settle this contract and the seemingly inability of Connie Martin the longest serving member to get most contracts done in A timely manner and her part in running out 3 Superintendents in the past 8 years as me reason she needs to be replaced. She is the one constant in the ouster of the last 3 superintendents and in the contract negotiation mismanagement that has been going on. Had she not pulled the 2 year deal for Jean Franco off the table the day it was supposed to be approved, Lowell might still have BOTH Franco and Jay Lang in place.

I’d also remind voters that one of my fellow challengers got so frustrated last time she was on the School Committee that out of this frustration she leaked contract talks. Doherty defends leaking details of talks with union In another story she explained her reasoning.

School Committee member Jackie Doherty apologized to her colleagues last night for breaching executive session by releasing information about ongoing teachers’ union contract negotiations to a Sun reporter earlier this month.

Reading from a prepared statement, Doherty said she acted out of frustration that “union members beat us up with impunity,” but the committee seemingly has no course to respond

The Lowell School Committee has a tough enough time settling a contract let alone having a member leaking information to the press about the supposedly private talks.

If I’m a City Council candidate I’d also point out the inability of Jim Leary, Dave Conway and Mayor Elliot’s in not being able to settle this contract and Leary and Conway’s part in getting rid of Chris Scott and Franco.

I’d challenge Bob Hoey on his absurd statements that Lowell needs a new Trade School, that Lowell teachers are underpaid or that busing should be eliminated. He is a loose cannon that the City cannot afford to have serving on the School Committee.

On the Council side, if I hear one more time a current City Councilor say as John Leahy did yesterday that this council doesn’t have the infighting that the last council had I might puke! If I were a challenger and heard a Councilor say this, I would point out that one person who was a major disruptive and divisive person on that Council is now the Mayor and there is no Councilor assuming the rule if the instigator that Rodney played so well. I’d also point out that Leahy, Kennedy and others did NOTHING to try to stop or reign in then Councilors Elliott’s actions. You can’t whack the former Council when you were part of it and did nothing to stop a councilor from acting like a belligerent spoiled brat, you have no one but yourself to blame. Patrick Murphy may have responded to Elliott like a spoiled child himself but the other 7 members were just as complicit by their inactions to stop this behavior. Seems many Councilors including Leahy conveniently forget the past.

With that being said, I still think even with his anti- contract stance, Rodney Elliott has been an outstanding Mayor and the next Council would be wise to support him for a 2nd term. He has been reaching out to every sector and neighborhood of the city, represents the city well in public and has run both City Council and School Committee meetings very well. I’d take Mayor Elliott everyday over the Councilor Elliott we had to watch the two prior years.

Some will say it is rewarding bad behavior, I’d argue its putting someone in position to flourish and succeed and as Mayor he has done that.

Aside from Hoey and his far out comments and Kamara Kay and his views on Learning Disabilities no School or City Council Candidate has stood out or really proposed anything.

Maybe they are waiting for Labor Day to pass before kicking things up a notch. Walking neighborhoods is great but issuing a press release or taking a stand that gets the Sun and/or WCAP to publish and talk about it reaches more people in 1 day than a weeks worth of knocking.