My understanding is the Lowell Election Commission held an unscheduled, unposted, unwanted emergency meeting last night with only 3 of the 4 commissioners in attendance and voted 2-0 with 1 abstaining to again move the Ward Six precincts back to the Pawtucket Memorial and McAvenue Schools.
I’m guessing that like many other neighborhood groups, many many City Dept. Heads and city employees and many non PCC residents of Pawtucketville the Election Commission is tired of the constant criticism, constant complaining and constant I’ll just run to certain councillors attitude of Deb Forgione the PCC leader.
Neighborhood Groups are a good thing, they are for many sections of the city, the only. voice residents have. City Councilors and to their credit the Murphy and Lynch administrations try their best to work with these groups to address neighborhood issues and concerns.
However when neighborhood leaders start acting like they are the lone voice for that neighborhood, complain constantly no matter what the city does and ignore memos for a month or so then create a firestorm at the 11th hour people are rightfully going to get fed up. I’m guessing that the Election Commissioners and entire Election division feel they have bent over backwards trying to placate the PCC leader. Sometimes the frustration leads to miscommunication and that seems to be what happened here.
No Neighborhood leader should withhold information from their group purposely or “accidentally”.
After this episode the city should now insist on having at least two members email from each neighborhood group so no group could again claim they missed the email.
Every neighborhood group should remember that they are NOT elected and don’t represent their entire neighborhood. They represent the citizens who want to be involved, have concerns and want to improve their neighborhood. The rest of the neighborhood ELECTS (or not) 9 City Councilors, 6 School Committee members and a State Rep. to represent them.
The City also needs to remember that and while working with what in most cases is a small vocal group of concerned citizens, this group DOES NOT speak for everyone in that neighborhood and that the City needs to host meetings to discuss any and all major changes in a section of the city with more residents, not just take the easy route and present only to a small group who ARE NOT ELECTED to represent any section of the city.
Neighborhood groups help the city identify issues and concerns and add to the life of each neighborhood but while they are vocal it should be noted they are a small group who don’t necessarily reflect the wants or make up of that entire section.
This entire dust up over where Ward Six votes could have been avoided if the City had reached out to more people in Pawtucketville than just the over ego’d PCC leader and the small E-board and actually talked with more residents.
Hopefully a lesson is learned in communication. Along the same lines no Neighborhood Leader should be leader for life, if no one else wants to step up, that shows a lack of interest in the group but letting a Neighborhood Leader serve long enough to have an ego that belittles City Employees and that makes threats subtle or otherwise that they will run to a councilor if they don’t get their own way isn’t what a Neighborhood Group or its leaders should want or encourage.
Shame on those Councilors who feed that EGO and encourage that disrespectful behavior!