Sunday Notes Sept. 27th 2015

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Sign of the times?
There seems to be a little ego battle brewing between some present veteran councilor’s and a first term upstart.

It appears that a couple of long time members are upset with the growing popularity of first term Councilor Dan Rourke. With a solid Pawt. base, a rumored growing Centralville and Belvidere support and his perceived support from several unions including the Fire Fighters along with the strong family ties including State Rep.Tom Golden, the younger Councilor seems to be worrying some top Veterans who have eyes on the Mayor’s post and don’t want the first term councilor to finish higher than they do, fearing he will want the Mayor’s post.

First one of them drops calls to the Sun stating he should get no credit for the Public Safety Grant that will provide 12 additional Fire fighters. Now the Mayor or an over zealous supporter puts up an Elliot Sign on top of a Rourke sign near Federal Carpet has you enter Centralville from the Aiken St. bridge. They must have been in a hurry because they forgot the other side that shows when leaving Centralville.

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Preliminary Election Tuesday
While most who read this blog will also vote, the buzz around the city is there is no buzz about the election Tuesday. I agree with Sun Editor Jim Campanini who asked on WCAP Saturday Afternoon Live Isn’t it the responsibility of the challengers to present reason to vote for them over an incumbent?

Neither he nor I have heard a challenger present anything new, any proposed idea that they had to offer or any new program. Why should we change what appears to be working?

Maybe after Tuesday a challenger will step up.

Free Space
All challengers and present Councilor’s and School Committee members are welcome to submit any type of article, statement or fundraising announcement to me and I will post it here and on my Facebook site.

When will we know?
A few weeks ago I posted this screen grab from the City Website.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 11.01.30 AM

I was told bids stay posted until they have been awarded but have read or heard nothing about the Fire Dept. Survey the City had planned to undertake, yet it is gone from the Website. So when will the Manager inform the public and councilor’s what is going on with this?

Perhaps a Councilor will submit a motion to ask about the status of that and the status of the much ballyhooed Shot Spotter software the Council authorized $500,000 for.

How much is the Tax increase?
I thought we were told in June that the tax increase was going to be 1.5%? Perhaps an explanation on why the property tax bills are at 2% would be in order?

Pawt. St project approved by past not present Council!

I was reminded that he Road Construction at Pawtucket & School St. was approved by the last Council and has taken two years to get t started. According to the City website work will continue creating traffic delays.

Why can’t Lowell find an Auditor?
Lowell is having a hard time finding a full-time Auditor, something a challenger should be picking up on and start asking why? The City just posted or re-posted the position on Sept. 21st. Bob Healy the former Cambridge City Manager is acting Auditor.

Healy is a smart man and a great financial guy but has NEVER done ALL the work of an auditor. It appears that the Assistant Auditor will be doing the bulk of the work but according to city hall insiders, didn’t want to have to deal with the City Councilors or Mayor after her last stint.

York who resigned at the end of August after 15 months was found after a 2nd search also and came to Lowell and the state with limited knowledge of the Massachusetts Municipal codes and found dealing with the council challenging.

The fact that many on this Council drove out the last Manager and City Auditor who were so well thought of in the Mass. Fiscal circles that the state Dept. of Revenue asked them to step into a town in western mass, has been noted by those with the background to do the job but not the stomach to put up with condescending elected officials who aren’t smart enough to realize that only someone who will receive a contract with some job protection would come to Lowell to subject themselves to some of these councilors.

Loss of a Lowell legend
Condolences to the family of 4 time Mayor Richard Howe. There will never be another 40 year serving Councilor and 4 time Mayor. How fitting that his calling hours will be on an Election Day!

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