Sunday November 8th 2015

Thanks for getting All the lights on the Connector on

Thanks for getting All the lights on the Connector on

Leftover Election Observations
An astute longtime Lowell political observer shared the following:

Ward 1 average 31%
Ward 6 average 22%
Ward 8 average 23%

Remaining wards pitiful average in the teens. Most candidates benefited from neighborhood support. The exception, Dave Conway. You can’t finish 12th and expect to win city wide, if your neighbors turn their back on your candidacy.

Rita is an icon, popularity city wide. 6 helped Rodney, 8 Leary Wards 2,7 Acre, 3 Lower Highlands did not turn out for minority candidates. Wards 5,9 Centrallville spread support amongst the incumbents.

Gendron has support city wide. Glad the haters didn’t get him.

Ward 1 has always carried the elections. More so now than ever as vote total participation diminishes across the city with the exceptions of 6 and 8. If you campaign in those three wards, have good ideas and personality you can get elected. Why would you do visibility or knock doors in small turnout precincts ?

My 2 cents

In defense of Belvidere and not supporting Dave Conway, to be fair I’m told during most of his teaching time including when he was housemaster he didn’t live in Lowell so there isn’t a long time neighborhood connection. Interesting to note that Conway always painted a picture of being close to former Sen. Steve Pangiatakos but we never saw any endorsement from Sen. Pangy for Conway. On the plus side, after January if Mayor Elliot gets back in, he knows Conway can fill in has his aide again.

Ward 1 Precincts 2 and 3 certainly didn’t treat 2nd term Councilor Dan Rourke very well. Did the Managers “misspeak” about shot spotter detector on City Life Monday which caused a Facebook furor contribute to that? Is the supposed friction between Councilor Rourke and the Mayor more severe than some think? The last few weeks of the campaign left many people comparing the treatment of Rourke to the way former Councilor Lorrey was treated at the end of the 2013 elections by the Elliott group. Are the rumors true some Elliott supporters were making last minute pushes in Belvidere for others (anyone but Rourke) ?

Is there anything to the speculation that while Councilor Mercier publicly states she is uncommitted that she is committed to Elliott just has the Sun claims or the announcement by JMAC that all of a sudden after Dan Rourke expresses his interest in the Vice Chair role she may now have an interest in that role? Is announcing her interest just another slap at the 2nd year Councilor.

Are the rumors true that Milinazzo who was treated disrespectfully by Elliott when Milinazzo was Mayor is now a huge Elliott supporter and is ready to stick it to Kennedy and already committed to the Mayor for another term? Disappointing !

If Bill Samaras is in fact the final vote which today’s Sun indicates, my guess is Elliot repeats as Mayor.

I was supportive of Mayor Elliott continuing for another term but the way he is acting toward the teachers union making things personal with Paul George’s and hiding the fact the Manager took back $300,000 from the schools has made me reconsider. Can you imagine how Hot Rod would have treated Manager Lynch if he pulled that stunt? I see the school system and moral crumbling the longer this contract drags on and has a parent it worries me the Mayor Elliott is hell bent on forcing this to the bitter and it will be the bitter end.

If teachers work to rule or end up striking then those councilor’s who support another term for Mayor Elliott bear as much responsibility has the School Committee for ruining the Lowell School System.

I’ve never had a great relationship with Councilor Kennedy. I whacked him on multiple occasions and when the chance came, he whacked me back. However he has treated me respectfully in the past year, responding to calls if we ask him on the radio and we are cordial to each other. If he can take my whacks and not like some hold a grudge, I figure he can do that with others also.

It’s time for a different voice, it’s time for Ed Kennedy to be Mayor.

Mayor’s Fight

There will be a fight or Mayor between Ed Kennedy and Rodney Elliott but the backlash won’t be against the person who gets or doesn’t get the post, it will be against those that don’t support Elliott. I’m told many Councilor’s are feeling pressure from supporters of Elliot’s who are contributors and have influence. I’m told no one expects a return of the angry disruptive Rodney if he isn’t Mayor but I’m betting some of his supporters won’t forgive or forget. Who will cry more JMAC or Dave Daley?

Financial Red Flags

No public discussion about reclaiming $300,000 from the School Side of the budget Claims that the City budget NEEDED it for the City side to balance at years end. Whether or not it was done properly isn’t the real issue. The fact is wasn’t made clear to the public is the concern. Elected officials knew but said nothing. So much for transparency.

No public discussion or warnings that the school department is operating with a structural deficit ( using one time money to pay for items that are reoccurring ) of $1.2 million dollars before any teacher’s contract is signed.

Firefighters, Police and 1705 union contracts are all up. After receiving a $10,000 raise after his first year along with a raise for the 3rd Asst. Manager position, how can the Manager look unions in the eye and say sorry no money for you?

Rumors are circulating of an increase in Health insurance higher than what was budgeted. Raise your hand if that surprises anyone!

I believe the city is going to end up with at least a 2% tax increase after the DOR reviews the numbers. It gives the Council the opportunity to point to the state for the larger than anticipated tax increase.

Belanger got bump and bumped!

The column blog touted Belanger needs Baker Bump has the Governor was coming to town to endorse Corey. I know how much Corey enjoys being a councilor but there is no doubt it has hurt his business and complicated things when he thought he had it sold. Being a sitting councilor hurts you if you have a public business.

In the same column blog Chris Scott noted that Corey got a job at the new Wamesit Lanes has Asst. General Manager / Food and Beverage Director. However because he put getting back on the Council ahead of this job he got bumped and is no longer there. While I admire his desire to serve I question the wisdom of putting that ahead of making a living.

Maybe that work ethic or apparent lack thereof is very noticeable and the reason Jordon Gys got a State job over Corey. Gys at least proved he could and would work hard

Now more than ever City Wide Parent Council or something like it needed

With the contract Kaos, the Financial problems ahead, the chance for a renovated High School the new Superintendent and a New School committee coming into place, now more than ever the Lowell School Department and the students need a strong parental voice and representation.

The City needs a City Wide Parent Council or something like it and it can’t be run by a loud mouth blogger like myself or a soon to be former school committee member who is saddled with political baggage.

We can help, guide, suggest and be part of it but we need someone like Ben Opara to step up and join with us and be the President while it relaunches. We need Chris Roux, Dennis Mercier, Kam Kay, Patrick Farmer and Dominick Lay to unite and help us and all parents to have a strong voice in the long range planning and in the short term.

I’m a parent of a freshman, Chris Roux has kids at all levels, Ben has kids at the High School so does Patrick. Dennis Mercier has a background and knowledge in facilities, Kam a strong Technology background, Dominick financial experience. Kim and Kristen offer a HUGE knowledge base in budgets, procedures, policy and structure.

We all come from various neighborhoods and school experiences. This isn’t a slight at anyone or any group. I see a talented, caring group of people who want to help improve Lowell Schools for our and all kids.

So can we do this? Email me, I volunteer to coordinate and facilitate getting everyone together to hash out the details and put this group together and get it off the ground.

3 thoughts on “Sunday November 8th 2015

  1. I love it Gerry! Bring people in please! I certainly want to be involved with the Citywide and have a voice (I am not going away), but I would love people like You, Kristin, Roux, Farmer, Opara, Mercier, etc to be actively involved. Patrick has already expressed an interest as has community member Jim Peters. I am trying to get through my last few months of school committee and cheerleading, and then I am all in. Maybe you can help facilitate a planning meeting?

  2. I have parents names and emails from about 10 of the schools that are interested. I emailed LTC last week and asked if any dates were available the 16th, 17th, or 19th of November. If not, perhaps we could meet the week after Thanksgiving. I have a copy of the charter to bring with me and the agenda can be planning and charter discussion. I would also like to see Umass Lowell involved again.

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