Sunday Notes March 6th 2016


Mayor interested in GE Intelligent Cities

If you look at this link and the free E-book you will find the following paragraph:

A gunshot echoes down a city street at night. Passersby turn to look but can’t make out the scene in the darkness. The first to react effectively is the nearest street lamp. It hears the gun and automatically goes to full brightness to illuminate the scene, film the attacker and call the emergency services—all in an instant.

While its NOT a shot spotter system it may be something to look into above the video surveillance that Supt. Taylor is proposing. The entire concept of using LED lighting and other GE related items is interesting and worth at least exploring

Salary Review

On THIS Week’s schedule is a Personal subcommittee meeting to look at the stipends elected officials receive and discuss the possibility of increasing them. I’m in favor of doing so as I posted last week and I’d be in favor of raising a Councilor from $15,000 to $18,000 – A School Committee member from $6,000 to $10,000 – and the Mayor from $21,000 up to $25,000 which over a 16 year period (the last raise for elected officials was in 2000) isn’t a huge % and it recognizes the value of public service and those willing to serve. It also keeps the raise pretty even with what city unions have received over the same

If you look at some of the other larger cities in Mass, even with the increases I listed they would still be less than Worcester, Springfield and the New Bedford City Council.

Worcester City Council – $29,000
Worcester School Committee – $14,500

Springfield City Council – $19,500
Springfield School Committee – $12,500

New Bedford City Council – $21,000

The job of a Councilor or School Committee member isn’t just a weekly or bi-weekly meeting, it is sub-committee meetings, neighborhood meetings, constituent phone calls and follow ups , interviews for Supt. or Auditor, Manager etc., appearing on City Life, WCAP, meeting with the SUN or returning a call or email from that pesky Lowell Curmudgeon

The job isn’t just about the time spent doing the job. It is about the sacrifice of family time and the sacrifice the families make. Not being home for all celebrations, dances etc happens but not being home for a simple Thursday night dinner or a basketball game or a science fair at your children’s school. Not to be able to go to the park, your kids school, to Winterfest etc. with your family without one or two or ten people wanting to just have a minute to tell you / ask you something.

Not to mention that every school, Non-Profit, Veteran, Civic , Religious and community service businesses and corporations wants you to attend an event, or make a donation or buy an ad or buy tickets for this or that. Time is valuable, family time is short and if you choose to share it in my opinion you should receive a fair compensation for your willingness to serve. Especially now in a time of social media where everyone with computer access has an opinion on what you are not doing, should be doing, could be doing, are supposed to be doing or want you to do for them.

New Auditor to be named this Tuesday?
The selection of a new Auditor is scheduled to take place this Tuesday. Based on the latest rounds of interviews I would chose Bryan Perry and hope for the best.

Health and Human Service Vacancy
The City has 21 applicants for this position according to today’s SUN. Hopefully they will “settle” for one and fill the position. According to the people in that field who are highly qualified that I have spoken with the inclusion of the Library and the lower salaries than other communities pay are the reasons more highly qualified candidates haven’t applied.

Greater Lowell Tech NOT joining CEP!
I asked a Tech School Committee member about the Greater Lowell Tech joining the Community Eligibility Provision, the Federal Program that provides all Lowell Public School students free breakfast and lunch. I was told that after reviewing the program, Greater Lowell Tech has only 41% of the school who would qualify for the program and even with the formula (X 1.6%) it would make only 65.63% of the students eligible and the District according to their own calculation would lose money.

What I find interesting is what the numbers might reflect, the fact that the Tech students come from homes with more moderate and higher income levels from Lowell, Dracut and the other communities.

Rumors and Bubble Fodder
Councilor Elliott left the Federal EPA to take a role with the State so A) He could use his time on the Council towards another pension (from the State) B) So he could run for State Rep. when Tom Golden replaces Kevin Murphy as City Manager C) My personal favorite – So he can run for Congress when Nikki announces she is done after the next term…..discuss

Tech School Committee member Ray Boutin will run for A) City Council so he can be another vote for Tom Golden as Manager and Danny Rourke for Mayor or B) He will run against Rodney for State Rep.

Belanger feeling slighted?
First we find Gov. Baker giving Jordan Gys a State job after Gys worked on his campaign but last Sunday we found out that former Mayor Elliott who endorsed Baker also got a state job. Elliott worked at the Federal Environmental Protection Agency nearly his entire adult life and left that recently to begin a State job. Poor Corey Belanger can’t get a state job even after endorsing Baker, being in a TV commercial and bringing the Lt. Governor around the City. His only enjoyment lately? (rumored) was watching GYS lose another election even with the Gov’s endorsement!

Mistake after Mistake indicates a pattern
We know from the heavily redacted report on the texting incident and the acknowledgement by Mayor Kennedy in the SUN that this incident was mishandled. Now in today’s SUN we read that the LHS Senior Class President had to make 3 attempts to get copies of his transcripts and his parents had to show up to request them.

Supt.Khelfaoui denies it was payback but this student has been mistreated on now numerous occasions and to me it shows a pattern. BTW why is a “Victim” moved out of a class instead of the assailants has standard practice? ASININE

CPC Meeting this Thursday !
A reminder that the Citywide Parent Council meets this Thursday at 6:30 at the Pawt. Memorial School at 6:30. the featured discussion will focus on Curriculum and why the city switched to PARCC Testing.