Sen. Donoghue and Brian Martin may have saved the city from itself and actually helped make the Cawley site more possible.
If they indeed were the ones contacting the state they may have allowed enough time to get the article 97 restrictions cleared. It may not have been a Power Play but rather an asset save and covering the city’s back.
It seems if they are guilty as charged by a few email and text messages I received, it may turn out that they alerted all of us to something the City should have already known about and did so in enough time to correct an issue.
Murphy told the council that the Law Department had done its due diligence and performed a title search on the property, but that for some reason the restrictions had not been filed with the register of deeds.
“I did not know of any restrictions on the use of the property because I was not here in 1999 when the city accepted the money,” Murphy said
He wasn’t here when the City joined GIC, did the Ameresco Project, reduced the trash fee or negotiated the first electrical aggregation agreement but doesn’t he know about those? Isn’t that what Asst. City Managers and Department heads are for? Keeping the Manager up to date on all Lowell related items like Open Green Space to build a school?
IF you go on the City of Lowell Web Site to the Planning & Development Department and scroll down until you see this header Open Space Plan – clicking on that and going to page 58 you see this map!
That map shows clearly the Cawley sites in question and it clearly shows they have “Limited Protection” the article doesn’t address what that “protection is” but clearly someone in the City DPD or Park Dept. should have known about this. Didn’t the Law Dept. look at the Cities open spaces to see where a High School Site could be built?
The page that follows the Map shows that the Cawley Stadium Complex was funded by State, CDBG, Federal and City funds. Let’s say that’s just the stadium and baseball fields, why didn’t anyone in the city look and see what the protection designation means for those fields and if any of that funding came with restrictions.
Are we supposed to believe that DPD or the Parks dept. was NEVER contacted by the City Manager’s Office and asked about these parcels at this location or that no one in those dept. reads what they post on the city website?
The Report was compiled in 2013 but Diane Tradd, Tom Bellgarde, Steve Purtell and others have been around the city. Murphy can claim he wasn’t here until 2014 but does that excuse your staff for not knowing and sharing this information with the School Building Committee?
The conspirators who think that it was always staying downtown have already been texting and emailing me suggesting Sen. Donoghue spoiled the Manager’s plan of forcing it into the downtown by waiting until the Council had to make a vote to keep the city on schedule then unveiling the restrictions and claiming its to late to fight it.
I’m not yet that cynical but I am frustrated, angry, upset and tired of the political BS that is being played on a project that should be celebrated and be a positive for the entire city. Instead it has turned into a study in political theater, incompetence or underhandedness, blindsides and bickering.
I see a golden opportunity for Lowell being blown up and politicized beyond belief and am dam close to suggesting that we walk away from the $200,000,000 the State wants to give us because the appointed and elected officials are making it hard to trust that they have the citizens, taxpayers and the kids best interest at heart.
If they are playing games with the location and all the rules and regulations that go along with it, pleading they don’t know about “Protections” or”restrictions” on where it goes, how can we have any level of confidence we will be told the truth of how much it will cost us?
Every citizen no matter what location you support should contact the State Sen,. Reps, City Councilors and Manager and urge them to stop the pettiness and blindsides and start working together, sharing complete, factual, accurate information with EVERYONE and either get this project on track with real possibilities or walk away and know you screwed the future students of Lowell!!