Gerry Nutter appointment confirmed by council on 7 to 2 vote

Here’s what the councilors had to say on the appointment of Gerry Nutter:

Gerry Nutter appointment. Move to approve by Lorrey, seconded by Martin.

Councilor Elliott comments: When he saw it on the agenda he thought it was a typo or a mistake. He thinks it’s a joke because no one can take this seriously. Election commission should be impartial people who don’t have a horse on the race. This person has a long history of negativity on his blog, bashing all kinds of elected officials and others. Elliott starts quoting from prior blog posts by Nutter that were critical of other councilors. How can we have a person on the election commission with so many “connections” to councilors and a close connection with the city manager. I think this pick is as far from professional as you can get. It’s pure political cronyism. We shouldn’t be rewarding bad behavior. To put this person in the election commission would set a bad precedent, that you can trash city officials and get a top appointment to a city post. He quotes something about a Nutter reply to a comment about STD medicine in regard to a woman who left a comment on the blog. I make a motion to send this nomination back to you, Mr. Manager.

Councilor Kennedy seconds the substitute motion. Leahy asks whether it’s a fair and accurate statement. Was that something that was actually said? Does the manager know? What do you do in a situation like this?
The manager: I don’t memorize what’s written on blogs. I’ve been criticized by Mr. Nutter but I move on. When I made this appointment, I looked at

Mr. Nutter’s demonstrated concern for the city. I think he’s of the highest integrity. To question his integrity is wrong. He’s a hard worker who is interested in serving the city. Do I agree with everything he’s written? No. But I’m confident that he will do a good job on the election commission.

Elliott: I don’t read his blog. I don’t spend any time on the blogs unlike you. Maybe instead of reading blogs you should be doing research on your appointments. I got this via email.

The manager: I do read just about everything out there. That may have been written but I don’t think it takes away from the fact that he’s a hard working, lifelong resident of the city.

Lorrey: I’ve known Gerry since 1980. He’s very active in the community. Has he taken shots at me? Yes but if you’re going to get in the ring you should expect to get your nose bloodied. Maybe he can answer some questions.

Mercier: Did you go to the Lowell Democrats to submit names?

Lynch: No, I did not. I don’t recall doing that for the election commission people I’ve appointed in the past. I did contact someone in the Republican city committee when I was appointing someone to the License Commission and to the Election Commission because, no offense to Councilor

Mendonca, Republicans are harder to find.

Mercier: How many did you interview?

Lynch: Six but several wanted to continue working on people’s campaigns.

Mercier: I wanted to support Gerry Nutter because I wanted to get him out of that blog. I’m thinking now that he’s going to resign from the blog but he’s not going to resign from the radio. I think it should be a neutral person. There are other bloggers that if you brought them here I would choke and would never support them but that’s not the case with Mr. Nutter. I don’t know which way to go. I want to know what he’s going to do about Saturday morning. I’m up in the air right now.

Kennedy: First off, I’ve been told that the Red Sox won game 3. On this, Mr. Manager, did you interview Mr. Nutter in person? (Yes). How many others did you interview?

Lynch: Five. I previously reached out to Cliff Krieger only because I know he’s a Republican. I didn’t reach out to the Democratic City Committee. No reason. I had advertised the position and had applicants.

Kennedy: Out of the five people, he was the best? (I believe so). I have nothing else.

Lorrey: I’m not familiar with those writings. I don’t look at the blogs much. I tend to get beaten up a lot. As I’ve said earlier, Mr. Nutter is here.

Martin: I wouldn’t consider myself a reader of the blogs but people do forward things to me. He has said publicly that he’s going to give up the blogging which is helpful. It’s not just the city council but the election commission runs all elections. And we have had a history of election commissioners who have been vocally partisan. I think it would be helpful for election commissions to stay above political discourse. I take Mr. Nutter at his word that he will refrain from this. The people who would be interested in this position would have been involved in politics but they’re also dedicated to the community.

Nuon: I don’t read blogs. I understand he’s been critical of me. But I think he’ll be impartial on the election commission. He’s only serving the balance of the remainder of the term so the Manager will have to bring him back and we can see how he’s done.

Mendonca: It’s tough when you have to deal with someone you might find objectionable, but I’m looking at the purpose of the job. The job is not entirely impartial because you have two Democrats and two Republicans. You need three of them to make a decision. As to Mr. Nutter, I’d rather have someone whose interests are known rather than someone who appears impartial but isn’t in secret. I see that he’s requested from the Ethics Commission an opinion on whether he can stay on the radio show and I trust he will abide by that decision.

Kennedy: I think anyone who goes through Mr. Nutter’s blog will find someone they don’t like. I think it’s a real reach that someone who wasn’t impartial in the past will all of a sudden be impartial.

Elliott: I was going to say the same thing Councilor Kennedy did. It’s not acceptable to criticize elected officials in such a venomous way. He goes back to the comment Nutter made about the woman he cited earlier.

Lorrey: moves to suspend the rules to allow Mr. Nutter to speak. Kennedy objects. Seconded by Mercier. On suspension of rules, 7 to 2 so it fails (two objections kill a motion to suspend).

To send it back to the Manager, it fails, 2 yes (Kennedy & Elliott), 7 no.

Original motion to confirm Nutter passes 7 to 2 (Elliott and Kennedy against).

Nutter speaks: He will do his best to be impartial. To address Elliott’s article, when I first started I could dish it out but I couldn’t take it. I apologized the next day. On WCAP, I’ve never used the radio to bash anyone because I’m a guest on someone else’s show but if the Ethics Commission rules I should cease that, I will. Thank you.

7 Responses to Gerry Nutter appointment confirmed by council on 7 to 2 vote

  1. Brian Flaherty says:

    “Elliott: I don’t read his blog. I don’t spend any time on the blogs unlike you. Maybe instead of reading blogs you should be doing research on your appointments. I got this via email.”

    And he is bashing Gerry for his rhetoric? I follow politics religiously and am used to the back and forth but this actually took me back. This guy can’t be serious? People in glass houses, Councilor Elliot…

    “Mercier: I wanted to support Gerry Nutter because I wanted to get him out of that blog.”

    Um, paging the First Amendment.

  2. Lynne says:

    “There are other bloggers that if you brought them here I would choke and would never support them” – Rita M.

    I can’t *imagine* who she might be talking about!

  3. Gerry Nutter says:

    Thanks Dick,

    I am Thankful that the City Manager chose to accept my application for the Election Commission and that a majority of the City Council chose to approve that. I will become an Election Commissioner for the City of Lowell.

    Being a Commissioner my role changes from providing commentary on the day to day actions or the Manager and his administration, the City Council, School Committee, Tech School Committee or any candidate or elected official to trying to do my best working with my fellow commissioners to insure that we as a City provide all voters the best opportunity possible to get out and vote for whoever they want.

    We need to insure every voter has the same tools, environment and equipment to cast a ballot and that all candidates regardless of party, position or personal feeling has the same opportunity for voters to select them.

    With that said I Thank all of those who took time to stop and read my post even with its “trademark spotty grammar”! and the many who stopped me or after they met me for the first time, told me how much they liked the blog. Shout out to my friends at Enterprise Bank and Gallagher & Cavanaugh who have been very encouraging.

    I Thank the late former City Manager Jim Sullivan and current City Manager Lynch whose back and forth were the real reason that this blog was noticed and had legitimacy.

    I Thank all the public officials and city / school department staff that were kind enough to respond to my many many questions and rants and Thank those who took the time to respond to correct me on those instances where I was wrong.

    Thanks to all who get it like Mike Hayden, Rita Mercier, George O’Hare, Tom Golden, Kevin Murphy and Barry Finegold. All who I have criticized harshly and yet all who have never once treated me poorly and who even after we have argued still talked with me or answered a questions. It really wasn’t personal, its how I felt at that moment about whatever that issue was. Some have never and will never get that.

    I Thank Dick Howe Jr. who was always encouraging along with Paul Marion. Jack Mitchell and I are probably at opposite ends of the Democratic Party and don’t agree on much, but we do have mutual respect for one another and have had some great debates on issues. Mimi and Cliff have been very encouraging and helpful and I thank them both. I thank all the bloggers like Jen Myers, Corey Sciuto, Shawn Ashe and Greg Page who linked or contributed to this blog. I’ll miss Lynn as much as she’ll miss me! Even though we agree to disagree on so much, she has been my toughest critic but we are both head strong and not afraid to say what’s on our mind. Mr. Lynne aka Chris is an awesome Data Guy and a good writer on his own.

    I Thank John McDonough who had me on and let me host City Life on occasion when George was off. Both John and George have mentioned and highlighted the blog often. While I never met a Mic I didn’t like I do have a face for radio so I really appreciate Warren Shaw having me on and making me a regular. Something I hope will be able to continue as long has he wants to put up with me.

    Thanks Jerry & Mickey , Paula , Roger , Joe & Pat , Tom Wirten, Atty. Sullivan and Joan Huot who all have been huge supporters and readers of this blog. My core audience.

    I Thank the SUN who gave me many stories to work from and allowed me to link and use their stuff without ever once telling me not to. Lowell is lucky to have a local paper, even one who we disagree with some (okay a majority) of the time. They have very talented writers who I envy because they get to do this full time. Rob Mills, Lisa Redmond, John Collins, Katie Lannan, Dave Peaver and Dan Phelps are all extremely talented. Chris Scott has been a supporter even once linking to my BLOG to me that was a HUGE compliment. Say what you want about Jim Campanni but he has never ducked any questions I ever asked and like myself stands up for what he believes in (even when many oppose him). I hate to tarnish is reputation but I’ve always found him to be a nice guy.(Maybe I’m just being a Flip-Flopper)

    Its not good bye because I’ll be around, you just don’t have to put up with my terrible grammar ,lack of punctuation or proof-reading skills. onto the next chapter…see you at the Polls!

  4. Greg Page says:

    @Brian F — Great point about the 1st Amendment.

    Colorful political rhetoric is not new, on any level…

    In the 1800 Presidential election, the President of Yale University, a John Adams supporter, publicly suggested that were Jefferson to become the president, “we would see our wives and daughters the victims of legal prostitution.”

    This came after the most prominent newspaper in CT said that if Jefferson were to be elected, “murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will openly be taught and practiced.”

    One of the coolest things I got to do while working in the Mayor’s Office was to leaf through some old Council meeting minutes to dig up some information a constituent had requested. Just breezing through somewhat informally, I could see that there were several Councilor-on-Councilor personal attacks in the minutes, some coup attempts (like the repeated attempts to oust Mayor Sampson), and occasions on which CCs had to be physically separated (both in the cloakroom and in the chamber).

    It was a good reminder that people don’t always behave well, and that local politics has its own special sort of flavor.

    Among the 7 CCs who voted in favor of Mr. Nutter, there were several who have been on the business end of some of his hardest hits. If they took the perspective of Michael “That’s The Business We’re In” Corleone, they were able to look past it and not be petty.

    As for the opposition, I can’t help but notice that people are quite good at telling OTHERS not to be thin-skinned (sometimes even better than they are at following their own advice).