Three issues with long term implications arose at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The council repurposed an existing public safety grant to help fund five new police officers who will begin work at the end of June. The council ratified the School Committee’s proposal to the state school building assistance agency that the city’s priority is renovating Lowell High School. Council Belanger, when commenting on a report on the amount raised by an increase in the meals’ tax, made it clear that he will advocate an increase in the amount of money the city devotes to marketing. Details of all three of these items are contained in my post about the council meeting. The comments to that post make particularly interesting reading since former City Manager Bernie Lynch clarified a couple of points.
The city seemed to settle down a bit after the Monday night selection of Kevin Murphy as our new city manager. I wrote a post documenting the vote taken on Monday night and another sharing my reasons why the council made the right choice in selecting Murphy.
The new city manager expected to begin work by the middle of this month which also means he will be resigning his seat in the state legislature. I wrote a post reviewing Kevin Murphy’s election to the 18th Middlesex District back in 1996 with a review of the current geographic and demographic make up of the district.
Chris Scott on his Column blog listed all of the announced and rumored candidates, a group which includes (according to Scott):
• Brian Donovan, who is active in St. Margaret’s parish and has already held a fund-raiser at Mt. Pleasant. He is not Nangle’s cousin, but he is close with the representative. He managed Nangle’s first campaign.
• James Leary. Leary was elected to his 5th-term on the School Committee last fall. He said he’s gearing up for the race and will resign from the School Committee if elected.
Those apparently interested in running include
• Mehmed Ali, a former Lowell National Historical Park ranger who is back in the Mill City after working for the U.S. Government in Iraq.
• Fred Bahou, a member of the Greater Lowell Technical High School the last five years.
• Dave Ouellette, a city code enforcement officer.
• Mike Sheehan, who is employed by the city as a custodian at the Wang Middle School.
• Rithy Uong, a former city councilor and currently a guidance counselor at the high school.
That’s it for this week’s review. I’m busy preparing for today’s Moses Greeley Parker Lecture which I’ll be giving at 2 pm at the Lowell National Park Visitor Center at 246 Market Street. The topic is “Lowell and the Law.” Admission is free. Please join us if you can.