In the Merrimack Valley ~ Rumors and Rumblings

In the Merrimack Valley ~ Rumors and Rumblings…

Maybe people need a distraction from the weather, whatever the cause – rumors and rumblings are reverberating around the Merrimack Valley. Soft rumblings in the Town of TEWKSBURY… will Scott Wilson run for reelection for the Board of Selectmen? papers were pulled … Is the Town Manager taking control of all the boards in a push or pull to concentrate power in his office? In BILLERICA, rumor has it the the Town Manager is on his way out? who is pulling those strings? is there a partisan puppet in the wings? In CHELMSFORD, rumors of who is trying to save the bacon of the School Superintendent are confused and need untangling. In DRACUT, the rumor mill seems quiet as the Town Fathers and townspeople seem content with the “managing of civic affairs” but there is that Housing Authority situation… who will be serving on that board come the town elections? Down River in LAWRENCE, the anti-Mayor rumblings have been kept behind closed City Council doors… perhaps it’s because there’s little real substance to the discontent as Mayor Rivera’s public popularity and influence continues to grow.

The rumblings as express in Kendall Wallace’s “Saturday Chat” today about Niki Tsongas and her re-election plans seem more wishful thinking than reality. Congresswoman Tsongas cleared that up very decisively with Mr. Wallace… she’s running for re-election… she’s moving up in seniority in committee assignments of import to her district and her constituents! The Third District is in firm, capable, energized hands with Niki Tsongas and the would-bees/wannabes – both Democrats and Republicans – who might like to replace her need to sit back or look for some other pots to stir.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas at the regional breakfast hosted by the Tewksbury Democratic Town Committee in September, 2014 with event chairs ~ Planning Board member Vinny Fratalia and BOS candidate Mark Kratman – both TDTC members


Another hot local rumor is more seasonal! After having enjoyed over twenty-five years of success, it seems that the City Manager’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast might be moved to a different time-slot. No, not to another day! The chattering has it that the breakfast might be moved to much later in the day. Whether to a lunch or worse yet a dinnertime slot, that move could be a disaster. Would all the regular attendees and supporters – business people, professionals, non-profit and community folks and politicians who have this “booked” from year to year really relish a new time? Would this be another “excused” absence from a City Council meeting since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday? There are dozens of these events held annually around the region and around the Commonwealth that are already firmly “booked.” Maybe because it’s an “off-year” with no impending Gubernatorial or US Senate race in the offing that the powers that be are taking the opportunity for change. Whatever the reasoning, as one who has attended most of the breakfasts (I took a brief breakfast break when they really went pro-GOP and anti-Dem in the playing field), I hope wiser heads prevail and it’s the St. Patrick’s Day BREAKFAST in Lowell.


Lowell St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast ~ March, 2012 ~ Dick Howe, Marie Sweeney, Elizabeth Warren and Paul Marion ( Lowell High School Headmaster Brian Martin  who when City Manager hosted this event for many years and Lowell City Councillor Ed Kennedy in the background)

Of course, rumors about Chancellor Marty Meehan and his future are for chewing everyday! I must note a rumble though that former University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees chairman Robert J. Manning (and Meehan ally) has been chosen to lead the committee charged with finding a new president for the UMass system.

Chancellor Marty Meehan was moderator for the “Irish Politics in Massachusetts” panel  in September, 2014 – Lowell Irish Conference

Rumors are the stuff of politics and of institutional interaction…. it’s when the reality comes that the “rubber meets the road.” Comments?