Blogging has been a little slow today, because Martha and I have papers due for the Course we are taking at UMass Lowell.★ They are to be submitted to "TurnItIn.com", which is a new experience for us. But, it is done and now we are out from under that burden.
Over at The Sun today was an article by Reporter Lyle Moran (who was on City Life today, along with the Managing Editor of The Sun, Kathleen (or MK) Guzda) on the City Political Action Committee "Move Lowell Forward" (MLF♠), on a "white paper" submitted to the City Council through the Vice Mayor, Mr Kevin Broderick.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am the Chairman of Move Lowell Forward,♥ and have been since it was formed, just under two years ago. For those who think that only left wing radicals are in MLF, I am the Republican Ward 1 Chairman here in Lowell, and ran against Democratic State Rep David Nangle, twice. (As an aside, anyone want to tackle that task in 2012? Please let me know.)
But, to the article.♦ I think the Reporter, Mr Moran, did a good job of covering our submission. You will note, if you read the article, a quote from Mr Joe Smith. Credit for the paper should go to Mr Smith. He developed the concept and fleshed it out. And, he did a great job. Joe is a local kid, born here in Lowell, and now retired, here in Lowell. He is a font of knowledge about economic development in this City.
Reporter Moran also reached out to a number of City Councilors, and of those most seemed to appreciate this or that aspect of the paper.
From the perspective of Move Lowell Forward, it is unfortunate that our submission of the paper got caught up in the brouhaha surrounding the City Council's decision not to allow Andover resident Sean Burke♣ to speak before the full City Council after his presentation to the City Council Sub-Committee appropriate for his issue.
City Councilor Rita Mercier made this point to Reporter Moran. Unfortunately, I have not been following the Sean Burke case, but it is obvious Ms Mercier feels strongly that he has been denied his right to properly petition the City Council. She notes" "That is setting back the city 30 years." I, for one, appreciate it whenever someone speaks up for free speech.
In the article it is noted that Ms Mercier did not receive an endorsement from Move Lowell Forward last election. My recollection is that she, and several others, did not return our questionnaire. Our recommendation was based on answers to the questionnaire. Without that questionnaire, one could not get the points needed to score high enough for an endorsement. One of the things we of Move Lowell Forward agreed to before we started scoring was that it didn't matter who had the highest scores, THOSE were the people we would endorse. I encourage Ms Mercier to return our questionnaire this summer, as we run up to the next City Council elections. That said, she is a great and tireless campaigner and attentive to the needs of the voters, so she will almost certainly have a high vote count with or without our endorsement. Put another way, we recognize that we are but one voice among many.
About the "white paper", the thought piece we submitted to the City Council, I would like to be clear. It is not the be all and end all of approaches to bringing increased economic growth to our City. We are not the only people with ideas. We hope that our submission will encourage others to think about, talk about and propose ideas for moving Lowell forward.
The Lowell of 2021 will not be the same as the Lowell of 2011. I hope it is a better place, with more jobs and lower unemployment. I hope it is a place where those born here join with those who want to move here to bring prosperity to all. That means we all have to work together to move things forward.
And, here is a shameless plug for Move Lowell Forward's Open House on Thursday, 17 February, where Assistant City Manager, Planning & Development, Adam Baacke, will talk about economic development in Lowell. Time is 7:00 PM and location is Market Mill/Lowell Art and Design Center. Free.
In conclusion, we are all in this together. Let's find what we have in common and make it work.
Regards — Cliff
★ Vets and those over 60 can take class in the classroom (not on-line) for $30 plus books.
♠ Or, as Mr Gerry Nutter, over at Gerry Nutter's Lowell, has it, LMF.
♥ The Vice Chairman is Ms Lynne Lupien, a local business woman and one of the two bloggers at Left in Lowell. Do we agree on much? Not above the local level. On the other hand, we are united on doing our very best for the city we chose to call home. Incidentally, Lynne blogged on this newspaper article here.
♦ Remember, articles in The Sun go away after a while, to a different place. I will not be updating their links unless I am bedridden and have read every book in the house.
♣ In the article he is listed as a Lowell resident. I am not sure about the rules for folks from out of town speaking to the City Council, but I would hope that our City Council would be as liberal as possible in allowing people to address them, in keeping with proper decorum.