Well, in the interest of fairly stating what is now the obvious, the old City Manager is now on the road to being History. For seven years he sat with basically a five/four City Council and performed well. I was pleased to see that even one Councilor who did not necessarily like him, supported steps to maintain him in his role until the budget was on target, if not fully settled. According to the Lowell “Sun,” that Councilor was Ed Kennedy, who finished a strong third in the race this fall. I must admit that I voted for only two Councilors who finished in the top nine, Ed Kennedy and Jim Milinazzo. I voted for Stacie Hargis, Veasna Nuon, Marty Lorrey, and, I forgot to mention Rita Mercier as someone who also finished in the top nine. There were a couple of others who did not make it.
Life in Lowell is interesting. Politics in Lowell is very interesting. There is such a sharp divide between this year’s City Council and the last City Council that it defies any sort of explanation. The only constant was the heavy vote this year in Belvidere for Belvidere Councilors. The Mayor is from Pawtucketville, which is gaining a pre-eminence of its own, but basically the Council is host to Councilors who have lived part of their lives in Belvidere. My Ward #4 did not vote heavily in the election this time. It would have helped Veasna Nuon if it had, but it did not. As Democratic Ward Four Chair, I want to find out why that was the case, but that is a study that has to take place sooner rather than later, since the Caucuses are coming up on February 15, 2014.
My personal pick for our new City Manager, if he wants the job, is Kevin Murphy. When I mentioned that to a friend, he said that I should try my hand in politics. I have seen enough of politics to kill a horse, and then some, so I think I will support someone else who wants it. Right now, I have heard a couple of names and I am interested in one of them but if Kevin Murphy does not want the position, then I will continue, as I have for years, to support Kevin Murphy as my State Representative.
I remember Paul Tsongas, when he was on the eve of his swearing-in ceremony for the Senate, telling me that the Senate was made up of a bunch of people who started out in their own City Council races. Of course, a few months later he told me of a meeting he had with Red Auerbach of the Boston Celitics. I was more impressed with the meeting with Auerbach then I was with being Senator, I think. I once picked up a call at the Cape house and the voice on the opposite end said, “Is the Senator there, this is Bobby Orr.” That just floored me. I ran out and said to Paul, “It’s Bobby Orr!” He thought I was amusing. I thought he was amazing.
As far as the City Manager post is concerned, we do not want a politician who is not a leader. We want someone who can continue to lead in the style of a Brian Martin, who yearly held his “State of the City” addresses. We want someone with vision who recognizes the importance of being surrounded by history. Finally, we want someone who can make the current Council look good. That is the apex.