Friday, March 25, 2011

UPDATED: Miscellaneous ramblings

UPDATE: Received a tweet from Salem Patch reporter John Zorabedian that the city council intends to override the mayor's veto of the Pinto Jobs Plan. I hope, but don't expect, that they have a good explanation for why this is a good piece of legislation for the taxpayers of Salem, and not just a good piece of legislation for the 11 city councilors. This makes them all look bad.


It sounds like the principal at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School wants nothing to do with Jim Fleming's proposal to rename that school. See Salem Patch for more info. He's not just the principal, he's also an alum.

Speaking of alums, there is a Facebook group for alums of Witchcraft Heights. Did you go to Witchcraft? Join up. There is currently a small discussion about the renaming proposal going on there.

My guess is that the proposal dies in committee. The timing is bad with the cost involved, and I'm not hearing anyone who is really gung ho about it in the first place. There are probably other, less expensive ways to give Lenny O'Leary his due.


Mayor Driscoll recently vetoed Councilor Pinto's City Coucil Jobs Plan (not the official name) legislation that would make it legal for councilors to jump straight from council into a city payroll position. His position here baffles me. He can't come out of it looking good. The mayor, in her letter to council, proposed that council amend the legislation to allow a councilor to sit on a city board (usually low or no compensation) immediately, but keep the restriction of a one year wait before they could take a full time city job. She cites this rule as a check on the mayor, which makes sense. Council can't act on the veto for seven days. Driscoll's proposal was sent to committee.

Under Pinto's proposal, the mayor could, for example, say to Councilor Lovely, vote my way on the St. Joe's Senior Center proposal, and I'll make you the new City Solicitor (has Joan finished law school yet?). Or, for a more timely example, could say, Joan, don't run against me in the next election, and the solicitor job is yours.

On the other hand, Councilor Pinto (I only use him as an example because it's his proposal) could say to a department head, hire me into your department, I will get my friends on council to fund it, plus a 20% bump in your department's operating budget.

Why make horse trading easier? Are these councilors in service to the city, or to themselves? Perception is reality, and the perception here is dirty.


I watched the city council meeting last night, and shared some of my thoughts on Twitter. Here are my observations:

1. Wow, Teasie Riley-Goggin loves to hear herself talk. Also, she REALLY finds a lot of importance in podiums. Anyone want to bet how many consecutive city council meetings she speaks at?

2. Jerry Ryan looks much better without the facial hair. It doesn't make you look older Jerry, just creepier. You don't drive a panel van, do you? Shave it off.

3. I think Sosnowski may have admitted that he doesn't really keep on top of his council mail. He lost his budget reports.

4. If you asked Tom Furey how the weather was, I think he'd answer with, "I'd like to thank the mayor for providing us with this beautiful day." He's turned boot licking into a science.

5. The council approved the hiring of a budget analyst who reports to the council. I think this is a good move, and hopefully will help council identify needless spending in the budget. (I know, who am I kidding?) It should also help them understand the budget. Paul Prevey's comment that he doesn't know a fraction of what the budget is about is truly frightening. Apparently it was a long time project to get this position approved. Joan Lovely stated that she'd worked on it for years. To hear the council go on and on you'd think they had just won an Academy Award. It was funny how proud of themselves they were.

6. If it took ten years for council to hire an analyst, how long do we think it will really take for them to find a permanent home for the city hall annex? Does anyone have less than the three years that was the opt-out in the proposed lease for 120 Washington? Anyone? Bueller? Not a chance. Flush!

7. The Furey proposal to change the rule Pinto used to stop the mayor from speaking was sent to committee.

8. Where was John Ronan last night? His job is to be there. Also, Pelletier was late. Shows disrespect to the citizen speakers.

9. I knew Rosemary O'Connor years ago. Good to see she's still at it.


  1. In the future it will be said, "Pinto was for hack-O-rama before he was against it"

  2. Nice reporting, G! This is so much better than attending one of those BORING sessions. Don't know how you can stand it!
    Keep up the good work!

  3. We would would be better off if Pelletier never showed up with his gallon of coffee.He represents Dunkin Dounuts but does nothing for his ward.


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