Monday, February 13, 2012

The beginning of the end?

Will Dracut students be getting their fourth (or fifth if you count Elaine Espindle's second tour) superintendent in less than 7 years?  We will find out tonight if Stacy Scott is heading west to Framingham as the Framingham School Committee is making their choice at their meeting tonight.

Sigh.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

McLauglin again

Today's Boston Globe has a scathing editorial of Lt. Gov. Tim Murray and his connections to Mike McLaughlin.  It outlines how Murray, an unknown outside of Worcester, got connected to Boston politcos thanks to McLaughlin. 
You can read it all here but below is a delicious taste:

Before running for lieutenant governor in 2006, Tim Murray had never been elected to anything outside his Worcester base. He approached Boston City Councilor Stephen Murphy for advice on how to build a statewide network, and Murphy helpfully pointed to McLaughlin, a Merrimack Valley power broker who had skirted corruption investigations going back to the 1980s.

McLaughlin’s bad reputation was so entrenched that Guy Santagate, the city manager who took Chelsea out of state receivership, reportedly resigned rather than work with McLaughlin as director of the Chelsea Housing Authority. Indeed, McLaughlin’s appointment to the housing authority was such a fateful warning of a return to corruption that the Globe editorialized against it back in 2000. Yet Murray, who turned 32 in 2000, says he was too young to know of McLaughlin’s past.

McLaughlin’s reward came when Murray became lieutenant governor and Governor Patrick made the former Worcester mayor the state liaison to municipal officials. Matthew McLaughlin, who had six speeding tickets and a suspended license for refusing a breathalyzer test, got a $60,000 per year job on the Board of Appeals, which reviews drunken-driving convictions. McLaughlin’s recommended candidate got the state seat on the Dracut Housing Authority, and proceeded to try to oust the executive director, in a move widely seen as clearing the way for a friend of McLaughlin’s.

A McLaughlin associate told the Globe that the housing chief bragged about his ties to Murray, and funneled other job candidates toward the lieutenant governor. After it became known that McLaughlin was earning $360,000 per year, making him among the highest-paid government officials in the state, Murray, who says he did not know of the salary, tried to minimize their relationship.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm back...

It's been close to a year since I last blogged.  I admit that I haven't been following Dracut politics all that closely as of late but there are some things that worry me about our fair town.  Some months ago my father asked what was going on in Dracut, there was so much negative news coming out (this was around the time the Mike McLaughlin thing hit as well as something else which I cannot recall)

1. Three small businesses have closed or are closing recently - the Book Vendor, Little Trends, and the hair salon across from Hannaford. 

2. L'affair McLaughlin has shined some light on the old "Somerville with Trees" reputation we once had (have?)

3. There was a shooting outside Hannaford today.  A shooting!

4. Some of our political leaders seem more interested in politics and one upping each other than in working to improve Dracut.  There doesn't seem to be a a lot of "big picture" thinking or dreaming going on. 

5. Our superintendent is looking to leave after less than 2 years on the job. 

I love my adopted hometown and plan on staying here for the rest of my life.  My wife and I just bought a home over off Methuen Street so we're in this for the long haul.  Thus, I want to be a part of the solutions and conversations that help make Dracut better than it is today.  We have a great town and great people but like any city or town, we can improve.  Certainly some things are out of our control - the national economy is still recovering, the town budget is beholden to the shrinking state budget, etc. 

I have no idea the direction this blog will go but like before, it will center around Dracut, politics, the economy, schools, etc.  Just stay tuned, it should be fun.