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A total waste of taxpayers’ money

 

By: Michael Sweeney – March, 2010

You have to wonder when taxpayers are simply going to have enough and demand wholesale change. It appears the limits of taxpayers tolerance is being reached, particularly with the continued Tammany Hall tactics going on in the City of Lawrence. Just imagine how much of your tax dollars were wasted as Mayor Lantiuga ordered the presence of over a dozen city employees to Beacon Hill during last month’s hearing on House Bill 4421. You will remember that bill, the $35 million bailout of Lawrence.

The entire City Attorney’s Office was there, Attorney Charles Boddy, Richard D’Agostino and Anne Randazzo. Why the entire City Attorney’s Office was needed is beyond comprehension. Of course, there could not possibly be any legal work needing attention back in Lawrence.

Perhaps it is just as easy for Attorney Boddy to ignore and delay the handful of Freedom of Information Requests he has received from the media and others while sitting in Boston as it is while he is sitting in Lawrence.

This would be the same Attorney Boddy who on multiple occasions told former City Hall employees, numerous newspaper reporters and myself how he has “tons” of recorded messages from Patrick Blanchette. Messages that City Attorney Boddy described as harassing towards him and caused Attorney Boddy mental and physical anguish. It is amazing that Attorney Boddy can still go into work everyday. The stress and damage to his health must be just barely bearable. Good luck Charles.

Of course City Controller David Camarrso and City Treasurer Patty Cook were also non-essential employees for taxpayers that day too. They sat with the legal staff for over four hours listening to the proceedings. None of the five offered any insights or information to the Joint Committee considering the bill.

Unable to attend himself, Mayor Lantigua sent in the rest of the clowns. Department Heads Frank McCann and Robert Fazio apparently also had nothing to do in Lawrence that day – despite the constant sad song from the DPW about how they do not have enough money or people to fix a pothole anywhere in the city. Mr. McCann somehow failed to mention the $1 million lawsuit he has pending against the city to the members of the Joint Committee. I wonder why? Makes you wonder why some of these department heads want the city to get that $35 million bailout!

Mr. Fazio? No idea why he was there. Of course he might have thought going to Boston would help, certainly being back in the office chasing down the millions of dollars in uncollected water bills would not have been a productive day for taxpayers across the Commonwealth!

Mayor Lantigua Attempts to Play Favorites in Police Department

All of us have the utmost respect for Police Chief John Romero and the men and women who work for the Lawrence Police Department. On a daily basis they are working hard to keep Lawrence as safe as possible. It is sad to see Mayor Lantigua’s interfere almost daily with the department and his attempts to circumvent the quasi-military structure that it is so important for the Police Department to operate under. From using police officers to remove employees that Mayor Lantigua fired for political and personal vendettas, to removing Deputy Chief Michael Driscoll because he does not speak Spanish, or stationing a police officer in City Hall for the Mayor’s safety. What other City Hall in Massachusetts is stationing a police officer inside City Hall and telling the public that City Hall is not a safe place? Must give you a good feeling as a city employee going into work everyday knowing Mayor Lantigua and his thugs on the third floor do not trust you. Of course if you work in the Community Development Office, Senior Center, Library or the Public Works Yards – well you are just out of luck. Apparently your safety is of no concern to Mayor Lantigua. Only the Mayor’s own office is on Lantigua’s mind.

My saddest day in four years working for the City of Lawrence was having a Police Lieutenant apologizing to me because he was ordered by Chief of Staff Lenny Degnan to make sure I was not allowed on city property after the City Council had reinstated me to my job position the night before. Imagine a Lieutenant feeling the need to tell me he is sorry? It was a complete embarrassment. There was no need for him to apologize. He was misused and abused by Mayor Lantigua and his political thugs who care more about hurting people than they do about respecting the duties and role of a police department.

In the last month former City Councilor Jorge Gonzalez was held up by three thugs, at least one of whom held a gun at point blank range to Mr. Gonzalez’s face. There was someone firing multiple live rounds on Common and Hampshire Street that the Lawrence Police Department arrested after a pursuit, a bar on Appleton Street was broken into and $4,000.00 allegedly stolen, a man was severely beaten and robbed on Essex Street and of course a man was shot to death on Market Street. A small sample of the serious, violent crime that has been taking place in the last thirty days, but Mayor Lantigua wants police resources diverted for his own personal use in City Hall.

 

Mike Sweeney is a former city couniclor, school committeeman, and the former Planning Director for the City of Lawrence. He is currently Willie Lantigua’s worst nightmare. You can email him at esqsweeney@aol.com

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover Massachusetts, a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, a 1990 Police Survivor and hosts the Paying Attention! Radio Program on 980WCAP in Lowell, Massachusetts. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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