Lawrence City Council, Please! Just Shut Up and Vote!



By: Tom Duggan – December, 2006

The grandstanding, self praise and speech-making at Lawrence City Council meetings have got to stop!

 Too often these meetings go on for hours with no end in sight because certain councilors have a deep personal need to speak on every single issue whether they have something relevant to say or not. Then, these same councilors ask questions that have already been asked and answered numerous times … only to have yet another clueless councilor ask the very same question (while taking ten minutes to do it).

 In short, certain councilors are compelled to speak on EVERYTHING while it is clear they are listening to NOTHING, even the answers to their self serving “questions.”

 While the Board of Selectmen in North Andover and the city councils in Methuen and Haverhill actually talk TO each other, discussing relevant items on their agendas, Lawrence councilors talk to the cameras, themselves or the audience as if a council meeting is their own personal soap box.

 This consistent droning on, ad-nauseam, only serves to bore the audience and is unfair to every member of the public, not to mention the city workers, developers and business people who must sit through these ridiculous lectures after a long, hard, day at work.

 Speeches, platitudes, self praise disguised as praise for others, and juvenile bickering about how slighted someone feels, have no place at the council table.

 And, while a certain amount of pontificating, grandstanding and speech making can be witnessed at any local government meeting in the Merrimack Valley, the Lawrence City Council seems to have the market cornered on self-serving dribble and mindless droning while the public at home wonders, “are these people actually going to VOTE on something?”

 Please, councilors, for the love of G-d, when an issue comes up at the council table, nobody wants to hear how much you care. Nobody gives a damn what the motive is behind every single vote you take, (really!) and nobody cares about your personal issues with other city councilors. What they care about is how you are going to vote.

 So, for the sanity of the people of Lawrence, stop the campaigning, stop making speeches masked as a question and control your need for public recognition and television time.

 The City of Lawrence would be much better off if you would just shut up and vote!