Lawrence Politicians Behaving Badly

By: Kathy Runge – January, 2017

In December ex-District A Councilor and potential mayoral candidate Sandy Almonte verbally abused a Lawrence police officer at the scene of an accident involving her son. Elsewhere in this month’s edition she is quoted as saying:

“He acted like he didn’t know me, and told me I couldn’t pick up the pieces of my son’s car in the street. I said, ‘you know who I am.’ He said, ‘you are nobody.’ … They disrespected me by telling me to my face that I’m nobody.”

Calling a person ‘nobody’ in response to a ‘you know who I am’ spoken by someone who thinks they’re special is a little different than just calling someone a nobody out of the blue.
As part of an October deal in an unrelated assault case from Nashua, Almonte agreed to enroll in anger management therapy and to be “of good behavior” for a year. She was supposed to have a hearing on her compliance with the anger management in late December but, for obvious reasons, it got delayed until spring.

A YouTube video of part of the Lawrence incident was posted, but is now inaccessible. It begins as Almonte is telling the officer who she is. She continues in an out of control rant, making obscene gestures at the officer. This brought back fond memories of old council meetings.

Our politicians and political hopefuls swooped in to get some publicity over the recent beheading. Almost everyone standing by the victim’s family in interviews who wasn’t a family member was a councilor or candidate.

A December School Committee meeting had to be abruptly adjourned when District B Committee Member Francisco Paulino almost got into a fight with a school employee regarding the incident. I’m guessing that signals a run for Councilor. Let’s just say Receiver Riley’s job is secure for the foreseeable future.

The city of good excuses: The December 20 council meeting didn’t have a quorum of five councilors until 7:30. Councilors Abdoo, Alvarez-Rodriguez, Ortiz, and Reyes were missing. As a consequence, an important vote on an appropriation couldn’t be taken as six votes are required to pass appropriations.

At the beginning of council meetings we hear the good excuses for absences from the Council President. When Representative Frank Moran was Council President, he wouldn’t hear anyone’s excuses.

The Ordinance Committee, consisting of Councilors Reyes, Alvarez-Rodriguez, Maldonado and Rodriguez hasn’t met since November 9. This was not for lack of business. I’m sure they had good excuses. They should be meeting the second week of January.

Almonte certainly thinks she had a good excuse to act out and I’m sure Mr. Paulino has one as well. That is Lawrence’s problem. Everyone has a “good excuse.”

Election results: I can say without a doubt that we’re not as bad as Detroit. An analysis of the November election results for Lawrence finds over 30 pairs of duplicate registrations both credited with voting.

Fourteen of these have the exact same first name, street address and birthday with the last name expanded/hyphenated in one of the registrations.

Nine others are like the above with a one letter difference in the names. I don’t include potential duplicate registrations from younger people that may reasonably be assumed to be twins.
Of these twenty-three pairs there were only four cases where one in the pair voted early, so it doesn’t seem like early voting had a large effect on these instances of potential voting fraud.

Come moor your boat in Lawrence: There are at least five boats parked at the Buckley Garage in downtown Lawrence. This doesn’t seem right. How much does it cost to store your boat in a municipal garage?

Have a great 2017.