By: John MacDonld – Nov. 2017
As predicted since the inception of the debate surrounding the destiny of Lowell High School, the City of Lowell is divided. As municipal Election Day looms, the debate of where Lowell High School will welcome students for the next 100 years has turned its residents against one another. Whether you believe Lowell High School should remain Downtown or head to the Cawley Stadium location, if you’ve been involved, there seems to be no middle ground. Various news sources throughout the City of Lowell, have reported their opinions and the contentious debate rages on social media as well.
Never in the history of the city has one issue been so divisive, exploited for political purpose and or personal gain. The destiny of LHS is the dividing line between those with political power and those without it. Two political action committees were created by differing sides of the issue, one with entrenched deep pocketed donors, the other more grass root and less funded. The municipal election on Tuesday, November 7th may decide who will make the ultimate decision as to where the high school will be located, but the wounds from this debate will rage on for years.
Below are my predictions for what will transpire if a Pro-Cawley council is elected and what will transpire if a Pro-Downtown council is elected.
• The newly elected council will vote to fund the new High School located at Cawley Stadium.
• A new master plan will be created for the Downtown harnessing its true economic development potential.
• A brand-new campus style environment for a newly constructed High School will pave the way for both academic and athletic achievement.
• New residents will be attracted to Lowell and move to Lowell to start families.
• The Pro-Downtown supporters will file endless lawsuits to prevent the new school, but in the end, even they will appreciate the ultimate success of the decision.
• Commonsense will guide the city under this new council and the leadership of the Kevin Murphy Administration.
• Lowell will prosper.
Pro – Downtown
• The current vote of the sitting city council will be overturned by a new city council.
• The downtown option will be chosen in a reversed decision.
• Eminent domain takings will put existing businesses out of business and put pressure on other existing downtown businesses.
• The downtown will experience a mass exodus of existing downtown businesses.
• Downtown residents will flee the downtown, due to the overnight construction, street closures and congestion.
• Property tax rates will soar in Lowell, creating residents to move.
• The student population will dwindle from middleclass residents as parents will choose to send their kids to surrounding community schools and or private schools.
• Kevin Murphy will be immediately fired and replaced by most likely Eileen Donoghue or another Belvidere resident as the new city manager.
Soon the people of Lowell will know the results of the election and hopefully … A tale of a City in 2 … over time will become a unified great city it once was, not so long ago.