By: TOM DUGGAN – May 5, 2010
Lawrence City Council President Frank Moran says that media reports listing Lawrence among the cities in Massachusetts to call for a boycott of the State of Arizona are “Just plain wrong.”
A news story by the Associated Press was picked up by The Boston Herald and Fox25 News yesterday reported that officials in Worcester, Lawrence, Springfield and Amherst are all calling for a boycott of Arizona.
The Boston city council voted to oppose the new Arizona states law makers passed to protect American citizens by requiring proof of citizenship when police respond to crimes in that state.
The AP report states in part: “Elected officials in Worcester, Lawrence, Springfield, and Amherst say they are drafting measures similar to the one Boston’s City Council passed last week that asks city officials to identify city contracts and purchasing agreements with Arizona and Arizona-based companies, and end them immediately.”
But Council President Moran says Lawrence has its’ own problems and the city council has not taken any action to place the issue on their agenda.
“I have no idea where this is coming from,” Moran told the Valley Patriot in an exclusive interview Tuesday afternoon.
“I am shocked by this. Nothing has come across my desk, there is nothing on the agenda, we have nothing to do with it. The first time I heard about it was when I started getting calls that Michele McPhee was talking about it on the radio in Boston,” Moran said.
“I am getting calls and emails from all over the country threatening to boycott us. I’ve had calls and emails from Michigan, Texas, and communities all over the state, asking me ‘what is wrong with Lawrence’. I keep trying to convince people that th story is wrong, it’s just not true, we are not part of that.”
Lawrence is facing the possibility of laying off 30 firefighters due to the mayors claims that there isn’t enough money in the budget. Lawrence may also be facing massive layoffs in the police department before the new budget takes affect on July 1st . Moran says that the city council and the mayor need to focus issues important to the City of Lawrence and not fight other people’s battles.”
“That is not the direction the City of Lawrence is going in and I can tell you that it’s certainly not the direction this city council is going in. I know different councilors have different opinions on this issue, but we are facing massive layoffs, budget problems, crime, and a whole host of problems to deal with in this city. We need to take care of Lawrence first, that is what we were elected to do.”
Moran was elected in 2007 and was chosen by fellow councilors to be Council President after topping the ticket when he won reelection last year.