Monday, July 28, 2008

Tom Kozak's Abuse of Power

I love watching city council meetings for many reasons but at the top of that long list is watching Tom Kozak trying to stay awake for the duration. Based on his desire to nap through meetings, he clearly isn't on the Council because of his love for public service.

So why is he on the Council? Former Mayor Lambert and the Herald News seem to indicate that Kozak is on the Council to use his position to get things done to further his own self interest. Referring to Tom Kozak, Mayor Lambert in 2003 said, "I don’t think elected officials should try to use their positions to get things outside the rules, and when that fails, use their position to make threats," said Lambert.

This Herald News article from 2003 (it is actually a good article) tells the tale of Tom Kozak's attempts to muscle his request to get granite curbing installed on Langley street, shortly after he built his new McMansion there, through city hall. When Kozak was told by then director of municipal services Jim Smith that he would have to get on the request list like everyone else, Kozak began threatening Smith's job. Smith wrote that Kozak told him he "used to be able to call up and get sidewalks and other things done" when former City Administrator Robert Connors worked at City Hall prior to Smith’s arrival.

Best quote I have read this month ----

"Unfortunately this has been a pattern of behavior from Councilor Kozak," said Lambert. "I know for a fact at least two or three times when the councilor called and asked for something to be done, and when he was told it could not be done, that department head was told they would pay in appearances before the City Council. That is just not correct," he said.

Perhaps Tom didn't learn a lesson about his wrongdoing in 2003 because he started with his personal demands again in 2006. According to this 2006 Herald News article, "Instead of going through the normal procedure for getting a stop sign installed on his street, City Councilor Thomas Kozak attempted to fast-track the process Tuesday."

Can we PLEASE get him out of office? He never does very well - usually comes in 7th 8th or 9th so it wont take much.....who's with me?!



(please note the second picture in the post below this, it appears as though Kozak got his granite curbing)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beautiful Pavement

I will preface this blog post by saying that, despite my upcoming criticism, I am very appreciative that Councilor Pelletier called attention to the pothole problem in Fall River. I don't always agree with him but he definitely listens to and advocates for his constituents.

I have been witness to this sight many times and perhaps the explanation is an urban legend but I have always heard that shoes hanging from utility wires indicate that there is a drug dealer nearby.

It seems that the Fall River equivalent to shoes on a utility wire indicating that a drug dealer lives nearby, are the streets in Fall River without potholes indicating that a city councilor is living nearby.

Using the addresses the councilors provided for the last election (insert Lund joke here) I sought out to investigate --

Of the 9 councilors - only one had a pothole

The NICEST pothole free pavement (&traffic controls) of them all!! TOM KOZAK

Please note - NO Potholes! Other fun facts *Kozak recently got new sidewalks on his street - with matching new walkway up to his house (it would be very interesting to see if he could provide a receipt for his walkway construction) *Kozak had crosswalks installed to his house crossing Madison St. *Kozak insisted on a 4 way stop sign at his intersection of Langley and Madison - when the traffic dept. informed him of the waiting list for traffic controls he accepted the existing 2 way stop signs but procured further signs to warn of the 2 way stop as a consolation prize.

Please also note the deliniation between his newly paved street and Madison St. (also very nice but not freshly paved because no city councilor lives there).

NEXT -Pat Casey's street = no potholes



Linda Pereira's street = No potholes




Leo's Street = No potholes




Lund and Cathy Ann Viveiros's (Fall River) street = no potholes



Ray Hague's street = no potholes

Joe Camara's street = No potholes



Finally a councilor with potholes! Steve Camara's street

In conclusion - if you want to live on a nicely paved street in Fall River - you may want to move in next to a city councilor.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fall River stories that you may have missed while you were reading the Herald News

  1. Ric Oliveira's article in O Jornal, "Buried," discusses the politics behind the state representative race Dave Sullivan v. Pereira. He also discusses Mayor Correia's policy that everyone must rise when he enters a room.
  2. The Boston Herald's "Chief Injustice" by Dave Wedge in his column, Just double-checking. This article (2nd topic) discusses the Fall River fire chief issue and the accusation that Correia was "ramming through a measure to override Civil Service requirements to handpick his own fire chief." It isn't anything we don't already know, but I love it when Bob's foolishness reaches the Boston media radar.
  3. The Boston Herald's Holly Robichaud in, "No, thank you Mr. Speaker" comments on the short list of freshman democrats invited to a very special event being hosted by Sal DiMasi. At the top of the short list = Kevin Aguiar (although it appears that alphabetical order did play a role in his being at the top of the list). As Robichaud says in the article, "You can also figure that these freshmen Democrats will now be even more obligated to voting with Speaker DiMasi."
  4. This article, "Fall River Politician Ready for Local Office," about City Councilor Cathy Ann Viveiros in Southcoast Today is from 2004 but I just read it and found it very interesting. It discusses her arrest, her $1,000,000 lottery win, but not about her bankruptcy as blogged by Inquire Fall River.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Robert Correia: Responsible for Bringing More Criminals to Fall River

WARNING BEFORE YOU SCROLL DOWN - THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS A GRATUITOUS PICTURE OF BOB

Not recommended for expecting mothers, people with heart conditions, small children, people who frighten easily, and those with easily triggered incontinence.



















image
Remember when mayoral candidate, Bob Correia, boasted about being the one-man machine behind securing the $70 million in funding to bring the new courthouse to Fall River? If not, click here (I expect this link not to work in the near future but I saved a copy of the page in anticipation - I will update when the courthouse info disappears from his campaign site - Let me know if the court funding info disappears).

So why isn't Bob bragging about his accomplishment now that it has been brought to light that his courthouse will primarily house criminal cases as reported in this article by SouthCoastToday.

As I see it, in his mere 6 months in office, Bob has already decreased safety budgets and increased the criminal element.....YAY!!! Go BOB!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Fall River Herald "News"

I have long held the belief that the Fall River Herald News is being put to best use when lining the cage of a puppy. I hesitate to kick them when they are down (Gatehouse media stock went from a $19.00 per share 52 week high to .99 cents as of the time of this post) but they are doing a disservice to their readers and it needs to be addressed.

Wednesday's Herald News reported in a lengthy and detailed article that the Tuesday night city council meeting held a wind turbine project presentation. I understand that there are deadlines but if the reporter had not left the meeting at 9:00 (2 1/2 hours before it ended) he would have noted that, although the issue was on the agenda, the presentation never occurred. After a commenter on the Herald News website called them out for reporting a story that never happened, they updated the article on their website. The update didn't do much good for the people that actually pay for the hard copy of the paper.

Now we have today's errant Herald News report that Governor Patrick signed the Home Rule petition based solely on Bob Correia's word.

Commenter "Adv" in the Herald News comment section online, said it best (i would offer a link to it but it isn't very flattering to the Herald and they will certainly flex their censorship muscle and remove it from their site):

"Good job, The Herald News. Way to source your information. Did you even bother calling the Governor's office for confirmation, or did you just take it from the collective horses' mouths (e.g. Menard & Correia)?

Just one more example that this paper is a joke when it comes to real journalism. Usually one could expect a sentence, 'as confirmed by a representative of the Governor,' or in this case above, maybe an asterix...'due to our collective laziness, The Herald News could not have been bothered to verify the alleged facts stated in this article. In fact, our heads are so far up Mayor Correia & Senator Menard's butts, that we're not even sure when it's daytime.'

I believe that this paper gets its journalistic ideals from the film Tommy Boy: 'You can take a good look at a T-bone by sticking your head up a bull's ass, but wouldn't you rather take the butcher's word for it?'

Yes we would, says the Herald News. Why dig?..."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And the Award for the Biggest Waste of A Wooden Box Goes To...............

THE CITY HALL SUGGESTION BOX!!! CONGRATULATIONS

I saw this at City Hall and had to take a picture. I wasn't aware that Bob Correia wanted public input. In fact, I am quite sure "his honor" does not.

Any suggestions on what Bob can do with his suggestion box?

Seel Kontest Part 2

To Recap:

Mayor Correia decided, on his own, to change the Fall River city seal and motto to "Pride City Wide." The funny part is that the seal/motto is misspelled and should be "Pride Citywide" as pointed out by UpandOut in Seel Kontest 1 .

I solicited alternate city seals from blog readers...I have 3 total - here they are:





and of course 'UpAndOut's' original "Pride City WIDE"

Monday, July 14, 2008

CITY ADM Tax Complaint

I finally got up the nerve to drop a dime on Alan Silva for not registering his car in MA. Click here if you don't know what I am talking about.

click to enlarge

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ignorance....featuring Bob Correia, Joan Menard, and unaccounted voices of the state legislature

The Massachusetts State Legislature chose to ignore the voices of 7,561 Fall River registered voters and proceed with the Fire Chief change from civil service to contract.

As ignorant as they come, State Senator Joan Menard- former boss/mentor of Adam "Chappy" Chapdelaine said in the Herald News, that in her 10 years in the Senate and 20 more in the House, she had never seen a voter referendum petition filed against a Home Rule request. “I give them credit. They’re concerned about it." ......YES WE ARE CONCERNED! yet a group of politicians lead by Bob Correia and Joan Menard willfully chose to ignore our voices.

Please do 2 things:
1) DO NOT VOTE FOR BOB CORREIA OR JOAN MENARD EVER AGAIN
2) PLEASE Contact Governor Patrick to voice your concern about
the situation - he is able to veto the bill. Remind him about
the 7,561 registered voters that said NO to a contract fire chief.

CONTACT GOVERNOR PATRICK HERE (As soon as possible):
Phone: 617.725.4005
888.870.7770 (in state)
Fax: 617.727.9725
Email form = click here

Monday, July 7, 2008

Seel Kontest

Thank you to Fall River-tastic reader 'upandout' who added this comment to my blog regarding the incorrect spelling of Mayor Correia's new "Pride City Wide" motto:

"Pride "City Wide" is apparently not related to spelling.

I believe Citywide is correct, unless they are referring to the width of the city's residents (above average obesity levels). In that case, "City Wide" is appropriate, but hardly anything to be proud of.

Noticed this just before the inauguration, but because my family and some friends support the mayor (I certainly do not), and because I have a slightly evil side, I didn't tell them. I've just been giggling since January, but couldn't stand it anymore, so I broke my silence here :)"

I am disappointed that I didn't notice the error before, but I guess I was entranced by the general lameness of the motto. I verified citywide in the Merriam-Webster dictionary,
citywide One entry found. citywide
Main Entry: city·wide
Pronunciation:
si-wīd\
Function: adjective
including or involving all parts of a city
Thanks to the creativity of 'upandout,' we don't need to change our errantly spelled motto, we can just adopt his new seal design to go along with it.

Does anyone else have a creative seal design & motto for Fall River? If I get enough suggestions I will post them and offer a poll to vote - the winner will receive a very special prize (details to come)....! If you have a seal or motto suggestion, email it to me at shamrockblogger@gmail.com

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Deja Vu Prediction

A very interesting article from the 1999 archives of Southcoast Today, recounts the tale of the Dockside Lounge. Here is an excerpt (but I recommend reading the full article):

"The Dockside was a waterfront bar on the city pier catering to what we can kindly call a 'subculture' frequented by yours truly, the late Joe Savitch and his entourage and assorted hard-digging and drinking pirates who purportedly scratched for illegal shellfish in the dark of night.

The fitfully raucous joint teetered on the water's edge, far enough not to infringe on the public's right to serenity. Patrons feeling their oats sometimes leapt from the roof into the river accompanied by moonlight and cathartic, blood curdling war cries. Now and then the pirates had a beef that led to fisticuffs. But the Dockside paid its taxes, contributing its share for public schools and infrastructure.

Along came the nearby Point Gloria condo development. If memory serves well, some said at the time that developers Robert and James Karam approached the administration of Mayor Carlton Viveiros saying they wanted the land for possible adjunct development as a marina or motel. So the Dockside, against the wishes of the owners, patrons and probably assessors who hate to erode the tax base, was acrimoniously taken by eminent domain and demolished. The Redevelopment Authority now has the land.

If that's the way it went down, it was arrogant and unproductive. It sunk a taxpaying business and expunged property from the tax rolls. That was about 20 years ago and the site hasn't yielded a cent in taxes since.

In essence, it gave the Karams control of the land via options without liability or paying taxes. Now, said Ken Fiola, executive vice president of the city's economic development office, the Karam option has ceased and nobody has first dibs on the land -- including himself as rumor would have it. But it still isn't producing tax revenue. "
Not only did this move rid the city of a viable tax producing waterfront business, but we now know that the land is a brownfield site that will cost the city $1-3.5 million dollars to clean before anything new can be built.

And where did the Karam's go? I am guessing they lost interest in the site when the possibility of a huge brownfield clean-up bill faced them.

With the renewed discussions of the state pier "revitalization," hopefully the city/Mayor Correia will not make the same mistake they did with the city pier by allowing the Karams to have a hand in any pier projects. Keep in mind that the Karams are Correia campaign contributors and Bob is very honorable when it comes to repaying his supporters.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Improve this Caption

Photo from the Southcoast Tribune at the Nokona Bat Factory


Can you offer a better caption? What is David thinking as he and his expensive jacket get attacked with a pride pin?
______________________________________________________
Courtesy of Fall River Community - The Simpsons version of Bob vs. Ortiz = Mr. Burns vs. Don Mattingly

video

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

City (property) for Sale

_______________________________________________________
From the 6/30/08 Herald News

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
RFP 09-01

RFP TITLE: Sale of City Owned Real Estate

The City of Fall River through the Purchasing
Department is offering a city owned parcel of
land for sale, at the following location:
84 Danforth Street. Proposal packages may be
obtained at the Purchasing Department, One
Government Center, Fall River, MA 02722 between
9:00 a.m. and 5:00p.m. each business day until
the scheduled proposal submission date and time.

Proposals will be opened and publicly read in
the Purchasing Department, Room 237, One
Government Center at 11:00a.m. on Monday, July
28, 2008.

The City of Fall River reserves the right to
waive any informalities or irregularities in the
proposals received or to reject any and all
proposals, or to accept proposals deemed to be
in the best interest of the City of Fall River.

The Mayor and the City Council will make

the award.

ARLENE ROBINETTE
PURCHASING AGENT
__________________________________________________________


84 Danforth Street is about to become a hot piece of property Click here for a map or Click here to do a Fall River property search. It is located very close to Route 79 and the downtown waterfront. The proposed waterfront revitalization includes plans that would add tremendous value to 84 Danforth by possibly taking down Route 79 and replacing it with a boulevard. The purpose of the project would be to connect downtown to the waterfront and in doing so this city property for sale would likely have direct access to the waterfront. According to a Herald News article, the project anticipates shops, office space, a marina, a restaurant and future rail transportation station. What a great spot to own property!

So which F.O.B. (friend of Bob) will beat out the competition and get to purchase this property? The Request for Proposal retains the right of the City to "reject any and all proposals." Will Bob and his 6 city councilors reject perfectly good proposals so an F.O.B. can buy the property? It will be interesting to find out.

The city website lists Requests for Proposals on their main page but this Request was suspiciously absent from the list.

My personal guess is that a Karam (but that seems too obvious) will have the winning proposal -Any other guesses/predictions?

__________________________________________________________

UPDATE 7/5/08

This RFP has now been added to the City Website