Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
“I didn’t know it was in arbitration,” Councilor Linda M. Pereira said. “I have a lot of questions about that.” Questioning the law department, Pereira said, “The council was not privy to Kuss, and I think that needs to be changed.”
“I didn’t know about the lawsuit until Adam Chapdelaine told me on Wednesday,” Councilor Leo O. Pelletier said.
When the concession stand was debated over several meetings recently, Pelletier said, “At no time did I know they wanted more money. We didn’t know we had all that extra money.
Now, anyone who has watched a City Council meeting knows that legal claims against the City of Fall River are listed on the agenda, and the standard practice is to expeditiously refer the legal claims to Corporation Counsel. Therefore, if legal claims against the City are listed in the agendas for City Council meetings, how can City Council members now claim that they didn’t know about the lawsuit? Are the City Councilors indicating that this lawsuit somehow never made it to their City Council agendas?
Another important point concerns the responsibility of the City Council to periodically request that the Corporation Counsel update them on the progress of all litigation against the City. Massachusetts law specifically provides the opportunity for the City Council to hold a meeting in executive session “to discuss strategy with respect to . . . litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the . . . litigating position of the governmental body . . .” Yet, the City Councilors were left in the dark because they don’t request periodic reports on the status of litigation.
I suppose if the City Council never bothers to ask any questions or request updates that they then have the perfect opportunity to feign ignorance.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Let the hackery continue....
Word on the street says outgoing mayor, Bob Correia, is seeking a job in the court system. I have no doubt he will happily suck off the teet of taxpayers until the day he dies (I mean "continue to dedicate his life to public service"). Times are tough and there is currently a hiring freeze in the MA court system. The hiring freeze would make any job Bob Correia is given, that much more egregious. I would not be surprised if he already has a position lined up. He mentioned he would be taking time off in January. Time off from what? Time off before starting his new state position?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
CLICK HERE for FROED's Contract with the Fall River Redevelopment Authority
- FROED's contract is up on May 9, 2010!
- See how much the city pays FROED
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Kathy Edwards $55,000
Newly combined position of contract compliance officer/executive secretary in the Community Development Agency
Coelho said one reason the combined job wasn’t posted was because “an internal candidate needed a job.”
Ines Leite $55,914 - $65,147
Assistant City Clerk
Jeff Santos $85,000
CDA Executive Director
Told mayoral staffers were being given municipal jobs in a city with soaring unemployment, Santos said, “It happens all the time."
I am going to be incredibly disappointed if these positions aren't seriously scrutinized by Mayor Flanagan.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Fall River Inaugural Celebration, Inc (FRIC) was incorporated one month before Bob's endless inauguration, by members of team Correia (Alan Silva, Ernest Edwards, etc). How vain can you be that you start an entire non profit organization with the purpose of praising yourself. FRIC's purpose, as stated in its forming documents, is to:
"TO RAISE PRIVATE FUNDS TO PAY, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, INAUGURAL EXPENSES IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FALL RIVER INAUGURATION AND OTHER INAUGURAL EVENTS. THE PURPOSE OF THE INAUGURAL EVENT IS TO CELEBRATE THE INAUGURATION OF ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS AND SHALL NOT FINANCIALLY BENEFIT ANY PARTICULAR ELECTED OFFICIAL OR ANY PARTICULAR OFFICIAL’S COMMITTEE."
http://corp.sec.state.ma.us/corp/corpsearch/CorpSearchSummary.asp?ReadFromDB=True&UpdateAllowed=&FEIN=000965194Seeing as how this organization was founded to unselfishly celebrate the inaugurations of not just one particular candidate, they should have no problem carrying out their purpose by organizing an inaugural event for Flanagan.
p.s. Treasurer Edwards, your annual report was due to the state Nov. 1, better get on that!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
A friend of mine had a fantastic idea for tourism, as well as for the general promotion and awesomeness of Fall River - Host a Battleship tournament on Big Mamie!
I was pretty excited about the prospect....I was even MORE excited when I found out there is a Battleship movie in the works, based on the game (Universal Studios with director Peter Berg of Hancock). This is a great way to capitalize on free press from the Battleship movie and game.
The idea makes so much sense, Battleship Cove rents Big Mamie for events, why not allow such an event to be held on the ship. It would require a little planning on our part but it is ripe for advertising and sponsorship. The game Battleship is even owned by Hasbro who is headquartered in nearby Pawtucket, RI. Perhaps we could even have a screening of the Battleship movie at the Heritage State Park building theatre.
A few weeks ago the officials at Battleship Cove announced they were seeking a new director upon the recent resignation of their current director. Hopefully the new director and powers that be give this idea some serious thought.
I encourage everyone - the city, the Mayor Flanagan, the council, and the Battleship directors, to make this idea a reality. It could be an annual event attracting many people to Fall River. It is a golden opportunity we would be foolish to ignore.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Amaral's answer is scummy because FROED is a non-profit and as a result, Ken Fiola's salary is public record.
Without further ado:
KEN FIOLA'S SALARY
2005 $156,699.00 plus an additional $6,262 in deferred payments
2006 $155,209.00 plus an additional $6,217 in deferred payments
2007 $162,257.00 plus an additional $6,429 in deferred payments
Ken Fiola's Taunton counterpart earns approximately $70,000. That is $100,000.00 less then Fiola. To add further insult, Taunton is actually doing well so their money is well spent on their economic development director.
www.guidestar.org is a free service (you just need to set up an account and password) that offers information on non-profits. FROED's IRS 990's are available on that site. The 990's indicate where FROED's money is spent, salaries, director information, and much more - check it out.
Friday, October 30, 2009
City Council Endorsements:
and recycled candidates, Brad Kilby and Ray Mitchell
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
"THINK ABOUT IT"
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Well done FROED/RDA! Way to research proposing parties.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Let me preface by saying that I firmly believe Cathy Ann Viveiros made the wrong decision when she opted to ignore the will of the 7,000+ voters who signed the referendum petition to keep the fire chief a civil service position. I am still bothered by her decision but I do know that it was her own. She researches issues and comes to her own conclusions. So, while I think she made the wrong decision, I know it was her own. I am still holding a bit of a grudge over this, but I am not a one issue voter, and I think she is the better choice in this mayoral election.
Although I did not vote for Cathy Ann in the preliminary, she handily demonstrates a strong command of the issues needing to be addressed in Fall River. She is well researched and has tangible suggestions on solutions. She has a platform on low income housing, a platform on education, budget plans, etc. Her opponent has not shown me the same level of preparedness and qualification for the job of mayor.
I congratulate Will Flanagan on making it this far in the race. However, I am bothered by his lack of substance and his cliche's in lieu of substantive answers. While Flanagan's lack of specificity could be intentional, it leads me to think that he doesn't know the answers to the questions asked. I really really really wanted to be able to vote for him, but he hasn't convinced me he is capable.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
My apologies to the people whose names have been carelessly thrown about. This all seemed to come about when (upon being asked) I, in the comment section, answered that I was voting for Cathy Ann Viveiros. Trying to out me will not silence me. I don't respond well to bullies. I have been very quiet on the subject of the mayoral race up until now. I think this set me off which is probably the opposite reaction of what the witch hunters intended. Good Work!
PLEASE NOTE - I do not want to moderate comments but I will be deleting any names that are carelessly thrown out in the comment section.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Fall River needs jobs.
Fall River needs Jobs for Fall River, Inc. (aka Fall River Office of Economic Development) to succeed in attracting jobs for Fall River!
While Rhode Island submitted both of its proposals to the federal Department for Transportation for consideration, Massachusetts chose to only submit one proposal. The Projo article does not state who made the decision to drop the Fall River proposal from consideration.
We elected a 30 year State Representative as Mayor for his promise that his experience would provide “Leadership that gets things done.” How can Fall River’s proposal for short sea shipping be eliminated at the state level and not even submitted to the federal government?
Once Fall River’s proposal was submitted to the state agency, did either Mayor Correia or Ken Fiola follow-up the proposal with a call to determine whether the proposal would be submitted to the federal government?
So, since Fall River’s proposal for short sea shipping was not submitted, there will be no federal stimulus funds for Fall River to develop its port. The residents of Fall River are owed an explanation regarding what happened with the city’s proposal. All we are left with is this quote from Ken Fiola, “It’s a shame. The state should have applied for both and let the feds pick and choose.”
Fall River is out of contention to receive stimulus funds for short sea shipping. Hundreds of short sea shipping jobs won’t come to Fall River.
…. It’s a shame, indeed.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Anyone interested in a no-bob visibility event on Saturday?
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Campaign finance reports are due to the city clerks office Tuesday!
My boycott of Pub 99 is going strong. I refuse to go back until, at the EARLIEST, the Bob Correia signs come down....makes me lose my appetite. Thinking about writing Pub 99 a letter about my boycott.
Appalled that my uncle told me he always votes for Leo Pelletier because of the time Leo once gave him free coffee and a chourico sandwich during a campaign.
I think Mike Raposa should drop out of the mayoral race.....
I think Bob Correia should drop out of the mayoral race....
I was reminded that City Clerk Carol Valcourt, City Attorney Arthur Frank, and Bob Correia are full of shit. They claimed that the illegal 'pride city wide' city seal isn't going on any official city documents. What is this?
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Boston Herald Picture
Boston Herald Article by Michele Mcphee
Howie Carr Column
I am about to listen to Mike Rodrigues on the Chamber of Commerce show "The voice of business," on WSAR. Can't wait to hear his thoughts on helping local business.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Just further evidence that Bob Correia doesn't care about the democratic process.
Finally, I question the decision making skills of anyone supporting Bob Correia. Next time they are up for election, I will remember that elected officials such at District Attorney Sam Sutter and Register of Deeds Bernard McDonald actively supported Bob Correia.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
So the the South Main library isn't handicap accessible, so Bob originally scheduled his neighborhood meeting in a non handicap accessible building, but this statement takes his disrespect for the disabled to a whole new level.
And in true Bob Correia fashion, at the last neighborhood forum, he refused to back down from his idiotic statement. He has a real knack for making a bad situation worse.
You are probably not feeling too happy after watching that last clip (unless you are Bob Correia). Maybe this will cheer you up; I call it "campaign promise"
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
At Bob Correia's Thursday night "neighborhood forum," a citizen asked Bob if he was committed to the fight against LNG at Weaver's Cove. Bob noted that the city of Fall River can no longer afford to pay the lawyers to fight it and that he has turned the issue over to our part time assistant corporation counsel, John Coughlin. Mayor Correia, who has accepted campaign contributions from Hess representatives in the past, is doing "everything minimally possible" to stop the siting of LNG at Weaver's Cove.
This was the first time I heard that Bob took away the funding to fight LNG...did anyone else know about this?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So what the the heck is going on here - a public park that belongs to all residents of the city is paved and the soccer field is now not open to the public?
Here is a birds eye view of the park before the paving and fencing (click to enlarge)
And here are some (non birds eye) shots after the paving and fencing
The Fall River property info on the location which shows it is city property
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
"Stefani Koorey, involved in the city’s art and history scenes, jumped at a chance to ask what Correia meant earlier in the forum when he said he let managers run their departments because he was not qualified to. 'What are you qualified for?' she asked.
The mayor said he doesn’t know how to run a police or fire department but that he can do his own job well. 'I never said I wasn’t qualified to run this city'.”
Online Version Of The Article HERE
Paper Version (click to enlarge)
Did the Herald run out of space in the paper? Or, are they purposely excluding material from the print version of the paper? I'm a little concerned that there are 2 different versions of the newspaper.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
(Click to enlarge and print)
You too can own your very own copy of this Manny Souza masterpiece entitled "Obey."
1.) Go to your nearest office superstore
2.) Purchase 8 1/2x11 sticker sheets (avery brand usually carries this product)
3.) Fill your printer with said sticker sheets
4.) Click on the above artwork
5.) Print (or save for posterity and then print)
6.) Adhere to your favorite surface (that you own of course)
7.) Stickers may be cut into individual pieces or used in whole sheets
Learn more about the artist
I expect to see this masterpiece on your cars!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I blogged about the graffiti at this particular location in the past (all pictures except the billboard were from this location). Some anonymous commenters told me that none of it was gang graffiti. While I disagree that none of it is gang graffiti, I maintain that it is still a blight and it needs to be cleaned.
Who does the onus fall on when private property is vandalized with graffiti? Is it the property owner's responsibility to clean it up, despite the fact that they were the victims of a crime? While I don't think it is particularly fair to make the owner clean it up, who else should?
Graffiti breeds graffiti. If this particular owner had cleaned up the first few attempts, chances are the entire side of his building would not, now, be covered in graffiti.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I have wanted, for quite some time, to get rid of health benefits for part time city employees. The fatal flaw, in my wish to get rid of health insurance for the part time city council, is that the part time city council would have to propose and/or vote on their benefits being taken away, and I can't see them ever agreeing to that.
I was quite pleased to read a press release from city council candidate, Eric Poulin, yesterday that articulated his desire to save money by getting rid of health insurance for city councilors. I hope some other candidates agree with this idea.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
"Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen." ~George Washington, August 7, 1782
Corporal David Miller was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star today, for his service to our country. In addition, Miller Green looks fantastic with a new flag pole flying the American and POW MIA flags, new flowers, and stonework.
Thank you to everyone who made this happen and thank you to everyone, past and present, who have served in the military, to protect our freedoms.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Video of the explosion
About 300 emergency workers are trying to stop the blaze spreading to other train wagons. Specialist personnel used to tackling chemical fires are being dispatched from across the country.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I believe this edition doesn't come out untill Monday but you can view it online now:
Click here for the Highlands article
Click here for the full list of winners
Monday, June 22, 2009
Menard claims she did nothing wrong: So what gives lobbyists the impression that Joan Menard's vote can be bought? That $1000/month Cadillac ain't cheap and she needs to keep the campaign funds flowing to pay for it.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
It is UNACCEPTABLE that Fall River does not offer this information online. Some councilors indicated they are waiting for Mayor Correia's magic new website, that has been under construction for way too long, to provide information on minutes, agendas, and notice of meetings. Do they seriously expect Bob Correia to create or allow a website that offers governmental transparency?
This information NEEDS to be online! And it can be done with minimal effort from the people we are paying at city hall.
A RESOLUTION PROMOTING OPEN GOVERNMENT THROUGH THE REQUISITE POSTING, ON THE CITY WEBSITE, OF ALL SCHEDULES, AGENDAS, AND MINUTES, OF ALL FALL RIVER GOVERNMENTAL BODIES’ MEETINGS, SUBJECT TO OPEN MEETING LAW, M.G.L. c.30A s.11A ½
WHEREAS the residents of Fall River and others should be able to obtain important information about local government via the internet; and
WHEREAS a growing number of Massachusetts municipalities have made it easy for their citizens to obtain access to key government records online. This simple and inexpensive action opens local government to more people and greatly improves their ability to be responsible, informed citizens; and
RECOGNIZING the purpose of the state Open Meeting Law is to eliminate much of the secrecy surrounding the deliberations and decisions on which public policy is based and that the democratic process depends on the public having knowledge about the considerations underlying governmental action, for without that knowledge, people are not able to judge the merits of actions taken by their representatives;
NOW THEREFORE, it is hereby RESOLVED by the Fall River City Council as follows:
1.) The Office of the Fall River City Clerk shall post all schedules and agendas of all Fall River governmental bodies’ meetings, subject to Massachusetts Open Meeting Law on the City website, no less than 48 hours in advance of the meetings; and
2.) The Office of the Fall River City Clerk shall post the minutes of all Fall River governmental bodies’ meetings, subject to Massachusetts Open Meeting Law on the City website no later than 72 hours after all said meetings.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
On a lighter note, what does this mean for the future of Fall River politics? Will the absence of the Hoo Mee chow mein noodle affect the results of the upcoming election? No longer armed with the savory protection of Hoo Mee chow mein, will politicians be forced to offer platforms, ideas, solutions, etc?
I was speaking with a senior citizen shortly after Leo Pelletier had announced his support for LNG. The person was very angry with Leo. As I recall, her comment went something like this, "first, he didn't even have any meat in the chow mein at his event, now he is supporting LNG!" While the fire at the company is tragic and I hope they can rebuild quickly, it will be interesting to have an election where voters will have to select candidates based on the content of their platform and not the content of their chow mein.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Arts United of Fall River, and Save Our Neighborhoods
Announces the Launch of “Every House Has a Story”
FALL RIVER, MA— The Preservation Society of Fall River, Arts United Fall River, and Save Our Neighborhoods announces an exciting new initiative in Fall River. Called “Every House Has A Story,” the purpose of this program is to inspire children and adults of all ages to expand their pride in their city, with its rich cultural diversity and history—whether they live in a Victorian mansion in the Highlands or a three-decker in the Flint.
A news conference to announce the launching of “Every House Has a Story” will be held on Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 10:00 am at the main Meeting Room of the Fall River Public Library.
Every dwelling has a story of its own and a history that is worth preserving. “Every House Has A Story” is a program that will assist city residents in collecting this history, preserving it, and making it accessible online to all interested parties. In this way, the collection of data, media, and stories can grow with time, as each new participant adds to the narrative of the history of the structure and its surrounding neighborhood.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
While we are on the subject.....I have heard differing reports of how many people were at Mayor Correia's Portuguese Cultural Center (huge venue) campaign fundraiser on Thursday. The numbers have varied widely between 35-50 people. What I DO know is that he was scheduled to be at a student event the next morning and didn't bother to show up (maybe he was afraid of getting booed).
I can understand why the Herald News would do an article on proms. I can understand why the Herald News would do an article on how 'tough economic times' affect prom business; but why the heck would the Herald News think that the daughter of Ken and Carole Fiola, both of whom make lots and lots of money, is an appropriate representative kids weathering 'tough economic times.' "despite the lousy economy, Fiola’s not giving up her one shot at splurging for the junior prom." My thoughts:
This is not a reflection on the kid, I am sure she is a great (and I "reported abuse" for the nasty comment on the HN - but they haven't taken it down), she just isn't the appropriate figure to represent tough economic times. There are plenty of kids who didn't get to go to their prom because they didn't have any money.
shamrockblogga 11 hours ago
Using Lauren Fiola as the poster child for a prom goer splurging, despite the tough economic times, is just distasteful and a slap in the face. Luckily for her, her family is not feeling the effects of tough economic times, but rather, her family is partly responsible for tough economic times.
A $300 dress is a month's worth of food for many in Fall River. A $30 tanning package is a month of electricity for others. But her family can afford this, this is not a case of someone going all out despite the economy. I am sure there were plenty of kids in $50 dresses paid for by parents who worked an extra shift to buy it...and THAT is going all out in tough economic times. NOT a kid who's bmw suv driving mother spent pocket change on a dress made out of zebra and pasties."
Has anyone else noticed the garbage smell over the past two weeks?
Thursday, June 11, 2009
After the hasty award, to a company that contributes to the political campaigns of the local powers that be(Bob Correia and Carole Fiola to name a few), I thought that either way, at least this project would result in some jobs for locals; after all, the actual incorporated name of FROED is "Jobs for Fall River."
I read Ken Fiola's recommendations for the award to Peabody and he touted the benefits of the Peabody award including job creation. I assumed that job creation meant "Jobs for Fall River."
I drove before 64 Durfee this week and saw a group of people protesting. They were local out-of-work constuction workers. They are concerned with Peabody's track record of hiring out of state, non-union workers, many from as far as Texas, for minimum wage and no health insurance benefits.
What the heck is the matter with FROED/RDA aka "Jobs for Fall River." They have shown no interest in creating jobs for Fall River. This situation reminds me of the time Ken Fiola errantly rewrote TIF (tax break) agreements to remove the 'jobs for fall river' requirement AFTER the city council had issued final approval on the tax break agreements. Ken Fiola/FROED/RDA/Jobs for Fall River removed the language the city council agreed upon requiring company practices for the hiring of Fall River residents and construction job preference for MA union workers.
While I respect the union flyer's request that we contact the RDA (FROED/FIOLA) and request that they require Peabody to hire local workers, FROED/RDA/FIOLA'S track record is evidence that they won't oblige.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I noticed they have one of these framed on the first floor of city hall here is some info from the write up next to it.
"Each coin was minted just a short 10 weeks and will never be minted again. And not only is each quarter beautifully showcased, it is also preserved for years to come beneath the protective framed glass. This powerful lithograph, created exclusively for The Franklin Mint by Manny Souza, evokes the very principles for which politics stands – control, courage, strength and democracy.
Limited Edition of 5,000,000
About the Artist
"Light plays a major role in my work," says artist Manny Souza. "An abundance of light and shadows on his chubby face, creates a playground for me and allows a painting to take on a life of its own." Indeed, Souza's masterly use of light in natural settings and his ability to capture intricate details have become the hallmarks of his work. It's no wonder this award-winning artist has developed a national following for his strikingly realistic images. He has exhibited in art shows throughout the United States and his originals are on display in prestigious galleries in the Fall River Art district."
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Normally I leave the restaurant reviewing to the ladies over at New England Bites but I couldn't pass this one up. The restaurants in Fall River have some amazing 'dinner for 2' deals but I think Fall River Grill wins the competition with their 2 dinners and a bottle of (tasty) wine for $19.95 Sunday-Wednesday after 5pm.
A friend recommended Fall River Grill last month but I was hesitant to try it, mostly because of its 2nd Street location. I had driven by Fall River Grill many times and assumed it was the kind of "grill" that was just a bar that served buffalo wings and jalapeno poppers. I was totally wrong.
Fall River Grill is divided in 2 with a partitioned bar and the separate, very nice, dining room. The tables had cloth napkins, linen tablecloths, candles, and the dining room was generally attractive and appetizing. It is quite a surprise for a small frontaged building on 2nd street.
(please note, the iPhone has the crappiest camera ever)
Fall River Grill offers the dinner for 2 deal Sunday through Wednesday 5pm-9pm. Meal selections include: Chicken Mozambique, Shrimp Mozambique, Portuguese Steak, Red Snapper, Fried Fish Fillets, Chopped Liver, and probably a few others I am forgetting. A huge bowl of Portuguese soup is $2.50. Soda is $1.00. They also have a regular menu with lots of options.
I have to imagine that no one knows about this place, or that it is the kind of place which needs a recommendation from a friend before trying it, because it is always empty; yet the the food is great and I don't think I have EVER before, paid $19.95 for 2 dinners and a bottle of wine!!
Friday, May 22, 2009
I took a particularly well written bit of the blog post and googled it. Here is the #1 result for the excerpt from Marcelino's blog "complexities of the law, and an awareness of the risks and potential rewards of a change. The Law of Unintended Consequences is in full effect." Marcelino basically cut and paste the manifesto of a Tulsa candidate, put it on his own blog, and signed it.
He even plagiarized why he is running for city council! If you can't come up with your own reason for running....maybe you shouldn't be running.
Chris Marcelino has now rightfully credited Michael Bates for Bates' work that Marcelino plagiarized. However, I have the original version and I think it is important information to have when you go vote.
Compare what Michael Bates wrote in 2004 to the original of what Marcelino wrote:
Fall River City Council, No easy Task.
Why run for City Council?Most people who hear I'm running for city council congratulate me, or thank me for my willingness to serve. Others -- close friends, mostly -- ask, "Why in the world would you want to be a city councilor? Do you need the aggravation? Why do you want to join that useless, bickering bunch?"
My answer: I want to be a city councilor because the city council matters to our city's quality of life and its future. I am running because I believe that with my skills, knowledge, and experience I can promote Fall Rivers quality of life, and I can help the council become more effective in doing its job, to the benefit of all its citizens.
Some would say that the city council was created as mere window-dressing, a means to avoid a civil rights lawsuit. The real power rests in the Mayor's office, they would say, and the council isn't meant to do much besides act as a rubber-stamp. Many voters may be tempted to give all their attention to the next mayoral race, while ignoring the candidates for city council.
The Council matters
But when you've gone down to City Hall for committee meetings and city council meetings, as I have, and talked to councilors and citizens who come to address the council on some matter, you realize that the city council has an impact on Fall River's quality of life, and it has the potential to become an even greater asset to the city.The council performs three crucial functions that no other body can perform: representation, legislation, and oversight. If it fails to fill these roles adequately, Fall River loses.
Representing Fall River's diversity
The nine city councilors bring nine more perspectives to the table. More than that, in the course of an election, a city councilor speaks to thousands of citizens and hears their concerns and ideas. The new Mayor would be wise to look to the councilors as valuable partners in city government, not rivals.
By speaking for his constituents' interests, a city councilor bridges the gap between City Hall and the parts of the city that feel disenfranchised. A city councilor helps ensure that Fall River's diversity is represented throughout city government, by taking an active role in setting city priorities, ensuring that our plans for the future will benefit each an every Fall River citizen.A city councilor must remember that he is there to represent every citizens interests at City Hall. He is not an ambassador from City Hall to the citizens.
Setting the rules
The city council is not only a representative body, it is a law-making body. The council enacts rules which affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
The council frequently deals with zoning and land-use laws: changing the zoning on an individual piece of land, revising the Comprehensive Plan for an area, or general reform of the zoning laws.
A councilor needs to have a grasp of the complexities of the law, and an awareness of the risks and potential rewards of a change. The Law of Unintended Consequences is in full effect, and a bad decision can undermine years of hard work and thousands of dollars that homeowners and business owners have invested in their properties. A councilor must also be able to think "outside the box" -- willing to consider creative solutions to reach a win-win outcome for all concerned.
As a legislator, and not an executive, a councilor cannot act alone. A councilor must be able to build a professional relationship with his fellow councilors to reach the needed majority to pass an ordinance. To get things done for his city, a councilor must also be able to build support for his proposals in the community.
Although the mayor is responsible for day-to-day operations, we need the city council to oversee the performance of city departments, to ensure that our essential city services are delivered efficiently and with excellence. To do its job, the council needs clear, complete information about expenditures and outcomes from every branch of city government. This same information needs to be made accessible to the public on the Internet.
To fulfill its oversight and legislative responsibilities, the council needs the independent resources and freedom of action to research issues and to evaluate the information it receives from the city administration. If we want a excellent, efficient government.From time to time, exercising effective oversight means saying "no." A good council will cooperate with the mayor whenever possible, but some plans are wrong for Fall River, and the council needs the guts to send them back to the drawing board.
How to build a better Council
More progress needs to be made. In this election, who ever is elected to the council will greatly affect the council's ability to fulfill its responsibilities.As a voter in this election, get to know the candidates running for city council.
Will the candidate be an effective advocate for your neighborhood's particular needs?
Does the candidate have the intelligence and experience to handle zoning and other legislative issues?
Is the candidate committed to a city council which asks tough questions and demands answers, a city council with the confidence to say "no" when it should?
Don't be shy about calling the candidates and asking tough questions of your own.
If you find a good candidate, vote for him, of course, but find other ways to help, too. Display a yard sign, publicly endorse him.
Your time and effort will be repaid with a city council that is ready to build a better Fall River for all of us.
Usually during election time we see signs stating integrity, experience, qualified, etc., realizing that the candidates can only put favorable characteristics on their ads. I mean, who would advertise negatives, like "I'm dishonest, can't be trusted, a scoundrel, but vote for me anyway"? The only way we can get to know the real candidate, their attitudes, viewpoints, and prejudices too, is to ask the hard questions, and then wait for the answers. Voters should be able to hold their feet to the fire. We deserve a high caliber of elected officials, and we need to do a better job vetting them out.
When you ask candidates questions of great concern to you? If you get the deer in the headlights look, maybe that candidate doesn't know what's going on. And if the candidate tries to spin the answer, then don't let them get away with it, and ask it again, maybe this time with a different inflection.
Here's your chance to (1) elect a candidate that is going to represent you and (2) exercise a valuable right, the right to vote, so be prepared. The future of Fall River is largely influenced by the attitudes and actions of the city council. No easy task, so let's not treat it as if it is just another election. You can make a difference.
Candidate for Fall River City Council.
Posted by Bristol County News at 2:15 PM 1 comments
Labels: Fall River
Monday, May 18, 2009
And 7 months later......
Were the crosswalks done in chalk or washable fingerpaint? They look terrible, and after only 7 months. Can we get a refund? Ken Pacheco mentioned in the above linked article that they were thinking about using this paint/color for other crosswalks around government center....please don't.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Watching the FREE presentation, I kept hearing Correia thank George Delany for the ideas and his work on the FREE project. Hopefully FREE plans are more realistic than Mr. Delany's other project, the University of Fall River College of Interplanetary Sciences where students are offered "the opportunity to examine the possibilities for building expanded human communities in space, on the moon, Mars, and beyond" (slide 26 in the above link).
So which is more likely, a Fall River based college for building moon condominiums, or Bob's FREE plan?
Thursday, May 14, 2009
When: Saturday 10am-1pm
Where: The Dump aka Mt. Trashmore aka Mt. Viveiros
In "an effort to improve the quality of life of all Fall River residents" the Office of Mayor Bob Correia is hosting a free event at the dump this weekend, and yes delicious refreshments will be served.
Bring the Mayor your hazardous waste at the dump on Saturday for free!
"Residents must remain in their car while the landfill's attendant removes the items directly from vehicles." (At which point the hazardous materials will be disposed of by pouring them into the water supply)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Fall River Fire Museum & Friends of Heritage State Park present a "salute to firefighters & public safety day" on Saturday, May 16th 2009 10 - 2. The following lists some tentative events including a "Jaws of life" demo, SWAT team demo, K9 demo, sparky the fire dog, pluggy the talking fire hydrant, smokey the bear, childs fingerprinting, bristol county fire safe house, static displays of antique and front line fire apparatus, bristol county sheriffs mobile command center, etc.!!!
The Re-Dedication of The Private Joseph Francis WWI Memorial (across from little theatre)
Saturday May 16th 11:00am
(rain date, Sunday May 17th)
Ceremonies Include: Parade from Durfee Green (across from FR historical society tea house), Re-dedication of the memorial, live orchestra, refreshments will be served following the ceremony.
9am-12pm: Blessing of the Animals, First Congregational Church, 282 Rock Street. Petting Zoo! and Pony Rides!All animals welcome (on leashes and carriers). For questions call 508-672-5862
Friday, May 8, 2009
How can current Bristol County Sheriff, Tom Hodgson, claim he is a fiscal conservative, who is out of money, because the governor didn't give him enough, yet still afford to build a television studio at the Dartmouth House of Corrections so he can broadcast his wisdom to the public access masses?
Why is Pat Casey's pothole-free street (Mount Hope Ave) getting paved again when there are lethal potholes in the city?
Why is Bob Correia running again?
Dispatch "If there were enough people yeah"
~~~~Keep in mind I am not blaming the police/dispatch/etc for this whatsoever, but IT IS happening, at no fault of their own...if we keep it quiet it will continue to happen~~~speak up!!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This is by no means a commentary on the job the police are doing; they are doing an incredible job with what is being thrown at them. However, it is UNACCEPTABLE to report a crime and hear 'sorry but we can't help you.' We have already had one murder this month, possibly two, depending on the status of the Club International victim, and Correia refuses to bring back police. Cut your effing driver. Just do it. Cut your PR person, because she clearly hasn't been successful for you, cut the pay rates of the 68 city hall employees not subject to collective bargaining......
Furthermore, we need to crack down on the bars/clubs/whatever, that are constant crime scenes. Pull their liquor licenses, make them get police details (although club xcape did have one last night), cut their hours, or whatever you can do to stop this. After the second shooting outside the Regatta there were about 15 officers stationed around the building. Are we going to wait for a second or a third shooting at Club International before we do anything?
Hopefully Bob Correia was able to sleep through all the noise of crime and violence in his city last night. He needed his beauty sleep so he would be rejuvenated for his announcement this morning that he intends to run for mayor again because he hasn't wreaked enough havoc on the city, nor padded his pension enough, in his one term.
**Thank you to the police who are working twice as hard now and who, due to shortages, probably have to respond to some calls alone now, without backup, putting their lives in further danger.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Victim remains in hospital
FALL RIVER MASS (WPRI) - A shooting in Fall River is under investigation. A man was shot on the corner of South Main and Globe St outside of Club International.
The shooting happened just before 2:00 Saturday morning. The victim was taken to an area hospital. His condition is not known at this time.
Fall River Police say the District Attorney's office and The Major Crimes division is investgating the shooting.
Click here for WPRI video
Thursday, April 30, 2009
A Spring Fling
Silent Auction and Performance
The arts are like the blossoms on a tree, don’t let Fall River’s die, support the Spindle City Ballet
May 1, 2009 from 6:30pm- 8:30pm
2nd floor Almeida Electric Building
288 Plymouth Ave.
Fall River, Ma. 02771
Admission is free and refreshments will be served.
Items will include artwork, trips, special event tickets, health and beauty items and services and too many to list.
Come enjoy a few hours of fun and see why you should help keep Fall River’s hidden gem in bloom!
Parking is free and the building is wheel chair accessible.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
In the waterways license agreement, the following conditions are placed on Borden Light Marina's operation:
Boat Ramps -
The Licensee shall make the boat ramp available for public use during normal business hours of marina operation for a reasonable fee. Is this being done?
The Licensee shall maintain 25 parking spaces for the use of the general public during the period of October 15 through April 14th of each year. Said spaces shall be available from 8AM to sunset and there shall be no fee for said spaces. The licensee shall place signage indicating the availability of these spaces. The licensee shall maintain 156 parking spaces for the use of the general public on filled private and Commonwealth tidelands for the use of the general public during the period of April 15 to October 14th (excluding "special event" days as defined by the state). Said spaces shall be available from 8AM to sunset and there shall be no fee for said spaces. Is this being done?
The Licensee shall construct and maintain public restrooms in the marina office...Said restrooms shall be made available to the public during normal hours of marina operation. ??
The Licensee shall provide a sewage pumpout system for the pumpout of sanitation on recreational boating vessels. The licensee shall actively promote the use of this system by marina patrons and other boaters. ??
Another interesting part of the agreement is this requirement, "The structures and fill authorized hereby are limited to the following uses: commercial recreational boating facilities." Does a bar on a barge qualify as a commercial recreational boating facility?
Access the Borden Light agreement HERE