Monday, February 23, 2009

Short Sightedness Massachusetts

What if we could start construction tomorrow on an LNG platform south of the Braga Bridge? What if we just tore down 64 Durfee Street and put up a nice modern 'rent controlled' building? What if we tore down some of the eyesores near the the new Downtown courthouse and constructed a new jail right next to it, that would save the Commonwealth some money on transporting criminals and create some good construction jobs here in Fall River!

Maybe we should surrender our park land to the redevelopment authority so it can be converted to condos or strip malls?

If we did all of these things or any of these things we would be creating jobs and adding to our tax base. This seems to be what our city leadership wants, maybe what a majority of our city wants.

Forget the lofty dreams and unattainable goals. Fall River needs jobs! Fall River is not an arts city! It's a poor city! Fall River needs jobs! We need more people paying taxes not more people looking for tax breaks!

If we did all these things Fall River would certainly be booming over the next few years as new construction would spring up with all those jobs and later all those taxes! How silly I and some of us on this blog and others would feel once we saw the benefits of everything we were trying to stand in the way off.

Yup, if we could only start this today Fall River would be doing okay for the next few years!

But then what?

How often do people who live in 'rent controlled' housing go out to eat in upscale restaurants? And with an LNG platform dominating the river how would we develop our waterfront?

Where would be twenty years from now?

Can you imagine if you had to come up with rent money today so you sell your car only to realize you now have no way to get to work?

Good leadership requires not just the ability to see us through today but to have a vision for tomorrow.

Giving away our ability to develop our city, settling for projects that may create jobs that our here today but gone tomorrow, giving up our long term health for short term gain is only going to leave us in the same rut that we've been in for decades.


Anonymous said...

well said

Just Anonymous said...

All of your points are valid.
Very few in leadership positions in this city have any vision whatsoever. It is all about the right now, right here.

But why would they care? Most of them are older and set in their ways (some have one foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel). These people do not care about the future of Fall River. They will not be around to see the future of Fall River. For them, it is all about what they can do to make their lives better in the present time. Screw the future of Fall River. Screw the young residents of Fall River. They will clean up the mess once the cronies are dead and gone.

Lefty said...

I hope when Ol' Lefty is ready to be put out to pasture that I'm STILL thinking about the future of this city and what is best for its long term health.

Just Anonymous said...

That is the difference between you and THEM Lefty.

BTW, no pasture for you for a long time, no worries.

Anonymous said...

lefty i am a hurricane supporter so i want to get that point out there before you read my post.

but dont you feel as if the citizens of the city have been complacent to the actions of these economic development boards?

i feel as if the citizens should start forming groups based on desires to get certain projects done. These groups could stay on these local politicians and have a say in what really goes on.

if you speak loud enough and long enough they will have no other choice but to listen. instead of all these nitwits coming onto these blogs, bashing their local politicians and keeping the sense of negativity in this area at an all time high, stand up for your beliefs and be heard!

just my opinion but i think small citizen based development groups would be ideal for situations like the one at 64 durfee street.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is a Herren supporter? The guy is trying to throw his hat in a race. I listened to the tail end of him on my way home from work and he kept talking about his "political career". Thought he was trying to milk his father's past as usual. Then he begins to scold Camara and Kathy Anne while heralding all that is Peabody. This little nugget is followed by a heartfelt Father Flannagan harangue of no matter what I do my past blah blah blah.

Lefty said...

Anon 6:57,

I very much think that we, as citizens, are too complacent. Figure out why that is, and how to change it, and you could really make a difference in this city!

However, I think groups ARE forming. Arts United, Save Our Neighborhoods, The Coalition for the Responsible Citing of LNG (they could use a shorter name!) Green Futures, various neighborhood associations, to name a few. These groups have all formed to promote a vision for our city's future. Even the local blogs such as this one, or Fall River-tastic, and Fall River Community are all venues for conversation and the sharing of opinions.

The problem is that people want to dismiss these voices as merely reactionary observation. Maybe these 'we' could do more to temper our arguments, so they were not perceived as negative attacks but they should not just be dismissed out of hand.

I think we have been talking long and loud, we're just waiting for someone to listen.

Anonymous said...

Looks like someone is listening:

Fall River — I have been very troubled over the recent debate regarding the former Bradford Durfee Textile School located at 64 Durfee St. One side is making the accusation that certain parties only want to award a bid to Peabody Properties because of political contributions that were made, while the other side is saying this issue is intentionally being mishandled in order to advance the potential mayoral candidacies of certain city councilors. Unfortunately, caught in the middle are local activists Jeff Carpenter and Alan Amaral, two people who should be given the bulk of the credit for pushing Fall River politicians into finally passing an arts overlay district, and for expanding the availability of liquor licenses in order to attract more upscale establishments to Fall River.

While I certainly believe that the intentions of local activists are pure, and I definitely hope that the same can be said for our elected leaders, the bottom line is that the rhetoric, which has been ratcheted up by certain parties in comments given to the local media, needs to stop, and it needs to stop now as it could be a deterrent to much-needed progress in Fall River.

We genuinely need to take a step back and look at the big picture, and if we do so we are forced to admit that the cold, hard facts suggest that the potential redevelopment of the former police station by the city was mishandled. It also appears that the redevelopment of the former Bradford Durfee Textile School by the Redevelopment Authority has been mishandled. Those of us who desire to look at the big picture and who desire to move the city forward would now ask the question, “How can we do things correctly in the future?”

Whether it is the city putting a property out to bid, or a quasi public/private entity like the Redevelopment Authority, it should be clear to all by now that improvements are needed in how we conduct business. We may soon be putting several former school buildings out to bid for redevelopment by the private sector, and I would hate to see destructive battles and fighting occur over each and every one of them. It would be great to see the city and entities associated with the city being proactive, as we currently seem to be reactive on too many issues. In fact, this issue in particular was one that I spoke about dating back to 2007, even issuing an action plan on the matter, but let me restate the concepts very simply:

1.) When we put together a request for proposal it needs to be very clearly stated how we are looking for the property to be developed and how the responses will be scored/evaluated.
2.) We can’t be shortsighted. If one developer offers $100,000 to purchase a property and another $200,000, it does not automatically mean the $200,000 offer is the best proposal. The best proposal is the one that has the highest and best use of the property in mind, (something that should be spelled out in the RFP) and is the one that is going to invest the greatest dollar amount in the property itself.

These are concepts that taxpayers are able to grasp but a poll of city officials/elected leaders after the police station fiasco showed widespread disagreement, with some even arguing that the higher sale price needed to be taken simply because that’s the way it has always been done. While I would suggest that we should do whatever is possible to encourage properties to be developed into office buildings or other types of uses that create jobs and disposable income for our residents who are grappling with the city’s high unemployment rate, common sense and reason should allow us all to agree that an investment in a property that creates substantial property tax revenues for the city for many years to come should be preferable over accepting a quick buck or two that comes from the sale of a property. The one-time money from a sale, once it is spent, is gone forever. Annual property tax revenues are re-occurring and will come into the city’s coffers every year.

Cities that can encourage and facilitate good proposals from good developers can often pay for necessary services while at the same time keep property taxes low for residents. It is not an impossible dream, just one that we have not yet realized. Fall River is a great city and the potential is there; in fact, it has been for many years.

After the debacle with the police station, city officials said they would “explore” the use of “reverter clauses” or “performance guarantees.” This would mean that if a developer does not follow through with what they said they were going to do with a given property that it would either revert back to the city, or if the property was sold within a given time frame without anything productive being done that the city and its taxpayers would reap a large amount of revenue from the sale. No word has ever come back as to whether or not that “exploration” was successful and if the ideas were legal or illegal. Now some might say that developers would be afraid to commit to such a thing, but I might argue that a developer that has a strong track record and the capability to deliver would probably not be so easily frightened.

Lastly, I believe we received two bids when we put our police station out to bid and we just received two bids for the former Durfee Textile School property. Two bids! If proper marketing had been done, (and to their credit, officials associated with the bid process have recently admitted on local radio that it wasn’t) then maybe we would have to accept that meager level of interest. However, Fall River should stop accepting mediocrity and half-hearted “C” performances or worse when the residents of our city deserve excellence and “A+” performances from all of our leaders. With the birth of the Internet and with real estate trade publications and publications serving the arts community, etc., a better marketing effort involving little to no cost might have produced more bids. In fact, I was pleased to hear Ken Fiola of the Fall River Office of Economic Development suggest on local radio that the Internet and other resources may be employed the next time.

Perhaps then there is hope for everyone to grasp the big picture, but bickering must be put aside in order to promote the people’s agenda, which is ultimately the only one that will result in real progress for the citizens of Fall River.

Eric Poulin is a local activist, former mayoral aide and former mayoral candidate.

Anonymous said...

What is the relationship between Puolin and Hurricane like i would be interested in finding that out.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? I think you people who want to relate everything to Mike Herren are insulting and I don't understand how some of you can walk and breathe at the same time. He's not God people. He's a has been jock who believes his own hype and things he is more that what he is. You Herren fans are ridiculous.

Eric Poulin is very respected in this city and he's proven time and again that he want's what is best for Fall River. Trying to insinuate that he wrote the opinion piece to somehow "get back" at Mike is insulting and stupid.

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is how come all for blogs that are featured on "Fall River Blog" agree about every hot button issue in this city? Surely it is not that great minds think alike. To be honest, it is getting sickening and instead of some contradictory opinions being healthy, it has just become so predictable and boring. There is no way that every move made is the wrong one. I open it now and just roll my eyes, where in the beginning I used to think there were some good opinions. I honestly just come to laugh at the comments now. They have become a haven for all non-conformists in the city...but it is the same ones over and over. Here is to hoping the bloggers in the city get some original thoughts and stop simply agreeing with what the other three think.

Rodham said...

It's the vast bloggah conspiracy.

Lefty said...

Anon 12:51,

A simple link to Poulin's letter in the Herald News would have sufficed.

Anon's 1:35 and 4:37 - I don't think Poulin's comments have ANYTHING to do with Mike Herren. I would also agree that Eric is motivated by doing what's best for the city. Although I don't always agree with him.

and lastly,

Anon 6:32,

I really can't tell you why the featured blogs are all like minded. I don't think we simply agree. I know I have avoided posting on many topics because it was one already covered by one of the other blogs. I don't think I'm trying to be a 'non-conformist', I'm simply offering up my opinion, my views.

I would have no problem publishing a post that disagreed with Shamrock or FRC, IF that was my view or my opinion. In fact I think I probably have. I would have no problems 'featuring' a blog that frequently had opinions different than my own.

I would have no problems publishing a blog post on Fall River Blog that was in opposition to a view I had.

I would suggest that if you're not seeing your opinion represented start blogging! If you don't want to dedicate yourself to a blog, you can submit a guest post to Fall River Blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Eric Poulin has remained active. I also respect him and agree with his letter. I just wish he would get some writing/editorial help. He tends to babble redundantly, and I'm afraid the good points he makes will be lost on most.

Anonymous said...

I thought the letter was written really well but I guess he is a redundant babbler? Or wouldn't that statement itself qualify as redundant?

As far as Poulin and Hurricane all I know is that Hurricane backed Kilby in the last Mayor's race and from what I've seen and heard Poulin and Kilby have a positive relationship so I would guess the same might be true with some of Kilby's ex-supporters like Hurricane but I don't know. Plus, how was this letter getting back at Hurricane and what would Poulin be getting back at Hurricane for exactly? Nothing negative was said about Hurricane in the letter and I've never read or heard anything negative from Hurricane about Poulin or Poulin about Hurricane. If Hurricane or his supporters are so curious about how they interact with each other if at all then Poulin should be invited on the Hurricane's show but we all know that won't happen because of Poulin witnessing one of the Karams flip out on Keri Rodrigues and his willingness to have spoken out about it.

Postive things were said in this letter about both Jeff Carpenter and Alan Amaral and about how the city needs to improve its bid process so there isn't another fight in the future. What I see is someone who is making an attempt at bringing people together to correct a problem. That's called leadership and trying to work with everyone and it isn't exactly something that Bob Correia and many of his City Councilors and School Committee supporters are known for.

Anonymous said...

If HURRICANE and POULIN could get together look out..NOBODY could stop them!!They would be a perfect compliment to each other.

Anonymous said...

Why would Poulin ever align himself with a scumbag like Herren. No offense but the guy is nothing shady trouble.

Anonymous said...

Well if Poulin really did want to work with everyone or try to then he would have to do Hurricane's show but it's pointless to talk about because we know the Karams wouldn't allow for it and while I find Hurricane's show entertaining he tried a little too hard today to deny that the Karams pull his strings and he claims he will have anyone on at anytime. Clearly that's not the case.

Anonymous said...

i would bet that if Poulin ran he would definately reach out to hurricane without question.they get along and have mutual respect for each other.Poulin cant win without guys like Hurricanes help they could be the bridge he needs form the fringe to mainstream big difference getting 15 percent as opposed to 51 percent

Anonymous said...

why don't poulin and kilby reach out to each other and get the votes, sorry but herren is just an albatross around their necks.

Anonymous said...

Does Poulin need Hurricane though? Maybe yes, maybe no, I mean seriously, Poulin was fringe? Wasn't the difference between Poulin and Hurricane's guy, a.k.a. Brad "I have signs up all over the city" Kilby something like 20 votes? The Herald also reported if I remember right that Poulin spent half of what Kilby did so whatever he did he got a bigger bang for the buck.

I'm not bagging on Kilby though, I like both of them, I just think it's funny that some people still try to lump Poulin in as a fringe candidate. When Poulin mentions people like Jeff Carpenter and Alan Amaral in the same letter, one maybe more fringe and one maybe that is more establishment it seems like an indication he can work with both, which is not a fringe quality.

Plus, if Poulin is fringe, what the hell was Bill Whitty? People thought Bill had a legit shot and he was way, way far in the rear view of just about everyone else except Manny Alves or Ken Medeiros, lol, now they are fringe with a capital F! I gotta think everyone would agree to that.

Anonymous said...

Poulin might have 51% right now with everyone Correia has ticked off plus he put out some good ideas of his own in 2007. Let's look at who could take it from King Bob. Sullivan got his butt beat, he ain't in it again. Alves said no, Kilby said no, they could change their minds but doubtful. Whitty is all done, he'd be a "fringe" candidate. Steve Camara? Are you people serious? That guy is way out there plus he is only slightly less arrogant than Correia. Cathy Ann Viveiros? Maybe but she just came back here from Westport in 2007, she disappeared after she lost the Mayor's race in 1995. That may fly and get her by in a Council race but you don't think in a Mayor's race people would be reminded that she abandoned the city? Will Flanagan? Poulin went up against several heavyweights and more than held his own. Could Flanagan do the same cuz he's in the same boat with no name recognition, he would have to run one hell of a campaign to finish as close as people like Poulin did in 2007, he better be worried by people like Steve Camara and Cathy Ann Viveiros and Eric Poulin if they ran, bouncing him from making the final cutoff because of their name recognition but only 1 of these people would have a real shot at beating Correia and it ain't Ray Hague. Stick to the Council Ray. If you try for more you ain't gonna make it buddy. No shot. Jacome ain't in it. Tony Cordeiro ain't gonna do it, he'd be giving up too much. Carole Fiola? Too far up Correia's butt to give it a go. Am I missing anyone? Oh yeah, thought I heard someone say Ann O'Neil-Souza, that one made me laugh. She managed things pretty well for Bill Whitty. Not!

Anonymous said...

Mark Gustafson??

Anonymous said...

Both Fiolas should be ousted from fall river on their ethics alone.

Anonymous said...

Mark Gustafson for Council maybe, I think he's been out of the picture too long to have a serious shot at Mayor.

reality check said...

I believe that Will Flanagan may surprise people. He's smart, well organized and does not owe anyone. New blood and fresh ideas are what this city needs.

Anonymous said...

What about Poulin then,wouldn't the same apply plus he's already been in at least 1 battle with the so-called local political heavyweights like Correia and Sullivan, etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:05 Poulin lost the election and so did many other so-called haevy hitters. Maybe the laugh is that the voters want somewhat whose not self serving and has the best interest of the city at heart.

Anonymous said...

I think the point was that Poulin wasn't a heavy hitter but was right there with all of the supposed "heavy hitters." We can say that the so-called "heaviest hitter" of them all Bob Correia won. The laugh and a sad laugh at that is that the voters elected the most self serving candidate who clearly didn't and doesn't have the city's best interests at heart, only his own retirement plan. If the voters wanted someone who wasn't self serving and who had the city's best interests at heart then they would've elected Poulin or at least someone other than Bob Correia, the most self serving and the least interested in the city of all of them that were running.

Anonymous said...

What total bullshit! That's the crap that Poulin and his groupies put out.

Anonymous said...

It's not BS, I totally agree. So who do we have up for mayor and city council so far??


names we have heard so far:
Steve Camara?
Ray Hague
Will Flanagan- definite
Cathy Ann ?
anne oneil sousa?

City Council

Poulin ?
Kilby ?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:21 a.m. sounds like a total Correia groupie. You used the word bullshit but you must have it for brains if you are still on the "Correia is doing a great job" bandwagon. My God, open your damn eyes! I talked to a lot of people during the 2007 campaign and even people that weren't voting for Poulin including some of Correia's supporters expressed admiration and respect for Poulin so I don't think it's just his "groupies."

You can be jealous that Correia has lost a lot of respect and admiration even from some of his former supporters but he has earned each and every bit of criticism that is now being heaped upon him. He will go down as one of the most disliked if not outright hated mayors in Fall River's history, which is probably not the way he wanted to end his career but he has earned it. Those that continue to stand by his side better be careful that the stink doesn't rub off on them too!

Anonymous said...

I can’t see Ann O’Neil getting elected Mayor in this city. I do not think Cathy Ann Viveros can be trusted. I think Steve Camara is too liberal to be Mayor in Fall River; he would make a good mayor in towns like Newport or Cambridge though. I need to learn more about Will Flanagan. Ray Hague is a good city councilor but I just don’t see him as a mayor when I look at him. Poulin would do well on the council and I would like to see Brad Kilby go back to school committee. Just my thoughts!

Anonymous said...

and for Mayor?

Anonymous said...

School Committee: Andrew Galvao
Sheila Sullivan Duval

Anonymous said...

eric poulin, city council,great. maybe ann souza and shelly mccann will consider.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lefty--It's Anon 4:37 from up above--My comment was aimed at the post directly above mine where the previous poster was questioning the relationship between Eric and Mike. I just get so annoyed with some of these people who think that Mike Herren is the be all and end all, you know? Sorry for any misunderstanding. I haven't read anything else yet, but I wanted to clear that up. =)

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of Poulin at WSAR, if he ever were to run again the instructions from the Karams to their talks show hosts and news people would be attack, attack, attack.

Anonymous said...

Why would WSAR want to attack Poulin. If Bob is in as much trouble as everyone says he is wouldn't the Karams want to make nice with his potential opponents?

Anonymous said...

Hurricane is the man..Eric Poulin was following him around at the rally at city hall..Hurricane will have a tremenduos impact on the next elections like it or not his radio show is where the action is !!All the BIG names listen and want to be on.

Anonymous said...

Listen, the Karams will never make nice with anyone, it has never been their style and I don't see them changing now no matter how desperate things look for Bob Correia. They'll just grab another horse to ride and it won't be Poulin, it'll probably be someone that is easier to buy like Cathy Ann Viveiros or Joe Camara or maybe even Steve Camara who is not to be trusted 100%.

And I am a firefighter and I was at the event, Poulin was not following Hurricane around, it was more like the other way around. I heard Hurricane tell Poulin he wanted to talk to him and they both turned and walked away. It looked like Steve Camara wanted to talk to both of them but was made to wait. Interesting thing is they seemed friendly to one another. Weird because the two couldn't seem to be more opposite to me, you have to admit one comes across as more of a nerd and the other more of a jock. Part of me thinks it was an entertaining conversation and the other part of me is hoping that suddenly everyone from all walks of life might finally be coming together and realizing that everyone needs to work together to overthrow the walking, talking disaster known as Mayor Correia. I think I'm probably wrong about that but I can hope anyway. I just remember that Both Poulin and Hurricane stood up against the idea of the Fire Chief becoming a political appointment last year, maybe they haven't agreed on anything else since but maybe the times are changing too, I don't know but I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Poulin and Hurricane have a lot in common: Either or both would lose in a race against Bob Correia and by a lot. The problem in Fall River today is too many people under 50 years of age don't seem to know their place. Pay attention kids, children should be seen and not heard. Poulin already got smacked down, and Hurricane better realize the same can happen to him in a heartbeat or quicker if he gets out of line.

Anonymous said...

Here is a thought, herren was in a tough place he came out against the fire chief back when I actually listened to wsar and I thought he was being fair and there was debate. Then it was obvious he was told what he was going to think after that. The next thing you know the mayor is on wsar for his daily state of the city address and everyone that has a differing opinion is shut down from expressing it. Think about this herren did not support correia in the race. His father did not support correia in the race as a matter of fact it is rumored he does not like this mayor at all. There was also an incident with poulin on wsar and the karams and correia wanted him shut down. Do you see a patter here? Now based on the rumors the mayor will retire when there are 6months left so there can't be a special election and joe camara can be acting mayor so they can pull strings right to the end of the election year -people are scrambling to get behind the right horse in the next race. That is how the fall river political machine used to work.
Thing is its a different time now .

Anonymous said...

Well you can tell Hurricane that he is only going to have his show for as long as he does what he is supposed to do. Jobs can be given and jobs can be taken away, if he was following around his "friend" the other day then his "friend" should've told him that since he knows firsthand.

Faye Musselman said...

The summer nights of booming brights in skies alight

now fade away
as did the day

of booming looms and tolling bells and dinner pails

in this your town,
Fall River.

Smokestacks outlined derelick and still; no steamships sailing nor ever will

across the Mount Hope Bay

No blankets on the fresh mowed grass, as they were in summer’s past
And all these things we question Why

Of a disappointing Fourth of July
in this your town,
Fall River.

Summer nights to Winter frights with yells “Unite!”
To ease the pain
Of offers slain

In this your town,
Fall River

The knife has sliced and what’s yet to be – into the mirror you can see

Potmarks on the streets abound, the sirens wail a frequent sound.
Treacherous the travel and increased the crime,
the fractured family in a dismal time.

Its breadth and range shrieks redundant for Change
Falling on ears of the deaf.

A city preferring to hide
What it once had, and what it has left

And what it yet can save.

In this your town,
Fall River.