Friday, March 06, 2009

Will of the people?

Last night mayoral challenger Will Flanagan kicked off his campaign at the Water Street Cafe. According to the Herald News there was a turnout of over 150 people.


Wow, that seems pretty impressive for a kickoff for a candidate that has never before held office. What's his appeal? Oh, that's right he's not Bob!


There is no doubt in my mind, that as the only announced challenger to Mayor Correia, Will has benefited from the support of the 'Anyone but Bob' crowd. Big surprise. The truth is has anyone ever eroded their popularity quicker than Mayor Bob Correia?


But is that enough reason to enthusiastically stand behind Candidate Flanagan? It certainly isn't for me, that's why I was hoping to attend his kickoff and hear first hand his plans for our future. Unfortunately I was unable to attend but was disappointed when I read the write up in the Herald News.


Will didn't offer up anything exciting, or concrete, of substantive. Instead he threw out a wish list of stuff, (much of which we've heard before), without any specifics of HOW he would make it happen. Did the Herald somehow omit those details?


Will says if elected he will repeal the storm water fee introduced by Mayor Correia. What he is not telling us is if he is simply going to raise water and sewer fees or if he plans on raising that revenue through some other source.

He's going to bring in new business and make sure our workforce is trained. How? What is he going to do that's different from previous mayors? How is he going to pay for this training?

Will says he is going to begin relocating Rt. 79 and work with state and federal officials on the Rt. 24 interchange. How? How would Flanagan begin moving Rt. 79? Where is that money going to come from? How much influence is Flanagan going to have with the Rt. 24 interchange, and really what expertise does he have that would aid in the design and construction?

Will says he would begin the process of decreasing the student to teacher ratio. Where is the funding going to come from for more teachers? Maybe his plan is to get rid of some of the students?

Will also says he would implement a '311 system' that I believe was first talked about by Representative David Sullivan. How much is this going to cost?

Lefty's View: Honestly, I'm disappointed. Maybe there's more detail here than what the Herald reported. I hope so. I imagine that there are going to be a few more hats tossed into the ring and if Flanagan wants to compete he needs to get the specifics of how he is going to get things done out there.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lefty, I think your expectations were too high. Whether its a campaign kickoff or an acceptance of a nomination, candidates don't speak with the specificity that you expect.

Candidates try to create a broad sense of appeal and its up to the citizenry and the media to push for specifics. Either way, any candidate won't know exactly what to do until they are sitting in the big chair themselves.

It is still early in March and I am sure you will be hearing more specifics from Will and the other candidates in the months to come.

Right now is the time to get people excited about the candidates... specifics come later. Afterall, did President Obama ever explain Hope or Change with specifics prior to the election?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:46...which is exactly why many are concerned that President Obama is a great orator who lacks substance.

Anonymous said...

I am in agreement with Lefty. It is very easy for candidates, the Herald news, bloggers, etc to to say that everything the mayor has done is wrong, and it is hard to dispute some of that. I do not want to hear the usual rhetoric. We do not have the money for people to throw out fantasies of what they will do. We need to hear the real deal, and anyone who says they are going to cut class size is most likely dreaming. Are we going to layoff more police for that?

Anonymous said...

Lefty:

It was promoted as a campaign kick-off which is an opportunity for the public to meet the candidate. I did attend and felt that Will did a good job communicating and outlining his platform for the upcoming election. The speech lasted about 15 minutes if he went into detail it would have lasted much longer. Certainly I would not complain if he went on for longer but people do lose their attention span after awhile. Although it was not specific in detail he did get my attention and possibly my vote.

Anonymous said...

What are Will's qualifications to be Mayor?

Anonymous said...

Lefty,
It was a campaign kick-off, what do you want, power points and bar graphs? The kid has the first key ingredient to strong leadership, the courage to come out and throw his name in the ring against a powerful incumbent who owns all the big money donors, the radio station and the media. Its not just the ideas that make leaders, its courage and judgment and Flanagan has already displayed that. And smarts too. If it weren't for Flanagan, Correia would still be violating state statutes by having his City Administrator double under-cover as the man in charge of the elections office. Hats off to former prosecutor and ADA Flanagan who forced compliance with this law by making Correia's mistep public.

Anonymous said...

The "kid" did not wait on the sidelines until the mayor made an announcement if he was running or not. This was a kick off rally and I am waiting to hear more about
Flanagan in the months to come before making a decision. I will not vote for correia or any of his appointed successors-that has already been determined from their actions over the last year +. Actions speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...

I will not engage in the politics of fear. Because fear is poisonous. All through history it has been used to hold back progress and limit fairness. Only hope defeats fear. It always has. All I have to offer is words.

Just words.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Just words. We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Just words.

Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.

Just words.

I have a dream.

Just words.

Let me say it before you do: I am no Dr. King, no President Kennedy, no FDR, no Thomas Jefferson. But I do know that the right words, spoken from the heart with conviction, with a vision of a better place and a faith in the unseen, are a call to action.

Deval Patrick

Anonymous said...

Southender brought up the same points on the HN blogs, and then some. He/she and I (and it looks like you too) would like Will Flanagan to answer her/his questions. If he can't, I'll be really disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I was at Mr. Flanagan's kick-off because I was curious and wanted to learn more. I agree with some of the above comments. There is only so much detail a candidate will get into during a kick-off speech. I really didn't expect to hear complete plans.

I stayed for a while to meet him.
I was impressed with his character. He lacked the slick, phony demeanor of a seasoned politician. Granted, I just met him, but you know what I'm referring to.

I am sure Mr. Flanagan will release more detailed plans as the campaign progresses. It is not my dislike for Bob that will send my support to Will, because there are other candidates in the race. He strikes me as more genuine.

reality check said...

Lefty, somewhat critical in your analysis of Flanagan. Will you critique your candidate in the same way. To expect someone to stand up there for three hours, speaking in detail is not realistic. We would all like to hear more, and I'm sure in time we will.

W.J. Bloggah said...

This was just his first rally right? So he's supposed to lay all his cards on the table, first time out the gate? Great strategy, give us all your ideas and the specifics, so a Steve Camara or an Incumbant Bob Correia can crib those notes and say "Hey look what I'm going to do!"

Give the guy time. If and when there is an actual candidate debate and he STILL can't provide answers, then you kick him to the curb. But not yet.

Anonymous said...

Lefty, I attended the event and Will spoke for about 10 minutes and there were some good ideas, I don't think the paper reported on them all. Also, I think you may be unfairly comparing 28 year old Will to another 28 year old that ran for Mayor in 2007, since you and others seem to miss all the "specifics," here you go:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1370918184950582026&ei=67a1Sc7SK5GgqgK99NjMBw&q=eric+poulin&hl=en

I found Poulin's kickoff speech on google videos, a lot of his stuff is still up there, his kickoff speech was 45 minutes. Yes it had a lot of specifics and details but not every speaker can command a room and speak for 45 minutes and not every audience member can pay attention for that long except for probably political junkies like you Lefty.

I did manage to watch the whole Poulin speech and then searched for the Herald News article about it:

http://www.zwire.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=18269217&BRD=1710&PAG=461&dept_id=99784&rfi=8

The Herald News didn't report on everything Poulin said and actually didn't get all of the details correct. For example, I think Poulin said something about converting an existing park and creating a dog park when he talked about quality of life issues and the Herald says something vague about him wanting to create more parks. The point is that perhaps you came down too hard on Will? Or are people just complaining that this young guy Will isn't like the last young guy Eric?

Sorry guys but Poulin didn't get elected despite his "specifics" and last I read in the paper he said he wasn't running again for mayor. He seems to be very well received on the blogs though, I'd be very suspicious that people are trying to "draft" him. If that's the case then people should be honest about it.

Anonymous said...

I was there, and I was impressed. This guy has got Moxie, and not that canned, get it from a cheap suit and a ham and bean dinner Moxie either. He seems passionate about the city, and public service. What he lacks in years he makes up for in vision. I think it will take a young outside the box thinker like this to move our great city forward. I for one, will continue to listen, and myself, and my family will conitue to follow this guy through the process. But at this point he's got our vote!

Lefty said...

I'm sorry if some of you feel this is harsh, but in "15 minutes" Flanagan threw out a list of things he's going to get done, that he's NOT going to get done.

I'm not dismissing him as a candidate but he's not going to get my vote by offering up a rose colored vision for Fall River that he has no means to deliver.

I'm urging him for some specifics and I'd settle for details on just one of the points he covered.

Will is 28 with no political experience and will likely face a field of experienced politicians. He needs to set himself apart by showing that he has real plans for Fall River not just rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

when it comes to experience I will go on record and say that Will has more expereince then the current Mayor. Will is the assistant attorney for the city of Taunton. He is an advisor to the mayor, the city council, and every department in the city. The guy also has courage and heart and I will take that over experience.

Anonymous said...

Does Will have to be an expert in every field of government? Is it enough that when he is elected he will hire the best and the brightest people? I think what makes Will unique is that he takes the time the time to listen to people. That is something that most officials are missing!

Anonymous said...

Where has Correia's "30 years of experience" gotten us? Nowhere so far!

Will is an assistant attorney advising a city on municipal matters, that is experience. Maybe he hasn't done it for long but these same kind of experience questions were directed in 2007 at Eric Poulin and he actually had worked in the Mayor's Office for several years. If someone who worked with the day to day operations doesn't understand how the city runs then who does? It just shows that people are not satisfied no matter what or will just make silly arguments because they are pre-disposed to backing their already chosen candidate no matter how ridiculous the allegations are that they have to make.

I will say that I watched a little of that video and Poulin was pretty specific about a number of issues, he certainly described things in depth, perhaps too in depth, but I think people definitely came away with a sense that he understood a problem and had a solution. Will's kickoff speech didn't have as much of that but he is intelligent and and I have no doubt that he will be able to convince people that he understands the issues we face and has workable plans to address our problems. He will have to articulate better and be more concrete in the future but it was a good kickoff speech and I expect will get better but don't take my word for it, keep following the election and don't tune out or dismiss Will so quickly and easily Lefty or anyone else, that would be a mistake.

Will knows his stuff and I'm sure he will accept your critique and say more to demonstrate it the next time but again this was a good kickoff speech, I think the negativity right out of the box is too much too soon. Almost seems like there is some type of agenda at play in trying to chop him down so fast.

Anonymous said...

How can you say with a straight face that a 28 year old has as much experience as a 30 year politician? How long has he been the 'assistant' attorney to the city of Taunton?

crash said...

I go to many city council meetings throughout the year, attend LNG meetings, volunteer at city events, etc. Until recently, I haven't seen Will Flanagan anywhere...now it is campaign time and I see him everywhere. Was he not interested in the city prior to last month?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:23: Correia has thirty years as a state representative which is essentially 1 year repeated thirty times of legislative experience. Flanagan as noted on the WSAR podcast has been a supervising district attorney and an assistant attorney to the City of Taunton. Now I am not a constitutional scholar but I believe both positions are within the executive branch. Not the mayor or anyone one of our city councilors has any executive experience. Flanagan has executive experience. But lets not lose track because the city should vote for the most qualified candidate whether or not that is Will Flanagan only time will tell.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What exactly is the job description for mayor???

Anonymous said...

If we are comparing Will Flanagan and Eric Poulin, it is worth considering that the date on the Poulin video is late April and Flanagan's speech was early March.

In a sense, Flanagan has 7 weeks to be Poulin-esque if that is the level of detail and specificity that we are looking for.

But the criticisms of candidate Flanagan are coming too soon.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way to keep herren or his goons off this blog? We're talking seriously and they're talking in stupors

Anonymous said...

How can you say with a straight face that a 28 year old has as much experience as a 30 year politician?

Can you say with a straight face that Correia's so-called "experience" has helped us? He has proven himself to be very inexperienced or his so-called experience certainly hasn't translated well into being an Executive in the Executive Branch.

This city is barely functioning day to day, at least Lambert could handle that. Both Lambert and Correia stunk and stink at planning for the long term, you know as in beyond just the next election. It might not take youth but someone with youthful energy who is willing to be progressive in order to accomplish that. Maybe it's not Flanagan, maybe it was Poulin but he didn't get elected. I don't know but it has to be somebody that is going to break us out of the old ways, the old ways aren't working. We keep repeating the same mistakes and doing the same things over and over and these 20 and 30 year politicians and their "experience" aren't going to change things for the better. Their "experience" is why we are in this mess that we are in.

Anonymous said...

Give the kid a break! I was at the event and sure he needs some polish but his heart is in the right place and at least he has a heart.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what the definition of insanity is ?? Doing the same thing over and over with the same result.

Anonymous said...

After all the lies and slander that have taking place on these blogs about hurricane you are going to remove my post about Hurricane being more popular than Will Flanagan..Are you serious?Does anyone really think Will Flannagan could beat the Hurricane in anything?This joker couldnt get elected dog catcher!!

crash said...

Anon 1:36
Oh for the love of johnny cochran...look up the definition of slander.

Anonymous said...

Is there any controversy between Flanagan and the Hurricane? Is the Hurricane considering a run for mayor? If so I would vote for Flanagan over the Hurricane. Sorry Hurricane but if its any consolation I would pick you to win in a basketball game or a beer drinking contest.

Anonymous said...

What? With the way herren runs his own life, maybe a CETA parks job if he has enough friends to cover when he dosen't show.

Lefty said...

Anon 1:36

I removed the Hurricane comment because it had no relevance to the conversation. I viewed it as just another effort to promote the Hurricane's "greatness" on my blog. Perhaps we could discuss advertising rates?

Now going back to the conversation...

I certainly am not saying Correia's 30 years in the state house make him a better candidate for Mayor. Bob's "experience" was a big part of his 2007 run and I thought it was a bunch of BS then. 30 years as a State Rep does not qualify someone for the position of Mayor. My wanting more specifics from Will should not be taken as an endoresement of Mayor Correia.

Also I don't believe I made any mention of Eric Poulin in my blog post. However since commetors here brought it up, let me say a few words. Eric Poulin was 28 years old when he ran in 2007. He also had 6 years experience in the Mayor's office. I have to say that Poulin probably had the best grasp of the day to day operations of any of the candidates that ran for Mayor that year. Someone said that Poulin's kickoff was in April, maybe so but in January of 07, announced he was going to run on Keri Rodrigues' radio show. I emailed him a few days later, (he gave out his email on the show) and asked for a copy of his platform, which he sent me. Eric Poulin was already speaking in specifics right from the start of his campaign. A fact that impressed me a great deal.

Of course it's early, of course Will has time to introduce his platform, to lay out the specifics. And I'm waiting to hear them because so far I don't think he can do any of the things he stated during his kick off.

For the record I have no candidate in the race. And I don't plan on giving anyone a free pass.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Does anyone know what the qualifications or job description to be
mayor??

Anonymous said...

The qualifications to be Mayor are that you must live in Fall River and you receive the most votes in the election.

Anonymous said...

Lefty interesting you dont want people talking about Hurricanes greatness but they can trash him on your blog regularly .I find that interesting because Hurricane said you were a decentguy

Anonymous said...

No one is buying that Lefty "trashes" Herren.

Anonymous said...

I don't think michael could even run as any candidate...background checks,etc...

Anonymous said...

There are no background checks to be a candidate.

Anonymous said...

Can we please stop talking about the herrens. They have no impact whatsoever in the city. If we stop talking eventually they'll go away.There are way too many IMPORTANT issues to discuss

Lefty said...

Anon 10:28

I have no issues with someone mentioning Herren when it is relevant. I can also tolerate the occasional comment that comes out of left field.

However I'm not going to put up with vulgar attacks and I'm not going to put with over the top promotion.

Anonymous said...

RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN RUN LEFTY RUN

Anonymous said...

BACKGROUND CHECKS TO BE A CANDIDATE?????????
I nearly just peed myself that's so funny.

All it takes is votes.

To me, in many ways "experience" is what got us into this whole problem to begin with.

Experience in these parts breeds cronyism and the political apathy of the people feeds it.