From My Corner: October 1, 2017
Let’s be clear: Rumbo will not sponsor a mayoral debate
There has been some chatter online about a possible debate between mayoral candidates sponsored by Rumbo and I would like to clarify our position.
Rumbo has avoided mentioning the September 26th elections except to encourage the community to get out and vote. We also said that their choice did not matter because what is important is to have a voice in the most valuable obligation we have in this country.
I have abstained for the two previous weeks from writing my column “From my Corner” because anything I say will be misconstrued and the way that we have been given the “Lantiguista” label. Many candidates for different offices, not just for mayor have come to me looking for information, photos, documents, etc. and they can tell you that I help them all. We let people decide and they did.
The Eagle-Tribune has not started with William Lantigua but we must remember the treatment he received during those four years yet nothing has been proven. If he should win, get ready for entertainment all over again! True, Lantigua enjoys going to Bali’s and Malaya’s but Rivera’s second home is The Claddagh and they never mention it. They talk about the women in Lantigua’s life but you never heard them mention Rivera’s previous wife. Where’s the fairness? By the way, neither did we; we don’t involve their private lives with the job they are elected to do.
Before the debate, José Ayala and I said on the radio that we would like to sponsor a similar forum in Spanish before the Preliminary Election Day since the first one was completely in English. We later thought that when we sponsored debates years ago we were mocked and accused by members of both language groups of looking for publicity. We became so disillusioned with that reaction that never did another one.
Things have changed in this community through the years and after 21 years showing that we have been mostly a community newspaper serving the interests of everyone who approach us, we considered the idea of doing something meaningful with that forum but didn’t go forth. The public’s reaction to the debate in English was so miserable that we knew it was the right decision.
Do we need a debate between them? We already know what each accomplished during his four years. That speaks volumes!
City’s Civil Engineer
This is to refresh your memory.
Not too long after Dan Rivera became mayor, he fired the Assistant City Engineer Andrew Wall because he had not been able to pass the examination for his state civil engineer license.
Mr. Wall had worked for the city for 17 years, covered by the City Engineer Santo Nicolosi’s license which was a legal practice while he tried to get his own. Mr. Nicolosi retired, Mr. Wall was fired and the city was left without a functional civil engineer.
Then, the mayor decided to appoint his office clerk Theodoro Rosario, an agronomist with no knowledge of the city’s intimate details as Mr. Wall acquired through the years.
Last February, a qualified civil engineer was hired, Milagros Puello, although there was a glitch on the night that she was confirmed by the city council. That night, it was learned that she did not have a license, either. Councilor Jeovanny Rodriguez was very convincing explaining that it was a matter of presenting her New Hampshire license to the Massachusetts authorities, in order to get one.
She was approved with a salary of $80,000 and a $15,000 a year stipend to compensate the previous employer who paid for her education and to which she was committed to work for a certain period of time.
Seven months have passed and still, no Massachusetts license.
We lost someone with 17 years of experience who knew the city like the palm of his hand and we are in worse shape now.
Brian Peña returns
Last Wednesday, the Personnel Committee met and recommended unanimously sending to the full council the appointment of Brian Peña to return as Water Commissioner.
I was happy to hear that he is coming back and wish him well.
Here we go again!
During the Preliminary Elections we heard the stories of certain city councilor picking up ballots from elderly residents in order to drop them off at city hall. This person would ask them to just sign the ballot without filling it out.
People should be aware that, if they request an absentee ballot, they should fill it out themselves or with the help of a relative or someone they trust to do his or her wishes. They should never sign it and leave it blank. Worst of all is giving it outside the envelope to anyone. Vote for your preference, sign it, place it inside the envelope and seal it with your address on the back. If you don’t have a stamp, make sure a trusty friend or relative takes it to the Elections Department.
Rules of the NFL on the flag
Research done by Dorothy Barnes.
The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the NFL League Rulebook. It states:
“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.
“During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition.
It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
This is not a first amendment issue but part of the players’ NFL employment contract. If the players want to protest, take it outside of the workplace.