From My Corner: March 22, 2024

Next LRA meeting

Before I get busy writing about other things, let me tell you that the next meeting of the Lawrence Redevelopment Authority (LRA) will be held on Wednesday, March 27th at the Office of Planning and Development located at 360 Merrimack Street, Entrance K, Suite 270, at 6:00 PM.

These meetings are very important because plenty of money is moving through, and the public should be more aware of what’s going on.  That’s why I insist that these meetings should be held in the City Council Chambers like many other meetings where people can watch them on Television or Facebook and be recorded.  Right now, the only record is the minutes of the meetings.

If there is any change to this, I will try to let everyone know via Facebook.


City Council meeting of 3/19/24

Talk about a circus!  This is the worst I’ve seen.  It lasted 6 hours and there’s no need to say I didn’t watch it all.  Council President Jeovanny Rodríguez seems unable to keep the members’ decorum and, at times, forgot to follow Robert’s Rules of Order.

One poor example was when they took a five-minute break to take pictures with the three students being honored that night.  This has always been customary and it’s another way to show them the council’s appreciation.  Well, Councilor Wendy Luzón started complaining that “We have a full agenda, and we cannot take time for that,” creating confusion and chaos.

She doesn’t understand that there’s a protocol for that.

There was a presentation via Zoom by the Alma Group from Chicago regarding the search for a school superintendent.  They went too long and into many details that were easy to forget but the explosive behavior from Councilor Gregory Delrosario was uncalled for.

Delrosario yelled at the presenters “For the money we are paying you, you should be here in person instead of Zoom.”  Talk about decorum with a guest!  He then went on complaining about doing this presentation when the city council will not have a say on the superintendent’s hiring.  Pure embarrassment!

He was right but there are ways to say what you think without being disrespectful.  Again, what happened to the meeting’s decorum?

Then, we could hear council members speaking out of turn or making suggestions during someone else’s turn speaking.

Board of Health

Dr. Joel Gorn, Chairman of the Board of Health explained the current situation with that department took me by surprise.  I had no idea that state law requires this board to have three members and it has only two.  Stephen Gil, the other board member, was taking part in the presentation along with him.  That led me to believe that those meetings were illegal.

And, to think that this has been going on for the past nine or ten years, under other administrations.  While the City of Methuen has a budget of $1.34 million for its Board of Health, Lawrence has just $130,000.

The worst part is that, due to the city’s mismanagement by not having three board members, Lawrence lost valuable grants (some $3 million by my quick count while watching the meeting).  One grant was lost because the money received was wasted hiring three Inspectional Services inspectors.

I hope to bring specifics next week because there’s a lot to research.  I only know that it is a mess, and nobody is paying attention to Dr. Gorn or Stephen Gil.


The situation with Chief Castro

Please find on this page the press release sent by Mayor Brian DePeña’s office regarding placing Provisional Police Chief William Castro on paid leave while the issue is investigated.  I have spoken to the mayor and Chief Castro and will bring you a complete story for our next edition.

Meanwhile, here is a definition of G.L. c. 6E, Sec. 8 as follows:


(c)(1)    The division of police standards shall initiate a preliminary inquiry into the conduct of a law enforcement officer if the commission receives a complaint, report or other credible evidence that is deemed sufficient by the commission that the law enforcement officer:

(i)          was involved an officer-involved injury or death;

(ii)         committed a felony or misdemeanor, whether or not the officer has been arrested, indicted, charged or convicted;

(iii)        engaged in conduct prohibited pursuant to section 14;

(iv)        engaged in conduct prohibited pursuant to section 15; or

(v)         the commission receives an affirmative recommendation by the head of an appointing agency for disciplinary action by the commission, including retraining or suspension or revocation of the officer’s certification.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply