A Merry Christmas from Our Elves to Local Pols
A Sun Staff report
HO, HO, HO MERRY CHRISTMAS! -- we didn’t say that before, but now it’s kosher because Trump’s in office -- and a Happy New Year to all politicos in Lowell and around the region.
We couldn’t have written The Column without you.
We wanted to thank you with a myriad of gifts in this edition, the annual Christmas Column.
Our Column elves have been working hard to find the perfect gifts for all our favorite pols. Enjoy!
FOR UMASS Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, an all-you-can-eat meal card for those delectable delicacies at UML cafeterias.
FOR UMASS President Marty Meehan, lunch at one of the aforementioned cafeterias with UML adjunct professors.
FOR LOWELL Rep. Dave Nangle, a spot in the Gov. Charlie Baker administration, after all the years of the Democrat being one of Republican governor’s BFFs.
FOR LOWELL Rep. Thomas Golden, an auctioneer position at the Statehouse, so he can quickly push legislation forward for the region.
FOR LOWELL Rep. Rady Mom, a class on debate preparation.
FOR CITY Councilor Edward Kennedy, a helicopter that flies straight from the Statehouse to City Hall. Also, a reminder of his pledge to resign from the City Council once the loan order for a new Lowell High School is signed.
FOR CITY Manager Eileen Donoghue, a trade with Kennedy to get her old job back.
FOR CITY Councilor Dave Conway, a free entry into next year’s cyclocross bicycle race at Shedd Park.
FOR CITY Councilor Rita Mercier, a protester’s tent outside 75 Arcand Drive, where she’ll camp out until the city gives the doctors a state-of-the-art building in the Hamilton Canal Innovation District.
FOR CITY Councilor Karen Cirillo, red violation signs for all the businesses that don’t comply with the plastic-bag ban.
FOR CITY Councilor Rodney Elliott, a red political affiliation now that the state Senate race is over. Elliott also gets a mulligan for his vote (when he was mayor) to hire ousted School Superintendent Salah Khelfaoui.
FOR CITY Councilor John Leahy, the Department of Public Works’ commissioner hat and T-shirt.
FOR CITY Councilor Jim Milinazzo, we don’t know what to gift him because he never returns our calls.
FOR CITY Councilor Vesna Nuon, a hybrid election system that will result in more voter participation and diversity at City Hall.
FOR MAYOR Bill Samaras, a deep breath -- and peace between the City Council and School Committee.
FOR THE City of Lowell, that the state gets its act together and fully funds the education foundation budget.
FOR THE City Council, meetings free of protesters taking over the chamber.
FOR THE Lowell Police Department, regular cellblock training that reinforces common sense, like not punching a police prisoner.
FOR THE Lowell Department of Public Works, stability at the top.
FOR LOWELL’S Cambodian community, less infighting and more coming together as a community.
FOR LOWELL’S Patriot Care recreational marijuana dispensary, a traffic plan that doesn’t back up cars all the way to New Hampshire.
FOR HIGHLANDS residents, gas masks in preparation for four potential marijuana shops in their neighborhood.
FOR PAWTUCKETVILLE residents, thoughts and prayers with a new Market Basket on the way.
FOR THE Lowell Spinners, an early affiliate extension with the Red Sox, assuring they stay in Lowell for years to come.
FOR MIDDLESEX Community College President James Mabry, a surprise appearance from the Hamilton cast at his new performing arts center.
FOR CHELMSFORD’S LAER Realty Partners, a lifetime supply of American flags.
FOR LAWRENCE Academy, a more welcoming campus that doesn’t reject reporters from covering graduation.
FOR REP.-elect Lori Trahan, a firm stance on where she fits in the progressive-to-moderate spectrum of House Democrats.
FOR RICK Green, the Republican whom Trahan defeated in the 3rd Congressional District general election, a primer on how newspaper editorials work, with emphasis on the fact that political reporters are not responsible for opinion content.
FOR MIKE Mullen, who made the 3rd District ballot as an independent, an alternate reality where the two-party system is less powerful.
FOR 3RD District Democratic primary runner-up-turned-Andover-selectman-candidate Dan Koh, a town hall that can continue his clearly much larger political ambitions -- should he win, that is.
FOR 3RD District Democratic candidate and Stonehedge Inn owner Beej Das, a new accountant.
FOR BARBARA L’Italien, who finished third in the 3rd District Democratic primary, enough frustration with Rep. Seth Moulton that her potential second congressional campaign in as many years -- and districts -- could stand a chance.
FOR JUANA Matias, that race’s fourth-place candidate, better results outside her Lawrence base in any future campaign.
FOR THE fifth-place finisher, Rufus Gifford, another job in politics that draws the attention of documentary filmmakers.
FOR RETIRING Rep. Niki Tsongas, bipartisan approval of the Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Act of 2018.
FOR LOWELL’S elections division, voting machines that don’t break in warm temperatures during an election, particularly when said election goes to a recount.
FOR WESTFORD School District Superintendent Bill Olsen, an override to fund the schools that isn’t later baked into a standard budget increase.
FOR WESTFORD’S Senior Low-Income Disabled Tax Relief Committee, a better name and therefore a better acronym than SLIDTR.
FOR NOW-retired Littleton Town Administrator Keith Bergman, whatever is the casual-attire equivalent of the bowtie.
FOR STATE Rep. Colleen Garry and Dracut Selectman Tami Dristiliaris, separate law offices at opposite ends of town.
FOR DRISTILIARIS, a zen garden.
FOR GARRY, a reminder that the 36th Middlesex District is not her district.
FOR DRACUT Town Manager Jim Duggan, less litigation and more economic development.
FOR DRACUT Selectman Jesse Forcier, a gift certificate to the nearest recreational pot store.
FOR DRACUT Selectman Joe DiRocco, a weekend away at his White Mountain hideaway with Phil Thibault.
FOR DRACUT Selectman Tony Archinski, a box of cigars from Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand.
FOR THE Tyngsboro Police Department, a new public safety complex, stat.
FOR BILLERICA Superintendent Tim Piwowar, a pair of mega-scissors to cut the ribbon on the new high school -- so large that officials from Lowell will jealously gaze at them from miles away.
FOR BILLERICA Selectman George Simolaris, his own bus so he can make stops wherever he wants along Concord Road.
FOR BILLERICA Selectman Mike Rosa, a book on how to embrace millennials and a changing workforce.
FOR BILLERICA Community Development Director Rob Anderson, more than two-thirds of Town Meeting, so he can help reinvigorate Technology Park.
FOR BILLERICA Town Manager John Curran, a scandal-free year in the police and fire departments.
FOR THE Town of Billerica, a 24/7 call center to field all water bill questions, complaints and concerns.
ALSO FOR Billerica, massive billboards and flashing lights so another truck doesn’t smash into the bridge near the commuter rail.
FOR FORMER Lowell Superintendent Salah Khelfaoui, a Youtube mash-up of residents’ chants of “shame” the night the School Committee voted to begin terminating his employment, with the relevant “Game of Thrones” episode.
FOR FORMER Lowell Schools Chief Financial Officer Gary Frisch, a renewal of his CPA license.
FOR LOWELL School Committee member Gerry Nutter, a thousand-page budget document with no salary, transportation bill or pencil purchase left unaccounted.
FOR LOWELL Schools Interim Chief Financial Officer Billie Jo Turner, the same.
FOR LOWELL School Committee member Robert Hoey Jr., the return of Anne Sheehy as the district’s head of human resources.
FOR THE Chelmsford Business Association, a bucket for all the tears they’ve shed over the split tax rate.
FOR THE Chelmsford Board of Selectmen, a Robert’s Rules of Order primer.
FOR THE Chelmsford Board of Health, an Open Meeting Law cheat sheet and the courage to speak to the press.
FOR CHELMSFORD chicken owners, some common sense changes to town bylaw.
TO THE Tewksbury Elementary School Building Committee: community support for a new, state-of-the-art elementary school.
TO TEWKSBURY residents: a modest tax increase for that new elementary school.
TO THE Tewksbury Department of Public Works: community support to replace its dilapidated building.
TO WILMINGTON: completed remediation at the former Olin Chemical site.
TO RETIRING Wilmington Town Clerk Sharon George: an early bedtime come next election night.
TO WILMINGTON Zoning Board of Appeals Chair Daniel Veerman: a hearing on the proposed detox facility that is less than five hours long.
TO FORMER Rep. Jim Lyons: no future boycotts of Dandi-Lyons.
TO STATE Representatives-elect Dave Robertson and Tram Nguyen: successful first terms representing the 19th Middlesex and 18th Essex districts.