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Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Want To Live in Lynn...And It's OK if You Don't....

Residency seemed to get almost as much air time as crime in the debates for the Mayoral race. It seems silly to me that we require city employees to move here in order to work here. Will someone explain to me why this is good for the city?

My opinion is that the best person for the job is the person for the job. It doesn't matter where they live if they have a passion for their work.

I've heard the argument that if an employee of the city has pride in their city, then why wouldn't they want to live here from many people. Well, that's all well in good, but you can't very well just uproot yourself from the home you've built with your family just because you got a new job in Lynn.

Maybe I'm missing some crucial part of this debate. Anyone want to bat this one around with me?

Better yet, want to help Lynn by getting this out of the city charter?

From the chater:

Section 8-11    City Residence Required
     
Every person who is appointed to a city office, and every person who is employed on a permanent full time basis by the city not a resident of the city at the time of such appointment or employment shall, within six months following such appointment or employment, establish his ordinary and usual place of residence within the city or such appointment or employment shall be deemed to be vacated or forfeited."





Elected officials should live here. That's fine. I can even "sort of" understand the requirement for public safety to live in or at least near the city. Why extend this to all full-time employees. We're limiting our potential hiring pool big time!! 


Ok, now, yell at me.... I can take it!
 

42 comments:

  1. In this economy especially, the best way for a city such as Lynn to work is to have people who have a direct self-interest in the welfare of the city to work for its government. The way I look at it is if you cannot proudly say you live in Lynn or if the thought of living in the city prevents you from accepting a job at city hall then you are not worthy to work here to begin with - who truly cares about getting new school buildings in Lynn? - the teachers are not sending their children to Lynn schools and are not pushing for new desks, computers, buildings - and same goes with most of the elected officials. The residency laws have helped Lynn maintain a substantial middle class presence in the city. Other poor US cities have residency requirements too - without the residency requirements, we would probably see Lynn residents overlooked by the 'rich' applicants from other towns. I am tired of the jokes about living in Lynn and the misconception people from other towns have about here. You care about downtown because you live there.

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  2. i agree 100% with the 1st comment from anonymous.
    I could not of said it better.

    and I love Lynn because there aren't tooo many snobs living here :)

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  3. Anonymous is correct.
    If they lift this requirement you will have a MASS exodus from the city.
    Lots of the workers send their children to private school and figure that into the picture when they take a job here in the city.
    Lynn pays a higher wage than many other local communities where the workers would move too.

    Knowing that the "off duty" police man lives next door or a "off duty" fire man etc...is a way to keep people in place.

    Schools are another issue...the best teachers should be hired. The schools in Lynn are in dire straights. I could not even know where to start.
    People move when children reach school age and or as I am confident 99.9% of the workers here who have families look at other schooling options. (St Pius etc...)

    Its going to be a long long time before Lynn will ever appeal to people looking to raise a family.

    In the interim getting the crime under control can be done fairly easily..

    I am a former Lynn resident who loved living in the city and feels it offers a lot. Once I had a child things changed and we had to move. I hope someday families can move back and raise their children here.

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  4. In principle, I do not believe that an employer, even if it's government, should have the authority to force employees to agree to residency as a condition of hire.

    But let me first address the Fear of Mass Exodus -
    Even if a good portion of City, Police and Fire employees leave Lynn, it's unlikely the population will decline. Other people will purchase and rent those properties, which will, of course, remain on the tax rolls. So, let's read between the lines and expose the underlying causes of that fear; racism, xenophobia, or otherwise, the risk of losing good neighbors to perceived bad ones. And even though there will be bargains in this real estate market, a single-family four bedroom home in Ward 1 sold by a City worker will not be divided into apartments. Another middle-class family will likely move in.

    Let's look at safety, first by asking whether any studies have been done to show whether services are impeded by allowing public safety workers to live outside of city limits. I don't know the answer to that, but considering the very small number of Massachusetts cities and towns with residency requirements, it would be tough to convince me it's necessary.

    And from ten years of working closely with municipalities in Access TV and now Education, I've met quite a few Town Managers. All of them give 120% or more, and none of them live in the towns they serve. The City of Chelsea came back from state receivership with a City Manager who lives in Danvers. I'm not advocating that form of government for Lynn. I think we need a Mayor, but I'm making a point that residency and job performance are not related. Besides, elected officials always have and always will have to live where they serve - that's a different animal.

    While Lynn jobs for Lynn people sounds nice, it should not be exclusively so. Every good City needs an outside perspective and input from the well-traveled. Just as one can not objectively judge oneself, neither can a city.

    I moved to Lynn because I liked what I saw as an outsider-looking-in. I saw the great potential of Downtown and assets such as Lynn Woods and the ocean. I knew about Lynn's reputation and crime stats, but I went forward, only to discover that this city's harshest naysayers are coming from within. If that's not reason enough to expand the talent pool, I don't know what is.

    Seth Albaum
    editor
    lynnhappens

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  5. It is interesting the people that don't think residency in Lynn is important don't have children in our schools. If teachers and councilors of the city, don't send their children here, who that can afford an alternative for their kids will? We need people working and fighting for us here that have an invested interest in making Lynn better. When the schools are state of the art and the schools are places we can be proud to send our children, it will be time to end the residency requirement.

    Houses in Ward 1 will stay single family homes but if they sell for much less than their present value, the new crop of families moving in will have different ideals then those of us here now and will not be pushing to make Lynn a better place for families to move to.

    Look at the voting statistics - Ward 1 always has the biggest turnouts and Ward 1 is where most of the city employees live - if people that care are more apt to vote, then that says something.

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  6. As I am reading the comments made about this I can't help but wonder why people post "anonymous" messages. After all, if there is pride living in Lynn then I say let everyone know who you are. No?

    As an aside: many MA cities and towns have this requirement. The problem is that it often does *not* work because it is not always possible to find someone qualified for a position within a given area and so it follows that the job or jobs have often been posted outside of said cities or hirees did not in the end have to live in said cities. Admittedly, all talent does not lie within any particular geographical area.

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  7. Lift the residency requirements city workers will move to Nahant, Marblehead and other local communities. They make salaries that allow them to afford housing in other communities.

    Few educated middle class or any class families want to raise their families in Lynn in its current state.
    People come in cheery eyed then simply give up since there are so many battles to overcome.

    City worker are the people who pay taxes and contribute the most to the city.

    In the wards where people vote and pay taxes, people take pride in their homes is where the police and firemen live. Seeing a cruiser parked in front of a house helps the security of the area and makes the thugs think twice before act in a criminal manner. The police will also be first to respond to an area they have a vested interest in.

    Perhaps not ideal but it is reality.

    I do agree with the prior poster until you have a family and are faced with the idea or thought of raising youngsters here you cannot relate.

    Area advocates also need to exist to go to bat for the underprivileged segment.

    Until that segment of the population stops accepting drugs, violence, multiple children out of wedlock, and makes an effort to better themselves and accept responsibility for themselves.. we are stuck in the current mess we have in Lynn and many other cities in the country.

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  8. I'll say up front that I don't live in Lynn, but I did several years ago for about a year. I think Lynn might be losing out on talented professionals that are attracted to the opportunities a city like Lynn offers, i.e. a diverse cultural population, a chance to make a great impact on citizens, current room for growth and development, a down to earth social environment, but want to live elsewhere. I just get this instinctual feeling this law could be draining Lynn of energy!!

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  9. WOW! I just finally got home to my beautiful Lynn apartment and I guess I sparked a bit of a conversation here. :-) You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for contributing to this dialogue. Now, pardon me, while I continue to disagree with most of you.

    I will say, that the poster that mentioned the "don't have children" aspect is right. I don't have kids, and if I did and lived in Lynn, I would send them to private school. I don't know why that would make me want residency though? I don't make the connection. Residency to me means we are limiting the talent pool of potential applicants.

    As for getting middle class to live here. They did an amazing job with the developments up in Ward 1 on the hill. Our dearest friends live up on Apple Blossom Rd.

    Ward 7 is beautiful and have you ever been in the lofts Downtown. Gorgeous! We have an ocean view and a beautiful view of the downtown area. The interiors are incredible as well. As a result, those of us who used to rent in Watertown, Cambridge, Boston, etc can now own in this awesome urban downtown.

    That's the way to bring the middle class tax payers into the city.

    I don't equate passion for your job with location of residence. It just doesn't compute in my head. I work for a computer software company based in Waltham with a large presence in Utah. I love my job and I give my employer 110% because I love what I do. Why are the people who do finance for the city any different then the finance guys at my company?

    My argument isn't for the Mayor to be able to live in Gloucester. It's the city departments. Why wouldn't we want a superstar who has experience with the type of urban development and expansion we need to be in our economic development office. Or an expert on urban housing issues to be an employee here regardless of where they happen to sleep. Maybe we already have those people from the pool of Lynn residents. Completely possible, but I have to imagine we are limiting the potential.

    I don't think we would see the exodus that everyone claims would happen.

    I moved here. I like it here. I think you would agree I have a strong passion for the city and for the downtown. My property value, but also my family's memory is what's at stake for me.

    Keep the comments rolling on this one. I like hearing the counters to this as I am starting to understand why people are so passionate about this. Passion is good. We need more of it and I don't care where it sleeps.

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  10. Revere is a town that does not have a residency requirement. At least I assume that because I have client who is a police woman in Revere, but lives in Swampscott. How do the two cities compare in matters of crime, quality of life and government services? (Again, I'd want to verify that Revere does not have a residency requirement.)

    The question you have posed is "Does residency make a difference?" In theory it's a good idea, but does it work? By taking it away, will we start a "mass exodus?" I don't know, but I think that abolishing it will not have a disastrous effect and may even be good.

    If something's not broken, you don't fix it. In order to modify the residency requirement, I think that it's opponents would have to prove that it's not working.

    I think there is a good case for exempting some departments--just not public safety. It's just my opinion, but Lynn desperately needs an outside perspective if quality of life is to improve.

    Tom Sheehan
    Lynnside Edition

    PS. Isn't it great we have alternatives to the Lynn Item?

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  11. I think Corey's admission that he would not send his child to Lynn schools tells why this discussion should be more about how to improve the schools than whether or not the city employees should be required to live here. The city had that opportunity to put in an elected office a new comer to the city that wants to send his children to the schools and has a degree in Urban Affairs and Community Development but refused! We can put qualified people from within the city to work here who don't look around enough.

    Please leave the jobs to the people that would love to work and live in the city. What a bunch of hypocrite's. Anyone who wants Lynn to provide a career, benefits, and job security, but they don't want to contribute anything back to the city - get a job in Revere or Peabody.

    Ward 1 does not have gangs, violence, and offers great single family home neighborhoods (I feel like I am in Lynnfield) - there is no reason why someone working here should have a problem living here (and there are other great neighborhoods you can choose if you prefer).

    Lets make the schools, schools that you would want to send your children - let the city workers and citizens fight for better schools instead of more fire stations or use our money to develop more neighborhoods to model San Francisco type areas.

    Once Cambridge got rid of the residency requirement, I remember fire fighters/cops moving out of the city but my brother-in-law firefighter who couldn't move fast enough to Belmont says now it was a mistake. If you believe in a city, you love it and you want to be there to be a part of it.

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  12. Hi Anon,
    I want to address two points in your post and think about these seriously because I agree with everything you said. I'm not having kids for a few years, most likely, and they won't be going to school for another 5. That's a lot of time to implement a lot of change. I'm all for it and if we have the right talent in Lynn to do it, then great. If we don't, I'd like the option to look on the outsides.

    So two points you made.

    1."Ward 1 does not have gangs, violence, and offers great single family home neighborhoods (I feel like I am in Lynnfield) - there is no reason why someone working here should have a problem living here"

    COREY: So then why do we need residency?

    2. "What a bunch of hypocrite's. Anyone who wants Lynn to provide a career, benefits, and job security, but they don't want to contribute anything back to the city - get a job in Revere or Peabody."

    COREY: I get benefits from my employer as part of my compensation package. I would hope they don't expect me to give it back to them. The contributions to the city come from the employee's skill set and what they can do on the job, and that will bring the city so much more then the $4,000 we take back from them in property taxes.



    -Corey

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  13. and... by the way... Not electing Eugene was the biggest mistake this voting public ever made. Look who we elected instead. It's very frustrating. Can't blame the bloggers. We tried to expose the intelligence and get the word out, but not enough people are listening. They see a big Lynn name or a name they've seen on the side of a truck and they vote for it.

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  14. I'd like to throw something else into this debate.

    Take into consideration the impact residency has on local politics. Whether unionized or not, though most are I believe, city departments become blocks of voters.

    The elected officials who decide budgets for school, police, fire, and various city hall departments, depend on votes from people in those very same departments, as well as endorsements from their unions. And when hirings are done within, so are firings.

    It isn't a legal conflict of interest by any means, and happens everywhere, but when residency is forced, the influence on local politics by that conundrum is amplified.

    And when you have a mayoral race as close as ours was, the difference it makes is even greater.

    And now let's talk about schools, because education is my day job and my primary focus.

    Teaching in an urban public system (not Lynn), I feel the pain of losing great students to private and charter schools. But I also know that our academics are strong, teachers are dedicated, and that the school environment is safe. (And just for the record, just a few teachers live within that city, and some that do also have their kids enrolled.) It's a matter of getting the word out, that students from our system also have a shot at the nation's top universities, and we have students attending them to prove it.

    Unfortunately, urban public schools have to learn sharp marketing skills on top of standardized-test prep, and on top of pressure from outside groups and politicians who think they have an answer to our problems. No one ever gets elected saying the schools are fine, so as teachers we must always learn and implement new acronyms, buzzwords and methods before the previous ones have even been adequately attempted.

    We also have to contend with a more transient population. It isn't easy to track progress of students who move in and out of the system. It isn't easy to have top MCAS scores when you have a high population of, as they're called now, English Language Learners (ESL is now ELL). It isn't easy when parents are not involved in their child's education.

    I digressed a little. But if I had kids, I would send them to the urban public system I teach in, whether I worked there or not. Only if class sizes increased further, would I change my mind.

    And I can not say that I would or would not send my hypothetical children to Lynn schools, but I have seen evidence of Lynn public school students excelling, so I probably would. They would benefit from a real-world education. And, I was turned off by religiously run schools when I student taught at the old Savio Prep.

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  15. So why not move to a gang infested area and live. There are lots of great lessons you can learn.

    My child going to Lynn schools who was exposed to preschool for years can sit with the other children who cannot speak English, do not know their colors??? I am sure the teacher may be great but he/she will need to focus on the majority of the kids who have never been in a school setting, have behavior issues etc. Then I can try to become active in a school where 1/2 the parents are missing or drugged up?? Or better yet my child can east lunch in the same room he/she stays in all day? No play ground no gym. Not to mention the other behaviors she will pick up.
    Come on! No one with an education will willingly subject their kids to this environment and if they do they are bad parents. Parents want nothing but the best for their kids and the Lynn schools are not!

    Until society changes and parents get involved and actually care about their kids and their lifestyles it'll remain like every urban school.

    Yes, a kid from Lynn who is average will get into a good college only because he was from Lynn.

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  17. I agree. If outsiders care about Lynn, they would be here with their families enjoying the attractions.

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  18. Any of my cousins reading this? What was your experience in Lynn public high school like? Do we even know what we're talking about?

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  19. I've had very nice friends in the public school system, but I don't know how they felt in school as a child.

    I am not sure how the children in the school system should relate to the issue of politics? We are talking about grown ups here?..no?

    btw. thanks for the discussions!!!

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  20. Aikaterini,
    I think you're on to something regarding opinion of outsiders. I had a similar feeling until I came down here 3 years ago and saw what was going on with the Downtown. I want to remind everyone of a post that got zero comments from late November.

    We have a PR problem. It's not a bad place to live. We have 250 residents that took a bet on the new Downtown. Our state rep and other officials believe we need to get our number to 500. Should be easy when singles and young professionals are getting priced out of the Boston market, but how do convince them to come to Lynn?

    http://www.downtownlynn.com/2009/11/250-to-500.html

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  21. A,
    I guess we're a bit off topic. People put the strength of our schools into the reason to require residency. I made a un-educated comment that I probably wouldn't put my kids in Lynn's schools. Seth said he might. I guess to be fair, I would have to do research first. I have no idea if the schools are as bad as we keep saying they are.


    -Corey

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  22. Requiring employees on the city payroll to a resident of the city has always seemed absurd to me. The truth of the matter is that you could make a very solid argument for why a cop wouldn't want to live in the city or town that he or she patrols...especially when it's a city as violent as Lynn is. I spent 30 long years living in that city, and one of the main reasons I moved out is that the city has always been mismanaged to the highest level. The residency law is yet another glaring example of archaeic regulations that are in dire need of being changed. I applaud my cousin for wanting to be a resident of a city that our family has so much history in but when it comes to filling positions on the city payroll, the position should be given to the most qualified candidate, regardless of which zip code his or her mail is delivered to.

    John

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  24. As far as the Lynn Public School system is concerned, I think that those who express concerns about the quality of the educational experience are not out of line to at least wonder out loud whether or not the Lynn Public School system is the best place for their child. I went through the Lynn Public School system for all of my years and proudly graduated from Lynn English High School. I went on to college and graduated Summa Cum Laude, so obviously the education I received in Lynn wasn't all bad. I believe that there were close to 10 members of my graduating glass who went onto Ivy League Institutions, so again, it's not an impossibility to get a quality education if you're committed to doing so.

    That said, I'm with my cousin Corey in the respect that I would not send my child through the Lynn school system. I graduated 20 years ago, and I'm certain the school system is probably a bit more "challenging" today than it was for those of us who went through in the 70's and 80's, as I did. I am the father of a three year old boy and moved out of Lynn long before my son came along, because I knew I had no desire for my son to grow up in a city that was quite rough 25 years ago. Even though it saddens me to feel that way about my hometown, it's my reality and the way I feel.

    As for the comments in favor of the residency law...I couldn't disagree more vehemently with the comment that if someone is on the city payroll, that he or she must reside in the city to "contribute" to the city. I promise you that the members of the Lynn Police Department and the Lynn Fire Department "contribute" mightily to keeping things together in that city, and living in the city won't change things one iota from that perspective. Also, if I'm not mistaken, the retirement that city and municipal workers receive comes directly from the state and not from the city itself. I'm sure someone will correct me if that's not accurate.

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  25. In the Spring there is an open house at the Lynn Tech High school for all incoming children/parent work shop. Go to this function then tell me you want to send your kids here.

    Its a fair or sorts.
    There are tables upon tables of how to sign up for public services, how to get out of that abusive relationship, how to sign up for welfare, WIC etc etc, free heat ...

    This was my first and last look into the schooling in Lynn. I myself though that schools "cannot be as bad as they say". It has to be a tall tale.

    It is a real eye open for the niave.

    Aikaterini sums it up nicely. The values installed in me as a child varied so differently than those that face the majority of kids in Lynn.
    Its takes a village to raise a child. There is no village just lots of lost people encouraging the lazy hand outs attitudes.
    Teach people to work and have a pride in themselves and their community and then Lynn can return back to the state it was many, many years ago with hard working people making a better life for themselves and their children.
    My grandparents came to America not knowing the language and worked hard so why can't everyone else? They would of been horrified at the thought of getting handout upon handout. They had pride something a lot of people in the community (not all) don't have!

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  26. Corey,
    It also depends on which school in Lynn we are talking about. Some are excellent, and some need tlc. My sister had subbed at all of the elementary schools. It is completely different at every school.

    yeah.. i know, we need better POSITIVE PR for this city.
    I am not sure why bringing more people into Lynn is the only solution offered by the official to revitalize downtown lynn. There are so many nice people I know of in Lynn who are successful, hard working and happy living here. But the thought of the downtown area to them is non-existent, because they don't know much about it. Perhaps if some pr work is done to those living in Lynn - to help them with their growing careers, the investments would role in. I wish i will own a studio space in downtown Lynn one day.

    Lynn is built to be perfect, in perfect position, w/ beautiful buildings, closeness to Boston and upper New England, while being on the ocean.

    to those who mentioned gangs:
    I think it has died off a bit or moved to lawrence and 'the point'. Lets not forget that the mobsters and rich drug dealers or rich users live in 'nice' towns such as Nahant, Marblehead, Swampscott, and Danvers, Malden,etc..
    Theives target rich towns like Topsfield, Ipswich, Newburyport, etc. My car was broken into for the first time in Topsfield, visiting a friend. People in Beverly Farms, Manchester, Magnolia, and other towns live with highly sofisticated alarm systems in their homes...why? why don't they live with open doors?.. because violence is targeted EVERYWHERE.
    and it has been a bit exaggerated when it comes to Lynn.
    There are surrounding cities with worse schools than Lynn, and I don't wish to put them down either.

    John,
    There are plenty of great candidates here in Lynn. Not everyone in the city is given the opportunity either because, as any where has it, in almost any industry... you have to know someone.

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  27. Aikaterini, reading your post I can understand how you may have developed a mistrust of out-of-towners. But I think that closing a city in like that will not revitalize it. I think it will grow stale.

    When I look at other satellite cities and revitalized industrial centers, I see that newcomers have filled the vacant spaces. They are often young adults fleeing the bland 'burbs for new lofts, or empty nesters returning to the city, yes - after their kids have graduated from school.

    Maybe we should ask Salem (success) and Lowell (work in progress) if they have residency requirements and how much of a role it may have played in their progress.

    This is a great discussion, but I must take a break and head down to Providence for the rest of the weekend - another city that has been brought back to life, by the way.

    We should be proud of what we have in Lynn and show it off to others as often as we can, while still being honest about the challenges ahead.

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  28. I'll have to respectfully disagree with you Aikaterini. While I don't disagree with the premise that Lynn has qualified candidates for positions, where someone lives should NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER enter into the equation when it comes to a determining a given candidate's qualifications for a given job. There are sooooo many other things that must matter when hiring someone for a position that I'm not sure why where one lives would ever be an issue (aside from the dopey, outdated laws). Losing someone who could be the best person for the job because they have a desire to raise their family in a safer community simply isn't rational, in my opinion.

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  29. Seth-
    I didn't mean to give the impression that outsiders are not welcome. it would be wonderful for people to move in and enjoy the city.

    I wish to encourage the 'pr' to market itself also within the city as well as outside. Because I havn't seen any internal pr.
    I'm talking about helping the downtown area grow in every way possible.

    I still believe officials should be required to of lived in Lynn longer than a few years prior to service to understand the city.

    John-
    I'll agree and say that
    The best qualified person for a public seat is one who knows that public community the best.
    I don't see how it would be possible for someone outside to the community to know the community the best.

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  30. Purely Architecture:

    inner city planners have made bad decisions and so have outside designers and interested parties.

    they've made bad designs, downgrading the quality of the area. my voice has just started. why i write City of Lynn Concepts.

    1. the New Classical High school is an unpleasing design and built over an old land fill! I wouldn't send my child there.

    2. The new mbta parking garage disregards the importance of the historical edge of the downtown area.

    3. The old city Hospital was replaced with a super 'blowup-house' building called Stop & Shop. How many Lynner's say they were born in aisle 5, and boycott the place still?

    4. Manning Bowl.

    5. St. Jean's Church & school. couldn't the condo conversion include one of these structures?

    and many more.
    I'm taking a break too today.

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  31. Once again Aikaterini, I'll respectfully disagree with you. First and foremost, I don't believe that someone must live in the community to be cognizant of the issues that afflict a given city or town. I would imagine that anyone serving on the Lynn Police Department has FAR more intimate knowledge of the City of Lynn than most who have lived in the city for a lifetime, simply by virtue of being in every neighborhood at one time or another. I can't imagine anyone making an rational argument for why someone working in the water department would be served well by living in the community.

    I also think your premise completely ignores what I think is an important point. There may be some who know the community so well that his or her knowledge of the community is the precise reason why they would rather not live in the aforementioned community with their family.

    I don't want to pretend to be the voice of Lynn, because the truth of the matter is that I haven't lived in the City of Lynn since December of 2001. That said, I think I represent a whole lot of former Lynners (and in my case, many generations of my family who were born and raised in the city) who simply couldn't find a single good reason to raise our families in the city that will forever be our hometown. By the time I departed Lynn, I felt as if it was a city that had lost its soul and had ZERO direction. The Manning Bowl and Classical High School debacles are just two illustrations of that point. I can tell you when I drive through my old neighborhood (which happens to be The Highlands section of the city), I am beyond mortified, as the place looks like a war zone! If the city has made progress, it's not evident as one drives through. I have an immense repsect for my cousin Corey, who didn't even grow up in Lynn, for doing his part to at least attempt to breathe some life back into a once proud city. Some of us simply gave up, because it wasn't an optimistic place to live. I can tell you this...when my cousin told me that he lived in Central Square, I think it took me about an hour to lift my jaw off the floor, because Central Square was beyond rough 25 years ago. I do hope that for the sake of those who have chosen to live in downtown Lynn that the city has cleaned up that particular area, because I simply couldn't imagine ever living in downtown Lynn (and honestly, in my case...not any part of the city, including the Lynnfield Street area).

    One final point I'll make regarding the residency issue is that while there are certainly some nice neighborhoods of Lynn, it doesn't change the fact that if you choose to live in Lynn, you will be penalized through higher (and they're significantly higher) insurance rates. The city has ALWAYS (and I use to term always to refer to recent history of the past 30 years) had a very high crime rate, and because of that, the resident of Lynn pay a ridiculous amount for auto insurance. I was completely astonished when I moved out of Lynn many years ago that my auto insurance was all of a sudden less than half of what I paid when I was a resident of Lynn.

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  32. John,
    I understand your pain of the old neighborhood you once grew up in. I also remember how nice the highlands used to be in the old big 'mansions' of homes.

    There is a new culture there. They may not be the cleanest, but are ok, and one day their children will have an education.
    In the old days, the health department issued tickets to home owners for not picking up the trash in front of their homes. I used to love sweeping the sidewalk with my grandmother on Hanover St.

    I know many nice respectable families who live in Lynn, and believe me they are the majority. They are simply ignored or overseen, because of the actions of a small few. Many have been pushed to the outskirts of Lynn, away from the city center. If you don't want to live here, that's your choice.

    I'ld love to see downtown Lynn be filled again with Lynner's and love to see all the new Lynner's come in. It really isn't a bad place at all. Someone will reap the rewards of this city, as long as it is a Lynner (new or old).

    no one here even knows about the cheap studio spaces for rent in downtown Lynn. If they did, more local artists might appear. The marketing in the city is poor. maybe that's why all look at this thread? i'm thankful for it

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  33. p.s. my auto insurance is only $44 a month. my mom's too.
    just remember Lynn doesn't punish the good drivers :)

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  34. I'm thankful to all of you for contributing. This was a pretty exciting day. Every time I checked my iPhone there were four more posts :-)

    When I moved here, there was one blogger downtown. He had a blog called "Lynn Lofts, the Skinny" He hated the people who owned his building but he seemed to be engaged in what was going on down here. It made me think seriously about the types of people I would be surrounded with if I moved here. It excited me. I hope this blog, Living in Lynn, Lynn-Side Edition, City of Lynn Concept, and Lynn Happens can be that for a whole new set of future Lynners looking for someplace to land.

    You'll love your neighbors. That's, by far, the best part of living here.

    -Corey

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  35. We sound like a group of Prominent Transcendentalists, protesting against the general state of culture and society.

    I do think we could pull it off. when's the 1st meeting? and who's in?

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  36. I'm glad to hear that you're paying so little for auto insurance living in Lynn. It sounds like some changes may have been made to the way MA offers auto insurance. While driving records did come into play (for the record, I was a Step 9 which was the best rating that could be attained at the time in MA), insurance rates also varied greatly depending on which city or town your vehicle was parked in. I couldn't even really argue with the insurance company that my vehicle was far more likely to be broken into while living in Lynn, as opposed to living in Lexington. I believe when I left Lynn, I probably had a vehicle that I owned broken into more than a dozen times over the years.

    Just so I'm clear...In spite of my negative tone about my hometown, I sincerely hope that things have or are improving. It's amazing to me that after all these years, I still get very odd looks from people when I disclose the fact that I'm from Lynn. Perhaps one day, that awful perception that people have can be erased.

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  37. Let me try and divorce the "residency question" from the "Lynn question". I dont live in Lynn and I dont have kids, so I can only speak to the "residency question".
    It seems to me that there are two reasons to require residency. One -as many have pointed out- is to force the employees to care for more than just a paycheck. Corey and many others work very hard at their jobs even without this incentive, but to be a realist is to admit that many people do as little as they can for the paycheck. Residency adds incentive (whether needed or not) for good work.

    The second reason for a residency requirement is to make it easier for residents to get a job, by limiting the applicant pool - a form of nepotism if you will.

    Last point - some post as anonymous because they dont want to register for this blog.

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  38. Tom Sheehan made a good point - if it ain't broken, don't fix it - no one proved that the system is NOT working - nothing says that someone applying for a job in Lynn needs to live here when applying - job searches can go out across the country - it requires that you move here after getting the job within a certain amount of time.

    What Lynn does not need is people that moved out of Lynn and still for reason need to make sure that their hatred of the city gets voiced on blogs (check some of the comments here!) We don't need people like that working for this city - or living here. Of course as Seth noted, some of the worst attitudes are from people that lived in Lynn all their lives but didn't leave. I don't think any of the comments are from people that actually work for the city, so why do those of you that are against the residency requirement care what Lynn does? If you don't want to send your kids to Lynn schools, do like Paul Crowley, Tim Phelan, Pat Capuano, and others and send your kids to private schools. (but please get some new buildings built for our kids)

    My son was transferred to Rhode Island, enticed to buy a house in RI, and then transferred to Georgia. He wants to come back here after spending a year down there but they won't transfer him back - lots of jobs have tough requirements (join the military) but you either do it or quit.

    I have had nothing but good results dealing with city workers (police, city hall, water, etc). Lynn employs great people who do their jobs wonderfully and seem happy and I don't hear them complaining - so why are people here trying to change a rule that seems to be working fine?

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  39. Yeah, I gave the ability to post anonymously on purpose because I know there are probably people both for and against me that would like to add to the conversation without being named. I actually don't have a huge problem with that.

    I think we've run our course here. I now understand why people are so passionate on this topic. It might not be broken. I guess it depends on how it's used. Over the past 8 years, I don't think it's been used well. Only time shall tell.


    John,
    You'd be amazed if you came to Downtown Lynn today. In the past 5 years, a ton has been done. The new police station has pushed crime up Union and down the common a bit further. The downtown is completely safe (minus the random violence every urban center sees). Our cars are fine. There are some new buildings and a whole new set of residents.

    I'm hoping that within the 600+ unique visitors this blog has had over the past 30 days, there are some current and former Lynners who are starting to clue in to what is going on Downtown. I will certainly promote everything I can to get you to come shop, dine, and have some fun with us.

    -Corey

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  40. speaking of gangs
    I had disrespect for one until recently- they actually vigilanty.
    they enforce laws when the cops cant. their orders might come from the system. they help chase scumbags away. their duties are protection for hire for personal or public events.

    the good know who u r. just wish to say thanks

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  41. ah yes the school system decision. now a days there is tax right off for private ed so it shouldnt be a whole factor.

    kids are nice anywhere u go. that starts at home.

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  42. The homeless shelter and AA meetings need to move out of downtown lynn and put in a different area. If we wish to see the area revitalized fully like old times. It's getting there.

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