Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Love Cambridge

Seems like an odd statement, doesn't it? I mean this is the Downtown Lynn blog, right? Have no fear, you're on the right site. I just love Cambridge. You see, Cambridge is where I work during the day. 

Today, The Mayor and other City department heads are meeting to discuss 6 anonymous individuals who work in Lynn and do not live here (the horror!).  Now, don't get me wrong. The law is the law. If it's proven to be true, then those individuals should be fired or given some reasonable time to move back here. It's in the charter, so it should be upheld.

There are some on one side of this debate, that believe if you don't live here, you obviously don't care enough about the city. I don't buy it. My parents don't live here and they think about Lynn all the time. Read the "They're Talking About Lynn" series. Go on Facebook sometime and join the Former Lynners fan page. Then come back and tell me, that you don't care about Lynn if you don't live here.  Come to think of it, we just made a city council decision based solely (from what I can tell) on the fact that 75 people from Wakefield would be working in Lynn during the day. HOORAY! We gave away a prime retail spot for this decision. I'm sure they will grow to love Lynn. 

So... I really love Cambridge. You look around Kendall Square and it has an identity (High Tech and Biotech). You look around Central Square and it has an identity (retail, dining, and the arts). You look around Harvard square and it has an identity (education, history).  What is Lynn's identity? What do we want to be when we grow up? What is Downtown Lynn's identity?  Recent council decisions would have us looking like Longwood Medical Area. Some of our politicians think we need more dining options. Some think we have too many (ahem!..grr....). Where is our leadership? Who is going to take us to the next level?

We need outside ideas, folks. We need to hire the people that built Lowell back up. We need to bring in the experts who are turning all of Sommerville into GOLD!  Sure, we could hire them all as consultants and get around the charter... or we can save a hell of a lot of money and just bring them in for a longer engagement. And you know what...... We don't need to make them move here first. It's just plain silly!  Come to think of it, everytime we ask for a strategic plan from consultants, we immediately begin ignoring it. We need people with skin in the game. They can live in Lynn or in Bora Bora for all I care, as long as they love their job and do it well.


P.S. Lynn, I love you too. Don't you worry! You can care about where you live and where you work. It's funny that way. Don't listen to those jerks who tell you otherwise.


  1. I have to say I agree with you. If someone is a professional, it doesn't matter where they live. They do a great job and that's that. I'm all for giving people incentives to live here, but don't think it should be a requirement. You bring up a lot of good examples. Don't forget the woman who is running for Lynn. Lara Goodman is now a resident of Swampscott, but she is running a marathon in Providence to raise money for the East Lynn Community Association. She used to live in Lynn, loves Lynn, but doesn't live here anymore. She is also on our board!

    Thinking about the inadequate police presence in my neighborhood, last I heard there was one squad car for all of Ward 3, I would rather have a top-notch professional from another city if there are not enough candidates who want to live here. Oh, the horror!

  2. I agree with you completely. Lynn politics must become less insular.

    But a fight to change the charter would be messy. It seems Lynn is split pretty much down the middle on the issue.

    I personally do not believe a government or public agency should have a right to dictate where their employers live by forcing such a contract on them as a term of employment. It's simply an issue of personal freedom.

    The other downside is that city departments are voting for their bosses, and they often vote in blocks. That's going to bog things down a bit, and take power away from regular citizens with private sector jobs (or jobs outside Lynn).

  3. As a lifelong Lynn resident who works in the dreaded private sector, I see absolutely no compelling reason to force individuals to live where they work. Any rule that says you can not pick the most qualified person for a job is a short-sighted one. If you hire the most qualified individuals who take pride in their work, people will want to live here because it will be a well-run city. The residency commission actually operates on "anonymous tips" to pursue residency scofflaws. This leads to selective enforcement. Additionally, this commission has spent many, many thousands of dollars on private detectives for this witch hunt. This rule has to go!

  4. I make most of my decisions through the heart.

    I feel that in order to work for the city of Lynn your heart has to be in it. I question how much heart they have if they dread living here. I love my neighbors, and other neighborhoods I visit.

    I even feel that those who are from Lynn should have their heart in Lynn. Even some who live here don't have their heart in it.

    But how do you measure someone's heart?
    While I believe there are many good candidates for the job, seeing how much volunteerism or involvement with the community one has must make a huge difference when being hired?

    I also think if a contract is violated, there should be a mandatory fee or penalty of loss of benefits...if this isn't already instated.
    Like any contract that might have a penalty.


Search This Blog

Web Analytics