Actions Speak Louder Than
two years the voters of Lawrence have to endure the
platitudes of politicians like Barry Finegold, Dave
(Where-is-HE) Torrisi and State Senator Sue Tucker
crowing about how they are friends of higher
And they always seem to work in the Lawrence Campus of
Northern Essex Community College when making their
self-serving political speeches, pointing out how
vital an educational institution like NECC is to
But now we know how much they really care, because
actions speak louder than platitudes.
Last month, while Northern Essex Community College was
before the Lawrence City Council to bid on the
In-Town-Mall (for a $20 million Health and Technology
Center), there was no sign of Sue Tucker. There was no
sign of Dave Torrisi. There was no sign of Barry
In fact, the only state rep. who bothered to show up at
all was Willie Lantigua, and because one of the other
bidders was a Latino, he was actually there
to oppose the $20 million NECC college expansion project.
So, while the Latino Agenda mob (including
Julia Silverio and Nazaio Ezquea) was hurling
racial accusations at the college faculty Mayor Sullivan,
and anyone who supported the college, the absence of
Torrisi, Finegold and Tucker spoke volumes for their
commitment to higher education.
What a difference the presence of Lawrences
legislators could have made in both the tone and
direction of those hearings before the city council. That
is, had they bothered to show up! Instead they took a
behind the scenes approach, sitting back
while the circus like atmosphere nearly doomed the
college project at the council level.
The Sullivan administration
(as well as college officials) begged our legislators to
write a letter, make a phone call or appear before the
council to support Northern Essex.
Instead, Tucker, Torrisi and Finegold were just as
invisible as they were when ten days of flooding shut
down sections of the city. They were just as invisible as
they were when, for years, Lawrence officials tried to
get funding for the Veterans Memorial stadium.
So much for being friends of higher
Whats really funny is how Torrisi, Tucker and
Finegold always show up for photo ops, ground breaking
ceremonies and proclamations.
But, when it comes to actually doing something -
like fighting for a $20 million college expansion project
to revitalize downtown, Lawrences state
legislators are, once again, nowhere to be found.
Sure, Torrisi, Finegold and Tucker can brag all they want
about how they fought for NECC at the state
level behind the scenes. They can hide behind
the fact that they helped to get funding for
the project as proof that they truly care about the
children and higher education. But if the Lawrence
City Council had listened to Councilor Nilka Alvarez (who
did everything she could to stop the Northern Essex so
she could favor a Latino) there would be no
college project for them to fund.
Thats when Torrisi, Finegold and Tucker would
have shrugged their shoulders and blamed Lawrence
politicians for the failure of a great educational
institution to secure the In-Town Mall for a $20 million
Health and Technology center.
Despite the absence of Lawrences legislators at the
city council level, the states $20 million college
project was finally approved thanks to the brave
maneuvering of Councilors Grisel Silva, Nunzio DiMarca
and Patrick Blanchette.
And now that the project is officially approved, you can
bet Torrisi, Lantigua, Finegold, Alvarez and Tucker will
shamelessly show up at the ground-breaking ceremony,
shovels in hand, mugging for the cameras and taking
credit for the success of the project.
You can also bet that they will campaign on the success
of this expansion project for years to come.
I only hope that Lawrence residents remember who was
there to support Northern Essex Community College in
their time of NEED, when they were getting hammered at
the City Council hearings - and who was too busy
with photo ops and press conferences behind the
Tom Duggan is the president of Valley Patriot, Inc., is a
former member of the Lawrence School Committee, and hosts
the Paying Attention! Radio Program on WCAP, 980AM, every
Saturday afternoon from noon-2pm. You can email comments
him at Tdugjr@aol.com
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The June, 2006 Edition
of the Valley Patriot
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Valley Patriot Archive
Prior columns by TomDuggan
Classroom Credit to Support
Trash Talk in N. Andover
The NY Times & Treason