City Hall has known that this suit has been coming for awhile. Barry Mullen gave them fair warning during the budget hearings, and he has been in print and on the radio speaking about it for three quarters of a year.
What is distressing to me is how the people are afraid of the government. Many more people wanted to join this suit but were afraid of reprisal from City Hall. I don't believe we are succeeding as a society when the citizens are afraid of the government. Afraid to ask the government to protect them.
Maureen Feeney has complained about the open meeting law to people, saying that she can't even talk to other councilors on the elevator, and complaining that "Team Unity meets together". Team Unity does meet, and they obey the open meeting laws because the meetings are posted with the city clerks office. Anyone can attend, I believe they usually have them on Wednesday's. Even Maureen Feeney can attend. So, she is just being dishonest or she doesn't know that she can have a meeting any time she wants as long as she posts it with the city clerks office.
As my wife pointed out, how is that the rest of the cities and towns in the commonwealth are able to run their governments without being fined for violating the Open Meeting Law, but the Boston City Council can't seem to get it figured out??
(P.S. to all the councilors there is a MCLE class on September 21st on the Open Meeting Law)
One councilor has even said that if we filed the lawsuit that the schools were going to have to be shut down, and that they would let everyone know who was to blame for the schools shutting down.
Somehow, I don't think that is going to happen. Why would a councilor say such untrue things to try and intimidate someone into not asking the council to abide by a law that they voted for???
All the council has to do is vote to rescind the law, or change the number of required officers down to whatever lower level they now think is appropriate to deal with the violence in the City. It is that simple. It is really hypocritical to ask the citizens to obey the law, when they don't obey a law that was voted on unanimously by the City Council.
I fully expect that they will try and defeat this lawsuit with a motion to dismiss filled with technical legal arguments. They will also try and portray us as people that want to bankrupt the city. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are for fiscal responsibility and real investigation of where our tax dollars are being spent and where our assets are going.
This "Tower of Mumbles" as one friend calls it (a take off on the Tower of Babble) could be shortchanging the citizens of Boston 200 million dollars if it goes through as proposed in the BRA RFP available on the 9th floor of City Hall. Other land giveaways at the Roxbury Mosque, Heyward Place, Fenway Park, etc, etc, could more than pay for the police officers we need. But without the giveaways to the connected, the connected don't fill up the political cash accounts of the incumbents.
I have been struck by the passion of the people in this city to try and do the right thing, to make their neighborhoods safe, and how they feel that the administration is giving them the run around. I'm hopeful that this suit can help to get more of the support they need.