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City Councilors Irked Over Press Conference Snub

Three councilors weren't invited to a press conference held by the Mayor Monday, but the other four were.

Three city councilors were not invited to a press conference held by Mayor Michael McGlynn Monday, and they aren’t pleased about it.

One said McGlynn’s actions were "Hitler-like," and another ended up getting into a shouting match with the city solicitor during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

McGlynn held a press conference Monday afternoon at Medford High School to announce a grant the city received for Hormel Stadium, a planned proposal for school technology upgrades and progress in bringing Verizon cable TV to the city.

Councilors Robert Maiocco, Paul Camuso, Mark Arena and Fred Dello Russo were notified of the conference, and all but Maiocco attended. But councilors Breanna Lungo-Koehn, Michael Marks and Robert Penta were not notified.

“We should be working together, the executive branch and the legislative branch and to personally not be invited…I’m appalled,” Marks said.

Marks said he was elected to be the “eyes and ears” of the public, and by leaving him out of the press conference, McGlynn left the public out.

“By omitting me from a meeting he’s shutting out the public and it’s a disgrace,” Marks said.

When Marks referred to the press conference as a meeting, City Solicitor Mark Rumley – who was on-hand for the council meeting – took exception. Rumley said the press conference was legally not a meeting, and McGlynn held no legal obligation to invite the entire council, which set off the following exchange:

“It’s great the mayor sent out his two hench-people tonight,” Marks said, referring to Rumley and Community Development Director Lauren DiLorenzo, on hand for another matter. “…This is not a matter of the law.”

“To be called a henchman is insulting,” Rumley said.

“It’s kind,” Marks said.

“Kind? Then take your worst shot,” Rumley said.

Marks said Rumley should support the excluded councilors.

“We don’t need the city solicitor to come up and scrutinize what words I use in my speech…” Marks said. “The city solicitor should be behind members of the city council who were not notified.”

Penta said he didn’t think McGlynn respected any of the city councilors and had played them “like a ping-pong ball." He later said campaign literature McGlynn distributed in South Medford took credit for things the city council had a hand in.

“He makes it sound like the Gestapo,” Penta said. “He runs this place any way he wants.”

When Camuso said to Penta that “Gestapo” can be considered offensive to Jewish people, he made a different comparison.

“Fine - the Hitler-type tactics the mayor uses in this community,” Penta said.

"He's not the only one who runs this city, he needs this council more than we need him," Penta said. "But if you look at what he says and does, it's he did this and he did that. That is wrong."

The exclusion from the press conference was brought up in a resolution brought forward by Lungo-Koehn, which requested an update on school technology improvements.

"I had to bring it up that wasn’t invited because I was upset about it,” Lungo-Koehn said. “But this has to do with technology in our schools. This is about the kids.”

Camuso said he was “very happy” with the news from the press conference.

“I hear you in your frustrations," Camuso said, "but the fact of the matter is, we have a lot of very positive things to look forward to."

Dello Russo said he did not realize other councilors were not notified of the conference and did not mean to be exclusionary. But, if he had not gone, he would have learned the information through the media.

“Had I not had the time to go to that press conference yesterday, I would have heard of it by reading one of the internet news providers we have serving the community or in one of the two newspapers serving our community," Dello Russo said.

Rose Fiore November 02, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Why would the Mayor invite Councilors Lungo-Koehn, Penta, & Marks? They stand up to him. They don't rubber stamp everything he puts in front of the council like the "gang of 4" does. They do what they feel is best for the City. The gang of 4 does whatever the Mayor tells them to do. I wonder how Councilors Camuso, Arena, Maiocco, & Dello Russo would feel if Mayor D'Antonio called a press conference to discuss upcoming City improvements & they were left off the guest list? At the meeting last night, they should have shown solidarity to their fellow councilors instead of making inane statements about "feeling their frustration." Please wake up Medford. We need new leadership in the corner office & on the City Council. Maybe with new leadership, the Councilors can work together to make Medford a better place to live.
MB November 02, 2011 at 12:28 PM
I agree with Rose. What a shame that the Mayor & his administration do not respect and value all of the councilors. Our nation was born to embrace differences of opinion and all of the councilors were elected to represent the residents of Medford. Excluding the three Councilors, who coincidentally are not rubber stamps, is not right and I'm glad it was brought up at last night's meeting. I was not represented at the press conference! That is wrong! How upsetting! We see what Mayor McGlynn's handy work has done to our city. It is falling apart, a disgrace! If the city was a private corporation it would have been out of business long ago. In many ways the city does feel like it is out of business. Public buildings falling apart, a desolate and dirty square, I'll equipped schools and public employee working in horrible conditions. I'm disgusted! Thank you to the Councilors who bring the facts to the public. I do hope we have changes in administration with the election & I pray things are not so far gone that the city has a chance to come back and be a great place to live & work!
Bob Angelo November 02, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Considering the name calling and the arguing I can see why the mayor wouldn't want to be around certain people. The press conference was at the high school. Do you want people who compare the mayor to Hitler and get into a shouting match with city workers setting an example for your children?
Richie M November 02, 2011 at 01:30 PM
What a coincidence that McGlynn’s four lap dogs were “notified” about the press conference and the other three were not. I couldn’t help but notice that the four who were “notified” were all quick to point out that they were notified not invited. What difference does it make? It the same as saying I used the toilet to pee not urinate. Arena just happened to have the day off and received a phone call only ten minutes prior to the start of the press conference? What a coincidence. I wonder if he just happened to be in the school parking lot when the call came through. I loved the deer in the headlights expression on his face as he tried to cover his backside. Pathetic. Ditto for Dello Russo, although it was refreshing to see him finally participate in a council meeting. This sad episode is another commentary on McGlynn’s arrogance and incompetence. The city is literally falling apart on his watch, and he wants to ram a parking garage down our throats. He’s trying to build his own Potemkin Village, and his four boot lickers (Camuso, Dello Russo, Arena & Maiocco) are only all too willing to rubber stamp whatever the Dear Leader asks of them. Medford deserves better.
Jeannie November 02, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Rose, MB and Richie M you are so right. The time has come for a change—a real change in Medford’s government. The City is falling to ruin, and all this last minute grandstanding on McGlynn’s part is just that—smoke and mirrors. Mayor McGlynn’s pointed failure to include Councilors Penta, Marks and Lungo-Cohn at the “meeting” or “press conference” was not only disrespectful to them, but a hard slap in the face to all taxpayers in this City. That was an open and blatant snub to all of us! Wake up everyone and smell the coffee. Do you seriously wonder how Councilors Camuso, Arena, Maiocco, & Dello Russo will vote on the garage in the final analysis? This is backdoor politics at its best, and that “proposed” 8 Million garage will become a reality that we will be saddled with—a reality that we will end up paying for. Self-sustaining my foot. Remember, Tuesday, November 8th is election day. Let our voices be heard with a “clean sweep.” The time for change is now.
Rose Fiore November 02, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Bob Angelo, you just reinforced our point. The Mayor only wants people around him that agree with everything he has to say. The 3 Councilors have been to numerous events with the Mayor & I can't recall ONE time where they shouted out anything to him. The Council meeting is an open forum where every citizen has the right to speak out & that includes the Council & Mayor. But the Mayor refuses to attend any meetings. If he wanted to set a "good example for the children," he would attempt to work with the Councilors. This City is falling down around us, starting with the disgusting conditions he makes his City Employees work in. (police dept, fire dept, dpw yard) How do you explain that to the children?
Rose Fiore November 02, 2011 at 03:02 PM
One more thing...Mark Rumley took Councilor Marks to task numerous times because he kept referring to the press conference as a meeting. Councilor Camuso in his remarks after the Rumley/Marks rumble, also kept referring to it as a meeting. Yet, Mr Rumley, who was sitting in the front row, never got up to correct Mr Camuso. Hmm.....
Jeannie November 02, 2011 at 03:21 PM
OOPS, please forgive the misspelling of Councilor Lungo-Koehn's name above.
steven harris November 02, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Is there anything the Mayor has done over 24yrs. that Penta has praised? He is still smarting over McGlynn bouncing him out of the Legislature in 1978. What about 1987 when Penta's candidate for Mayor (Marilyn Porreca) was beaten by McGlynn. Penta's whole existence in municipal politics is personal. Can he point to one accomplishment over just the last six years of his 35yr. career? How about his distinguished legal career? How about the 2009 House Bill 4115 that padded his state pension with his Council retirement. For him and for him only. Google it! Only Bob Penta can bring up Nazi references repeatedly and get away with it. Wake up people.
Joe Viglione November 02, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Steven Harris you are missing the point. Marilyn Porreca had to sit through three recounts and suddenly ten votes appeared for McGlynn, if my understanding of Medford history is correct. We have the scandal at the Housing Department - being raided - with the Executive Director being the brother-in-law to the late Sheriff DiPaola. Wake up people is right. This is frightening. 24 years is too long for ANY Mayor, which I say at the beginning of my TV show. But why is my political show not aired in Medford when 9 million other homes around Medford (and New York) get the broadcast? Mayor McGlynn wants NO criticism, Steven. And when a Mayor isn't transparent but has closely monitored press conferences ...well, WAKE UP PEOPLE. It's deceptive business. It is sleight of hand. It is not democracy, it is simply not fair, Steven.
Richie M November 02, 2011 at 06:09 PM
That was no coincidence Rose. I never thought I'd see the day when someone would outdo Paul Camuso in the buffoonery dept. Rumley's over the top phony outrage was nothing more than a circus side show. All that was missing was the crocodile tears. He's McGlynn's apple polisher at $102,013 for the year 2010. Look it up it's public record. I doubt he's taking a pay cut for 2011. Nice work if you can get it. So of course he's going to start barking like a seal when his benefactor claps his hands. It sums up the tone McGlynn has set at city hall. Don't question the king.
Bob Angelo November 02, 2011 at 06:59 PM
If you want to talk about buffoonery, think about who Penta compared the mayor to. Adolf Hitler was responsible for killing over 5 million Jews.
liam November 02, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Kudos to Councilors Lungo-Koehn, Penta and Marks. They are the only ones who have been willing to clearly state that they are against this 8 million dollar garage boondoggle. What about the other four? They sit there like cats who've eaten canaries. Well, through their silence, waffling and tepid responses, they've telegraphed to this voter exactly what their intentions are. They will wait until after the election, hoping McGlynn wins, and then they'll suddenly have an epiphany and tell us all why this unnecessary garage is so necessary. This is cronyism at its worst. Mr. Arena, it strains credulity in listening to your feeble responses. You haven't read the complete feasibility study, but you criticize Mr. Penta and Mr. Marks for quoting portions of it, which you yourself did in an out of context fashion in your own remarks. As to Mr. Solicitor Rumley, his lesson on "meeting" versus "press conference" was comically absurd. Mr. Marks rightly put the "henchman" moniker on him. The mayor again sends his minions to do his bidding. It also shows just how petty and vindictive Mr. McGlynn is in not informing the three city council members of his "press conference." And it was painful to watch the four "invitees" attempt to excuse their lack of support for their colleagues and rationalize their "invitations." Disgraceful.
A. Campbell November 02, 2011 at 10:10 PM
The first thing we need to do in this city is impose term limits! Mayor McGlynn is ruining this city slowly, but surely! I have lived in Medford for over 50 years, and the state of our city is a disgrace! We do not need an $8 millon garage or a boat ramp in Medford Square! The last garage was an absolute joke! The kids and drug dealers broke all the lights, so it was dark and unsafe! There were no meters in it, so people would park their cars in the garage and go hop the bus to work in Boston. We have no traffic and parking enforcement anyway, so how is there supposed to be any turn-over in the garage for all the people to come shop and support the merchants in Medford Square? We can't even get the side streets swept! Funny how all the other surrounding cities have regular schedules to have their streets swept! I think it would make a lot more sense to put the $8 million to work elsewhere!!! Like the dilapidated police station... Come on people -- election day is fast approaching. If you are tired of what's going on (and not going on) in our city, GET OUT AND CAST YOUR VOTE!!! Please don't sit back and think someone else's vote will take care of it! And, Mr. Maiocco stop rolling your eyes when people get up to voice their opinions - it is rude and unprofessional! Mr. Rumley, just sit down and stop thinking you are more important than you really are!
Lisa November 03, 2011 at 12:14 AM
Why on earth was Mark Rumley there and butting his nose into things anyways? In my own personal experience, I agree with Richie. Rumley does nothing but insult people, put them down, thinks he knows more than any average citizen and doesn't do his homework. Muccini-Burke even has refused my calls and refers them to Rumley, who refers me back to her. Excuse me? Ping pong? Not with me and if they're reading this, they know what I'm talking about. These 3 councilors deserve praise for standing up for the citizens and for the city of Medford. They do not need to be 'puppets' to anyone nor will they ever be the type. They're too classy..yes even Penta! Regardless, give the man credit- at least he's not afraid to speak his mind and tells the truth. How do you fault anyone from telling the truth? They've got my vote and the word is spreading fast. The citizens of Medford are not stupid; they're just not 'connected' and married into every family that runs the place!
MB November 03, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Googled it. What does sales tax fairness for main street retailers have to do with McGlynn's ineptitude? Here is the link to the bill summary I found, http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/view/84819. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts doesn't even have a bill with that #. http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills. It appears that in your haste to defend McGlynn you posted some bad information.
Jim Morse November 04, 2011 at 08:28 PM
I missed some of the City Council last Tuesday and I tried to tape the replay last night at 7 PM on Channel 16. Well the replay that they are airing is from a City Council meeting from last May. The same replay ran again today at 3 PM. The TV3 website, which reportedly airs the reruns of the City Council, is down for repairs and there is no way to see the tape of the City Council from Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011. The Nov 1 tape is at the Fire Department but the person who programs it to run on Channel 16 is on vacation. Reportedly, Ed Finn, the City Clerk, can provide a tape or DVD of the meeting but city hall is closed to the public until Monday. Did anyone see the presentation by Robert Capucci? He spoke on Agenda 21 and it was mind boggling. This needs to be discussed in a public forum.
Rose Fiore November 05, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Jim...I watched the whole meeting but unfortunately, I had trouble understanding what the presentation was about. The quality of the broadcast was horrible. I could barely hear what was being said. What is Agenda 21?
Rose Fiore November 05, 2011 at 12:38 PM
I just googled it Jim. It looks like I have a lot of reading to do on this subject.
Mark Nelson November 05, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Sounds like Wilmington? Kinda
Jim Morse November 07, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Rose, there is a lot to learn. I've spent a lot of time studying Agenda 21 and I was able to get put the 12 minute video of Mr. Capucci online here. Feel free to comment here http://medford.patch.com/blog_posts/un-agenda-21-in-medford-ma?
Arthur DeLuca September 22, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Joe, your show does not air on TV3 Medford because you refused to bring back one of our cameras which you had taken out. We had to go to court to get it back. We the board voted to permananetly ban you from TV3 and from using any and all of its resources because of this. We took that stance after reading Somerville's P&P and noting that in theirs, not only does a suspended member NOT have the right to play his show - no other member can sponsor it. If they attempt to "sneak" it in as their own show, then they get their membership rights revoked for 1 year!. All this coming from Somerville, a Public Access Station you run on and have always praised as doing the right thing and running properly. So how can you find fault with MCC adopting their procedures? As you will notice by this explaination - Mayor McGlynn had NOTHING to do with this decision. Yes, this post is 10 months in coming, but as long as your faulty data remains up, then so will this factual correction.

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