Thanks For Nothing: RMV Screws Up Downtown

Way to go State Senator Hairy Balls. Wicked smart Lynchie. On paper I can see how “saving” the RMV in Lowell seems like a good idea. Having an RMV branch in Lowell is convenient for residents and good regionally. The city owns a largely vacant garage earning far less than projections and remains a thorn in the side of those who voted for it.

On the flip side, does this move achieve the long term goals for the downtown or Lowell overall? Hardly.

One of Lowell’s greatest planning blunders is to confuse public spending with downtown viability. The city has a role in the process that is vital and necessary to creating a viable downtown… then they take it too far. In downtown proper, public spending with the NPS Visitor Center, and LeRoy Garage are positive. But then the greedy pigs of Lowell step in under the cover of “helping” Lowell and douche it up. Public and elderly housing is the vast majority of housing in downtown. This population has very little disposal income and do not enhance the downtown. How many people have you seen hanging around on benches and riding around on power scooters in the downtown? Are they going to restaurants and spending? Nope. Are they unpleasant for visitors? Sometimes. Would they be better served in a different area? Yes. Would the downtown be better served if this space had market rate housing? You bet.

Another example is the Bon Marche Building envisioned by the Lowell Plan, Jim (Tower News) Cook, George Berhakis, and Nick Sarris. Jordan Marsh left. OK, I understand that’s bad for downtown. Someone wants to step up and renovate the building, that’s good. Then there’s a sharp left turn. Public money is used to renovate then the building is pretty much given to a couple of cronies for a song. The building can’t be rented out, so who do they find as a tenant… the school committee! Wicked smart! Now for several years the school committee pays an exorbitant amount of rent and lines the pockets of Berhakis and Sarris. They return the favor by supporting politicians friendly to to them and the downward spiral begins. Does anyone remember the deal with the Lowell Senior Center? Same type of bullshit there and we’re still paying for it.

It doesn’t end there though. This year, the school superintendent does the right thing and decides not to renew the lease at the Bon Marche building. Sounds reasonable. Then GOB Bill Taupier becomes the mouthpiece for Berhakis and Sarris and warns of the impending collapse of the downtown if the school committee vacates the Bon Marche. Really? No, it’s just that Berhakis and Sarris believe they are from Lowell and the city owes them. Assholes. Allegedly, promises are made to school committee members that if they stay in the Bon Marche, they will be rewarded. Rita Fatcianti allegedly threatens Chris Scott. Court case and headlines costing Lowell money and bad press. Who gets screwed? We do. The residents, taxpayers, and school children who are having resources wasted.

Getting back to the issue at hand… the RMV. How many cronies and retarded relatives of cronies are employed at the Lowell RMV? Quite a few. Just like the sheriff department employs Rita Mercier, and Regina Fatcianti what favors are owed to State Sen. Steve Panagiotakos, state Reps. Tom Golden, Kevin Murphy and David Nangle for this move? What influence did DPD have with this action? I haven’t seen Adam (Lil B) Baacke holding a meeting to discuss the pros and cons of this move. Given the traffic impact to the neighborhood, was a single study done, were businesses and residents in the area asked? I don’t think so. This was shoved down the throat of Lowell by Senator Hairy Balls. Lynch bent over and accepted because he wants to be Senator Hairy Balls some day. The City Council bent over because they have pals employed at the RMV and there too dumb to recognize that this is a bad move to the viability of downtown.

My prediction… gridlock. Local businesses hurt by a lack of parking. Disgruntled RMV customers leaving as fast as they come. Early Garage parking problems, slowing growth and development in the area. The complete opposite of why the garage was built.


14 comments on “Thanks For Nothing: RMV Screws Up Downtown

  1. Bob Forrant says:


    Add to your story, the garage is actually now JAM full of MCC student cars during the week because the UMass Lowell ICC is utilizingthe garage near the college. So, streets are busier already with cars coming in off the connector, residents are finding parking more difficult. There’s not any room there right now for more cars for registry workers and customers – this alone should have made everyone involved rethink this plan and the long, long lease.

    Not to mention, this was supposed to be taxable development property as i understand it. So, what does this do? Isn’t this now non-taxable real estate for a good long time when we need the dough? And, wiith the police training center going in the space too, doesn’t this further reduce the revenue enhancing possibilities for the space?

    In fairness we should offer the dentist and restaurant now there a no-tax plan for five years!

    This was more than anything else a campaign ploy to allow pols to claim they are ‘moving Lowell forward’ while in reality the state economy continues to get a swirly. Our state house gang ought to be on the case with this crisis, don’t you think?

  2. Concerned Citizen says:

    Our state house gang is too busy kissing up to Kaz. He must have something really good on one or all of them. Pangi is the biggest disappointment

    • lone ranger says:

      Here comes Sen. Pangiotakos, Chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. First he endorses Fred Doyle, who has no credentials, a nasty history of would be slander and calls him a leader we can be proud of? This is shameful. Then the Senator and delegation run to C. Kazanjian’s defense. It is one thing to support a friend, but another to use a position of public trust to try to bail out an ethically challenged individual. No matter what, a sitting councilor bypassing a permitting process is something that no responsible representative of local government should do.

      Sorry for the analogy, but this is reminding me a bit about the election incidents in Iran, where the clerics made up stories and blamed the pro-democracy victims for bloodshed and violence. How can moral judgment be so twisted? It all comes down to control and trying to retain a power base where government is just a friend to friend network. I thought Lowell had come a long way, but much of the progress is cosmetic when we see this death rattle like struggle for survival. Break the rules, hire friends and relatives and circle the wagons. Let’s just pray that the FBI and DA’s office has the proof and courage to cauterize the wound.

  3. Gordon Pickguard says:

    OK. I knew you were due for a good spleen vent,now put your helmut back on. The real head banging season is in full swing.

  4. Bob Forrant says:

    National economy grows 3.5% last month, MA economy shrinks still further. Front page Globe story today details more possible corruption links under the Golden Dome while another article details a Cambridge legislator’s hit and run accident and once more not a peep, peep, peep from any of the big boys who play all day under the Golden Dome.

    The Registry’s 18 month rent free gig in the garage – how in the hell is this moving Lowell forward – please, please Mayor Bud tell me? Takingthe police training academy out of a private sector building and plopping it down in the garage too – does this count as part of your list of new business openings?

    Mr. Mayor, how about a list of closing and major layoffs across Lowell over the last two years to go with your list of grand openings. Thing about openings is there is a shiny photo op, while closings and foreclosures only show heartache and an uncertain future for the families and neighborhoods affected.

    One last question while the smile fest in AK’s living room is stil fresh in voters’ minds: How far has the average Lowell homeowner’s property value dropped over the last two years? While this is not the fault of the ‘we are moving Lowell forward gang of five and their enablers in the legislature’ it is their fault that there is no concerted effort to do something about it!

    Lowell needs jobs – good jobs – and not happy talk. Look behind the curtain and you’ll see the Wizard of Oz and he’s pantless.

  5. Right in Lowell says:

    I’m waiting for the day when following his “we’ve created 25 new businesses in the last two years” punch line, someone asks the mayor how many businesses have shut down in the last two years? 30? 40? 50?

  6. The Original Lowell Guy says:

    Shallot, you are as perceptive as always. I have become disgusted on new and undiscovered levels at the ineptitude, corruption, thievery, nepotism, and general ball-washing that is Lowell government and politics.

    Burn it all to the ground and start over.

    By the way, the annual Lowell Scooter Rodeo Festival will be happening at the corner of Market and Central next weekend.

  7. AnObscureCostello says:

    Pure bullwash, shalllot. Why as I was saying to the wife just the other day, “Wife,” I said, “I have to renew my license. Why don’t we make a day of it, starting with waiting for three hours while they screw up the licensse and tell me I have an old parkign ticket that I never saw, and then go enjoy a fine lunch at one of the gin mills near the registry and then go stroll to look at a canal or some old quilts of something.”

    I’m sure hundreds of others do the same thing. Nothing puts people in the mood for some fine shopping experiences better than being hassled by dopes and hacks at the Registry.

  8. Doug S says:

    Also keep in mind that the mill directly across the street from this garage, with the RMV and the cadet academy is going to house Lowell Community Health Center, and its 300+ employees, and the 30k+ the serve each year. Congestion = Cluster F&*^%

  9. I live here says:

    I can’t park in the garage and I have a pass! MCC has taken the place over. Thanks Marty! What am I paying for again?

  10. airstrike says:


    The problem with all of this.You don’t speak the right language. You need to speak Sheep…Lots of Baaahhhs…Because the people in this town are nothing but sheep….

    I don’tknow if anyone at city hall has noticed.

    The Garage is full. The “parking authority” is getting their dough from the students and there is no more room for RMV customers. You and the delegation are idiots to think otherwise and to send people into a black hole of parking tickets, homeless junkies and dilapidated buildings…Thanks for looking out.

  11. jc says:

    People still GO to the RMV? You can pretty much get everything you need accomplished online at the Mass DOT/RMV website. Silly people and your unnecessary standing in lines.

  12. poor dirt farmer says:


    What are the odds that Hairy Bals reads your site…Oh never mind, he’s the one who’s good at setting odds…

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