LOWELL -- City councilors on Tuesday night thanked City Manager Bernie Lynch for his contributions to the city in the last 7 1/2 years during Lynch's last City Council meeting.

Councilors gave thanks to Lynch for his work to improve the city's finances, as well as his support of a number of different projects in Lowell, such as the revitalization of the city's Hamilton Canal District in the downtown.

"You want to leave the city in a better place when you leave than when you arrived," City Councilor Bill Martin said. "I think you made the case, even tonight in the budget, why that is the case."

Earlier in Tuesday's meeting, Lynch had presented a draft fiscal 2015 budget to the council, with Martin thanking him for providing the information earlier than council would typically receive such information. Lynch steps down on Monday.

Councilor James Milinazzo thanked Lynch for his strong outreach to the business community, as well his strong connection with the city's different neighborhood groups.

"Because of your professionalism and the team you brought forward, plus the councils you worked with, you have been able to maintain Lowell moving forward and I want to thank you for your efforts," said Milinazzo.


Councilor William Samaras said he was impressed by the many different construction projects that took place under Lynch, such as the work in the Hamilton Canal District, the building projects at Lowell General Hospital, and the completion of renovations at the Boot Mills.

"You truly put Lowell in a better place and that is one of the reasons I wanted to run," said Samaras, who was elected in his first run for office in November.

"I wanted to be part of the excitement going on in Lowell that you generated. I truly feel that Lowell is on the edge of becoming one of the best mid-sized cities in the country."

Lynch thanked the councilors for their kind words and their collaboration with him during his tenure as city manager.

"I have had great support from the City Council on a number of initiatives," Lynch said. "I truly appreciate that because that is really is the key to the Plan E form of government, where the manager and the legislative body work together. That's what has made quite a bit of the successes possible."

Lynch said he was pleased with his time as city manager.

"I am very proud of my time here in the city of Lowell," Lynch said. "I think we have had some great results.

"We have made tremendous strides in the finances," Lynch continued. "When I look at where we were before to where we are now, we are far better off in terms of the finances. Certainly, the bond rating is evidence of that, and the fact that we have some fiscal flexibility and have been able to invest in the infrastructure of the city."

Lynch also said he was gratified for the positive reaction he has received from residents throughout the city.

"As I walk the streets of the city and through the neighborhoods and around the downtown, the response is close to always very, very positive," Lynch said.

The council and those in the audience gave Lynch a round of applause when he concluded his remarks.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

* Approved Kennedy's motion requesting the North Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG) calibrate the gas dispensers at 309 Chelmsford St. and provide City Council with a report on the status of all calibrations in the City.

* Approved Kennedy's motion requesting the city manager have the proper department examine the recent paving job on Westview Road and provide report to City Council.

* Approved Kennedy's motion requesting the city manager explain the reasoning behind hiring an outside law firm as a hearing officer for the police personnel hearings regarding the death of a woman in Lowell police custody. 

* Approved Dan Rourke's motion requesting the city manager have the Fire Department review possible use of Narcan as part of their operating procedures.

* Approved Mayor Rodney Elliott's motion requesting the council discuss setting up a joint ad-hoc subcommittee made up of City Council and School Committee members to initiate discussion of high school and facility assessment report.

* Approved Elliott's motion requesting the City Council discuss making Galligan Road a one way street.

* Approved Elliott's motion requesting the City Council discuss public participation process for the location of the recycling center.

* Approved Rita Mercier's motion requesting the Mayor's Office notify and invite Sean Harmon, the artists and all others responsible for the "tremendous transformation" of the Council Chamber to a council meeting to be recognized for a job well done.

* Approved John Leahy's motion requesting the city manager have the proper department reexamine the pedestrian crossing lights at the corner of Dutton and Market Streets.

* Approved Milinazzo's motion requesting the city manager provide a report on the use of the receivership program to combat abandoned properties in the City of Lowell.

* Approved Martin's motion requesting the City Council acknowledge contributions of Bernie Lynch as city manager.

* Approved Martin's requesting the City Council seek appointments and vote to appoint remaining members to the LTC board.

* Approved Elliott's motion requesting the city manager contact rail road company regarding compliance issues with the idling trains in South Lowell.

* Approved Elliott's motion requesting the city manager provide police reports regarding cell block incident.

* Approved Elliott's motion requesting the city manager provide update regarding Service Zone Plan and refer to Public Safety subcommittee for discussion.

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