It’s 5 a.m. Tuesday and I’m pretty sure people that follow Dracut politics will be somewhat surprised when they wake up to earn of the turn of events over at the Dracut Housing Authority.
Mary Karabatsos has been offered the opportunity to remain in her position.
Why the reversal?
Well, I guess technically it wasn’t a reversal, since after all, they did allow her to apply.
But “it is what it is” as they say, and congratulations to Mary on her opportunity. I’m sure she will do a fine job.
There will be those who think it was politics that changed the direction of the board and, quite frankly, if some folks in politics hadn’t turned the light on this situation with the lieutenant governor, it would have gone in another direction.
It’s no secret that Tim Murray was less than pleased to have to worry about the political fallout from a group of his friends settling an old political score in Dracut.
It was Murray who made the appointment of Brian Bond to the Dracut Housing Authority at the request of state Rep. Colleen Garry that triggered the initial vote to not give Karabatsos another contract.
Things got pretty hot for Murray here in the Valley, and there’s no doubt his network back here in Greater Lowell heard about it.
One of the interesting stories coming out of the interviews last week was a question posed to Karabatsos by Chairman Ken Martin.
She was asked if she thought the previous vote was political.
OK, so you’re Mary Karabatsos and you just had your professional future placed in doubt. You have a family, kids about ready for college.
How do you answer the question?
I’ve got one question for the group now.
Now that you’ve corrected this situation, could you please take another look at Louisburg Square?
While all this was going on over at the Housing Authority, across town the selectmen were meeting to discuss the possibility of keeping another town employee, Town Manager Dennis Piendak, for another two years.
The move came as a result of a spontaneous conversation between Piendak and Selectman Joe DiRocco.
Selectmen had previously discussed a salary range for Piendak’s replacement at $140,000-$160,000.Currently, Piendak receives $124,000.
The board voted 3-2 with John Zimini and Cathy Richardson opposed to making Piendak an offer, although each was careful not to criticize the popular Piendak, who was away on vacation.
Although all municipal employee contract negotiations discussed by the board are held in executive session, Selectman Zimini wanted the discussion of Piendak’s extension to be in public and voted along with Richardson not to go into executive session to negotiate an offer.
The real question here will be answered by Piendak,who is not known for a fondness for politics.
If he believes that Zimini and Richardson do not want him to return, he may turn down the offer.
Warren Shaw is a former Dracut selectman who hosts a popular Saturday morning radio show on WCAP-AM from 6 to 10.