Lantigua’s Campaign Against Recall Is Getting Ugly

Posted: July 19, 2011 in News, Opinion
Tags: , , , , ,

Time to recall Mayor Lantigua.

Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua is employing an ugly tactic to fight the recall effort: he’s turning the Latino community against itself. The mayor’s already alienated non-Hispanic citizens, as all recent ads against the recall effort are in Spanish.

Not satisfied with making this a “Latinos versus others” issue, he (or at least his supporters) decided to turn Dominicans against Puerto Ricans, an old rivalry Lawrence really should’ve outgrown by now.

Details can be found in this Eagle Tribune article, which comments on the recall movement (It’s Your Right), Lantigua’s ads, and other related tension. The article explains that a Dominican website (translated in the article) blames Puerto Ricans who wanted Isabel Melendez as mayor are heading the movement. In all actuality, the core group is made up of three Dominicans, three Puerto Ricans and an Anglo.

The group needs to collect 5,232 signatures by August 8, and a fair number of those will come from Dominicans like Johnny Castillo.

“Lawrence is an immigrant city and we come to Lawrence to get a better future,” says Castillo. “As a Dominican, I’m proud of my heritage and because of that, it’s discouraging to see what (Lantigua) has done and how he has embarrassed us.”

It’s terrible that Lantigua would tear apart the united Latino base that helped elect him to remain in power. He’s disillusioned many, and betrayed all that Isabel Melendez has worked for, setting the Hispanic community back with his corruption and incompetence.

If you’ve seen my earlier posts, you may have guessed I’m not Lantigua’s biggest fan. I oppose him as a Lawrence citizen and a Latino. He’s shown no interest in the city, which has been struggling since the industrial decline of the 1950s. He’s turned his back on the Latino’s who have been through a lot since coming here, including riots and being unfairly blamed for the city’s urban crisis.

Lantigua has disgraced this city, my home, and should resign before things get worse.

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Comments
  1. Eddie Garcia says:

    Eddie Garcia
    Post Office Box 120235
    Nashville, TN 37212
    fedupyet247@yahoo.com

    January 13, 2012

    Charles Boddy, City Attorney
    City of Lawrence
    200 Common Street, 3rd Floor, Room 306
    Lawrence, MA 01840

    RE: FOIA/ PUBLIC RECORD REQUEST PER MASSACHUSETTS LAW

    Dear Mr. Boddy:

    As the attorney for the city of Lawrence, Ma., I have been informed by the office of the Secretary of State (Galvin) that you are the custodian of records for public officials. In the interest of ensuring I have adequately covered my bases with this request and to ensure its compliance, I am copying Mr. Maloney, the city clerk.

    Pursuant to Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10) and 950 C.M.R. 32.00; G. L. c. 66, § 1 (2006 ed.), Public Records Access, this is a formal request to be permitted to review, inspect and/or receive copies of the items listed below.

    I.) Emails to and from mayor Lantigua to ANY member of the Licensing Board for the periods
    between January 1, 2011 through present date and/or acknowledgement of this official request.
    II.) Telephone records to and from mayor Lantigua to ANY member of the Licensing Board for
    the periods between January 1, 2011 through present date and/or acknowledgement of this official request.
    III.) Any official document(s), including emails, letters, recommendations, pertaining to the nomination, appointment and final vote for Lantigua’s estranged wife Mayra Lantigua getting on the Board. Included are the financial disclosure forms of Ms. Lantigua during her official role on the Licensing Board. If these financial documents are not required or are not in the custody of the City of Lawrence custodian, please advise with whom this particular and specific official inquiry can be made.
    IV.) Any votes cast or filings to abstain from voting by Mayra Lantigua for the periods between July 1, 2010 through present date and/or acknowledgement of this official request.
    V.) Any communication, in whatever form, between mayor Lantigua, Licensing Board members and Mr. Pedro Beato.
    VI.) These communications also include any that are in any other language, including but not
    limited to Spanish.

    It is more apparent that a conflict exists with Ms. Lantigua being on the Licensing Board while her husband, ex-husband, or whatever the case may be, is a sitting mayor. Particularly, in a city where crime, violence and murders are occurring related to alcohol.

    I reserve the right to appoint an agent or representative to be given the same liberties to review and inspect the documents as my schedule as a musician requires extensive travel.

    As you may be aware, the Public Records Law requires you to provide me with a written response within 10 calendar days. If you cannot comply with my request, you are statutorily required to provide an explanation in writing. Failure to do so will result in any action that will compel compliance with this request and any relief granted by state law or the courts.

    Additionally, 950 CMR 32.06 (5) provides that the custodian be encouraged to waive fees where the disclosure is in the public interest. I feel that the information sought bears fruit on whether the mayor and/or agents interfered with the lawful process of a recall effort and to that end to intimidate, impede, deter or prevent a lawful act by citizens. Additionally, when the Licensing Board hears, reviews, approves or denies liquor licenses in a city fraught with violence and corruption.

    Therefore, in the interest of the general public a fee should be waived to ensure an elected official and/or any civil servant has not and did not interfere with this lawful recall effort.

    Sincerely,

    /s/ EDDIE GARCIA

    Eddie Garcia

    Cc: City of Lawrence, City Council Members (via email transmission)
    fmoran@cityoflawrence.com, gsilva@cityoflawrence.com,
    danrivera@makelawrencebetter.com, rtwomey@cityoflawrence.com,
    salmonte@cityoflawrence.com, mmaldonado@cityoflawrence.com,
    oaquino@cityoflawrence.com, EBernal@cityoflawrence.com,
    marclaplante@rocketmail.com wmaloney@cityoflawrence.com
    CBoddy@cityoflawrence.com

    Governor Deval Patrick, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (US Mail)
    Mark Reilly, Chief Legal Counsel
    William “Mo” Cowan, Chief of Staff
    Timothy P. Murray, Lieutenant Governor
    Office of the Governor & Office of the Lt. Governor
    Massachusetts State House, Room 280, Boston, MA 02133

    Secretary of State Galvin, (US Mail)
    One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108

    Attorney General Coakley, Division of Open Government (US Mail)
    Office of the Attorney General, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108

    Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett (US Mail)
    10 Federal Street, 5th Floor
    Salem, MA 01970

    Al Getler, Publisher agetler@eagletribune.com
    Gretchen Putnam, Managing Editor gputnam@eagletribune.com
    Lawrence Eagle Tribune

    Michael Levenson, Reporter mlevenson@globe.com

  2. Eddie Garcia says:

    Eddie Garcia
    Post Office Box 120235
    Nashville, TN 37212
    fedupyet247@yahoo.com

    December 27, 2011

    Charles Boddy, City Attorney
    City of Lawrence
    200 Common Street, 3rd Floor, Room 306
    Lawrence, MA 01840

    RE: FOIA/ PUBLIC RECORD REQUEST PER MASSACHUSETTS LAW

    Dear Mr. Boddy:

    As the attorney for the city of Lawrence, Ma., I have been informed by the office of the Secretary of State (Galvin) that you are the custodian of records for public officials. In the interest of ensuring I have adequately covered my bases with this request and to ensure its compliance, I am copying Mr. Maloney, the city clerk.

    Pursuant to Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10) and 950 C.M.R. 32.00; G. L. c. 66, § 1 (2006 ed.), Public Records Access, this is a formal request to be permitted to review, inspect and/or receive copies of the items listed below.

    I.) Emails to and from mayor Lantigua to (1) Mr. Boddy, (2) Mr. Maloney and any employee of the city clerk’s office, (3) Mr. Bonilla, (4) any councilmember, (5) any member of the public or other city staff as the emails and content relate to:

    a.) Information or discussions related to the recall effort against the mayor.
    b.) Disclosure of the names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses of any member of the citizenry, that the mayor, through the assistance of any party, has identified as being a supporter of the recall effort and has made public for any ulterior reason or purpose.
    c.) These communications also include any that are in any other language, including but not limited to Spanish.

    I reserve the right to appoint an agent or representative to be given the same liberties to review and inspect the documents as my schedule as a musician requires extensive travel.

    As you may be aware, the Public Records Law requires you to provide me with a written response within 10 calendar days. If you cannot comply with my request, you are statutorily required to provide an explanation in writing.

    Additionally, 950 CMR 32.06 (5) provides that the custodian be encouraged to waive fees where the disclosure is in the public interest. I feel that the information sought bears fruit on whether the mayor and/or agents interfered with the lawful process of a recall effort and to that end to intimidate, impede, deter or prevent a lawful act by citizens.

    Therefore, in the interest of the general public a fee should be waived to ensure an elected official and/or any civil servant has not and did not interfere with this lawful recall effort.

    In my opinion, an elected official who is being taken to task in a recall effort would want to mitigate and eliminate any cloud of questions or impropriety as their office must uphold integrity, honesty, and access for the citizenry.

    It would be refreshing to read that the mayor has taken it upon himself to request of the Governor to appoint an independent body to oversee the recall process as it appears the city staff is quite inept or is playing games to deter, impede and prevent the recall, a lawful act, from being carried out by citizens.

    In closing, the law allows any person to make this request and does not prevent a person who doesn’t reside in Massachusetts or Lawrence to make said request. For the record, during my adolescent years, I resided in Lawrence, MA., and during those years the city was run with professionalism, integrity and respect. I still have property interests in Lawrence and am appalled at how poorly the city has been administered and mired with investigations from law enforcement agencies.

    Sincerely,

    /s/ EDDIE GARCIA

    Eddie Garcia

    Cc: City of Lawrence, City Council Members (via email transmission)
    fmoran@cityoflawrence.com, gsilva@cityoflawrence.com,
    danrivera@makelawrencebetter.com, rtwomey@cityoflawrence.com,
    salmonte@cityoflawrence.com, mmaldonado@cityoflawrence.com,
    oaquino@cityoflawrence.com, EBernal@cityoflawrence.com,
    marclaplante@rocketmail.com wmaloney@cityoflawrence.com

    Governor Deval Patrick, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (US Mail)
    Mark Reilly, Chief Legal Counsel
    William “Mo” Cowan, Chief of Staff
    Timothy P. Murray, Lieutenant Governor
    Office of the Governor & Office of the Lt. Governor
    Massachusetts State House, Room 280, Boston, MA 02133

    Secretary of State Galvin, (US Mail)
    One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108

    Attorney General Coakley, Division of Open Government (US Mail)
    Office of the Attorney General, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108

    Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett (US Mail)
    10 Federal Street, 5th Floor Fenton Judicial Center
    Salem, MA 01970 2 Appleton Street, Lawrence, MA 01840

    Al Getler, Publisher agetler@eagletribune.com
    Gretchen Putnam, Managing Editor gputnam@eagletribune.com
    Lawrence Eagle Tribune

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