Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lynn, Lynn, Come on In

One of the first things that comes to my mind when I try to characterize my job is that it's extremely varied.  One minute, I could be doing something very interesting and substantive (looking up policy pros and cons to prepare a memo), the next I could be trying to diplomatically handle a call from a "frequent flier," and the minute after that I'm trying to convince a group to meet in the Chamber in the middle of the day because the Reception Room is already booked.

One of the most interesting and memorable aspects of the job, though, is the tour guide aspect.  Yesterday, I got to lead a group of fourth-graders around City Hall -- gave the main tour, hit all the main points about the building (thanks yet again, Corey S!), and tagged along for the Police Department portion led by Paul Corcoran.

Friday, it'll be a very different crowd -- a lot of the major officials from within the Lynn City Government.  We'll have our own corresponding officials on hand to explain what's going on, but for this one I'm basically the coordinator, set-up, and protocol guy.  Classic aide-de-camp stuff.  

Why are they coming to Lowell?

Because they want to learn about a place that's doing a lot of things that they would like to be doing.  No shocker there -- journalists and city officials from all over the US (and sometimes outside the US) make inquiries about Lowell all the time.  If there were ever a *secret* about the city's revitalization, it's out.  Even among the Gateway Cities with which Lowell is often lumped in, Lowell stands out.  Other cities do well, too (Worcester has a similar profile in terms of what drives and sustains its economy), but the fact of the matter is that Lowell has a great reputation among those who are paying enough attention to know.

This is something that could be easy for someone inside the fishbowl to lose sight of.  Inside, there are struggles, there is frustration, and there are difficult compromises.  Outside, though, things look pretty darn good.  My desk is sometimes sort of a conduit from outside to inside, and that's the view that I keep hearing about.  

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