New Bedford Light columnist Jack Spillane made another visit to Townsquare Sunday this week, sharing some interesting observations about the New Bedford City Council and more.

Spillane recently reported the shocking news that, according to the Mayor's Office, new council president Linda Morad has not spoken to Mayor Jon Mitchell in two years. Morad told WBSM's Tim Weisberg this week that she has a "strained" relationship with Mitchell.

Spillane said Mitchell is ready and willing to talk with Councilor Morad. Both Spillane and I share the opinion that in order for government to work best in New Bedford, its elected leaders must communicate with each other.

Spillane also disagreed with recent council votes on salary classification, increasing the salaries for the heads of two departments in particular – the Licensing Department and Animal Control – by as much as 50 percent above the median of all other salaries for those position in the state.

"I think we do need to give people raises," Spillane said. "Inflation is high, the City has to be competitive, but the issue is, you are giving some people raises for longevity. Longevity can be rewarded, but not to that tune."

Spillane also believes new Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux is entering the job with the exact right tone: proceeding slowly before making any wholesale changes.

Some supporters have called on the new sheriff to close the Ash Street Jail, the oldest operating jail in the country. Heroux is taking a more deliberate approach, pledging to take a look at it, and make up his own mind.

Heroux also pledged to look at ways to reduce suicides at the Bristol County jails. Sadly, two days after the new sheriff was sworn in, a New Bedford man took his own life at the Dartmouth House of Correction.

The complete interview with Spillane can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard on WBSM Sundays at 6 a.m. The program highlights individuals and organizations striving to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please contact the host at

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